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 your career, you will be registered as an apprentice upon entering the program and will gain apprenticeship credit as you 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):
28 weeks (840 hours approx.)
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 provincial final exams 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)
14 weeks (420 hours approx.)
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 provincial exams and a further 760 hours of documented industry experience, you are then able to proceed to Professional Cook 3.
Professional Cook 3 (PC3):
Six weeks (180 hours approx.)
Advance further with a six-week intensive theory-based program that meets all the requirements of the national Red Seal standard for cooks. You will be competent with all major techniques and principles used in cooking and other aspects of food preparation, preparing you to take a leadership role in the kitchen.
Please note: Professional Cook Levels 1 - 3 can be taken in consecutive order for a total of 1,440 hours over 48 weeks.
Upon successful completion of the Professional Cook 3 program, the PC3 final provincial exams and a further 3,000 hours of documented industry work experience, you will qualify for your Certificate of Qualification with Interprovincial Red Seal endorsement and Professional Cook 3 Certificate of Apprenticeship.
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.