NIC Pro Cook program leads to culinary opportunities

NIC Chef Al Irving teaches student Cat Thompson to flambé in the Roger Street Bistro at NIC’s Port Alberni campus. NIC will be offering Pro Cook 1 in Port Alberni this January. Students are asked to register by October 5. 

Aspiring cooks can take their first step toward becoming a Red Seal chef in Port Alberni this winter with NIC’s Professional Cook Level 1 program.

The program is now taking applications for a January start.

NIC Professional Cook graduate Jayla Waddell says the program has provided many culinary opportunities.

“Since completing NIC’s Professional Cook 1 program, I have worked as a camp cook at Sechart Kayaking Lodge and travelled with Lime’n Food Truck to share my culinary skills at various events such as Salmon Fest, Sunset Market, Ukee Days and more,” she said.

She now works at the popular Roger Street Bistro, where Pro Cook students learn to prepare meals for an appreciative audience.

In Pro Cook 1, students learn core culinary skills including preparing stocks, soups and sauces, vegetables and proteins such as meat, fish and poultry and desserts. Students are also introduced to menu planning, nutrition and human resource management.

The Pro Cook program is the second upcoming culinary offering at the Port Alberni campus. Prep Cook – a fully funded government training program – begins in October.

“Prep cook teaches students the basics and prepares them for entry-level work in kitchens in restaurants and resorts,” said Cheryl O’Connell, NIC’s dean of trades and technical programs. “The timing of these two programs means students can transition from the entry-level training into Pro Cook and start their apprenticeship journey.”

Space is still available in both the Prep Cook and Professional Cook programs. Students interested in Pro Cook are asked to apply by October 5 to secure their seat.

Learn more about NIC's Culinary Arts programs.

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Christiana Wiens
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