Pro Cook 2 coming to NIC's Port Alberni campus

Chef Al Irving supervises Pro Cook 1 student Cat Thompson in the kitchen of the Roger Street Bistro at NIC's Port Alberni campus.

Culinary professionals in the Port Alberni region will get a chance to expand their skills with Level 2 apprenticeship training coming to NIC’s Port Alberni campus this fall.

“We’re incredibly excited to be able to bring this training to our Port Alberni campus,” said Cheryl O’Connell, dean of trades and technical training at NIC. “We’ve heard from our Pro Cook Level 1 grads, employers and industry leaders regarding the need and demand. It’s our privilege to bring this training to Port Alberni for the first time.”

NIC’s Pro Cook Level 2 allows students to take their skills to the next level and start to prepare for leadership roles in the kitchen and is the second step for chefs looking to complete their Red Seal designation.

“Students will be learning more advanced techniques and will be introduced to working with new ingredients and working with higher end, more expensive products,” said Chef Al Irving, NIC culinary instructor in Port Alberni.

Students will learn consommés, specialty soups, plant based foods, working with game birds, wild meats, lamb and specialty seafood, along with puff pastry, rich yeast doughs, artisan breads and specialty desserts.

“They’ll also learn human resource and leadership skills, learn about cost management and front of house procedures,” said Irving. “These additional skills help prepare students for entrance into fine dining/higher end restaurants.”

Irving added he’s excited to bring this curriculum to Port Alberni for the first time.

“We know there are a lot of cooks, especially those who took Professional Cook 1 with us, who are ready to take that next step in their career,” he said. “I’m looking forward to being back in the kitchen with them, hearing about how they are doing and helping them refine their skills.”

The Pro Cook 2 offering begins in September, but seats are expected to fill quickly. Interested students are encouraged to apply now to secure their seat.

For more information, or to apply, visit

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