The culinary program is offered at both NIC's Campbell River and Port Alberni campuses in fully equipped training facilities. To help ensure future advancement in their career, students are registered as apprentices upon entering the program and gain apprenticeship credit as they proceed through each Certificate of Qualification.
Professional Cook (Culinary Arts) consists of three levels of qualification: Professional Cook 1, Professional Cook 2, and Professional Cook 3, which provide recognized provincial certification on completion of each level. The Interprovincial (Red Seal) for Cook will be affixed to the Professional Cook 3 certificate. Each qualification level consists of an in-school training program, practical and theoretical examinations and a workplace time requirement.
Professional Cook 1 (PC1):
Learn the essentials of cooking in just 28 weeks. From core culinary skills, to preparing and cooking stocks, soups, sauces, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, sandwiches and desserts, you are well on your way to mastering your new craft. At NIC, hands-on classes ensure you will also be introduced to menu planning, nutrition and human resource management.
Upon successful completion of the program, the PC1 final exam and, an additional 400 hours of documented industry experience, you will receive provincial certification as a Professional Cook 1. You are then eligible to continue your career development as you work toward attaining Professional Cook 2.
Professional Cook 2 (PC2):
Enter a more advanced 14-week training program where you continue your culinary skills development by gaining experience with menu creation, à la carte production and presentation, as well as dining room food and beverage service at the Third Course bistro in Campbell River.
Upon successful completion of Professional Cook 2 program, the PC2 final exam, and a further 760 hours of documented industry experience, you are then able to proceed to Professional Cook 3.
Professional Cook 3 (PC3):
Certification as Professional Cook 3 requires: 1) completion of a 6-week intensive theory-based in-school program, 2) the completion of theoretical and practical provincial qualification exams, and 3) a further 3,000 hours of documented industry work experience. At the completion of the in-school program, students will normally also sit for the Interprovincial (Red Seal) examination.
NIC's Professional Cook program has been accredited by the Canadian Forces, and graduates can gain advanced standing as a cook (apprentice). For more information, visit Paid Education.
Career opportunities such as pastry cooks and bakers, sous chefs and executive chefs are based on an individual's goals, experience and abilities. Positions in bistros/restaurants, cruise ships, fishing/eco-tourism resorts, catering companies, hospitals, hotels, logging and mining camps, spa and destination resorts, specialty food services, extended care facilities and culinary tourism are examples of the many opportunities available to graduates. Graduates have also gone on to open their own catering and home businesses.