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Professional Cooking

Open for Fall 2017

Length: 2 Years
Credential: Diploma
Available: Full Time Classroom

Program Highlights

Explore the world of the culinary arts — from fundamental cooking techniques to patisserie — through hands-on instruction and action-based learning inside SAIT’s on-campus restaurants. Prepare for a career as a chef, kitchen manager or food stylist.


Grad Employment Rate


Median Starting Salary

Upcoming Information Sessions

Tuition and Fees Per Year*

Year 1: $6,482
Year 2: $5,979
Year 1 (International): $20,329
Year 2 (International): $18,567

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change


You will be offered admission to this program if you meet the admission requirements and qualify through competitive entry. Competitive entry is based on an interview with representatives of the Professional Cooking program. 

When can you apply?

Fall 2017 start: applications are accepted Oct. 19, 2016 to July 1, 2017.

Program Details

Program description

Considered the best in Canada, the Professional Cooking program at SAIT is delivered by world-renowned chefs who provide expert, hands-on training. In just two short years you will have the opportunity to train and interact with 20 leading culinary professionals - an amazing experience for anyone passionate about the culinary arts.

During this full-time two year program, you will be trained in all aspects of the culinary trade including foundational cooking techniques, garde manger, culinary perspectives and patisserie. In an industry experiencing high demand, graduates from SAIT's Professional Cooking program gain valuable, real-life experience and are well prepared for a diverse range of options in the dynamic culinary world.

At SAIT, we Video: Stop Instagramming foodare focused on our students' success and deliver on this promise through small class sizes, a personalized approach and state-of-the-art facilities. Our classrooms and labs have recently received $7 million in upgrades including the new Michelle O'Reilly Charcuterie Lab, SAIT's gourmet Market Place, the downtown Culinary Campus, and our own culinary garden - Jackson's Garden. Operating in live classroom environments such as the renowned Highwood restaurant and 4 Nines Dining Centre provides real world experience that readies you for success in the culinary industry.

As a student, you will learn essential cooking skills and current trends through repetitive production style cooking for the public under the watchful eyes of our professional chefs - just like you would in a real kitchen. The capstone of the program is cooking for the public in the award winning Highwood restaurant, and the bustling downtown Culinary Campus where you will prepare world-class cuisine in a live classroom environment.

Professional paid internship

Between your first and second year of study, you will get to apply your skills in the industry through a professional paid internship. In addition to learning in a real-world environment, internships provide valuable connections and opportunities to network with future employers.

As a student, you can also take advantage of exciting international study tours. Previous tour locations have included Australia, France, Spain, Italy, Chile and Thailand.

Global recognition through chef competitions

SAIT's Professional Cooking program will also give you the skills for a global career path and opportunities to work in the world's finest dining establishments. You have the option to compete in skills and culinary competitions-both locally and internationally. Our students have won gold and silver in Provincial and National Skills, along with gold and silver in the Canadian Chef Association competitions. Our students have also competed in Hong Kong and Singapore over the last several years, where they also took home both gold and silver medals.

Your Career

You will be prepared for a diverse range of career options in food service in restaurants, hotels and convention centres after graduation. You may find work locally or abroad as:

  • Executive Chef
  • Sous-chef
  • Chef de Partie
  • Banquet Chef
  • Garde Manger
  • Chef de Cuisine
  • Kitchen Manager
  • Food Stylist
  • Educator

Alberta Apprenticeship has accredited this program for all three technical training periods. Graduates are eligible for advanced standing as a cook apprentice by successfully challenging all three Apprenticeship and Industry Training exams.

Student Success

  • Most successful students spend approximately 20 hours per week doing homework and review, with additional study required to prepare for exams.
  • Keep in mind hospitality industry hours can range from early morning to late in the evening and often include holidays. For example, our cold food prep classes start at 7 am and dinner service at the Highwood ends at 10 pm.
  • The culinary industry is fast-paced with a focus on customer service.
  • The material is presented at a fairly rapid rate, so for the greatest level of success you must be present and take responsibility for your learning experience.
  • You must be able to read, write and comprehend the English language at a level exceeding basic conversational English.
  • Students with higher grades in high school usually experience more success in SAIT programs.

Professional Cooking Video

Transfer Options

Once completed, this SAIT credential may be eligible for transfer credit at another post-secondary institution. Visit Transfer Options to learn more about the transfer agreements currently available to SAIT graduates and incoming students.

Have questions? Write to us at transfer.options@sait.ca

Admission Requirements

Admission and Selection

  • Fall 2017 start: applications are accepted Oct. 19, 2016 to July 1, 2017.
  • Qualified applicants will be invited to attend an interview with representatives of the Professional Cooking program. Offers of admission will be determined based on the interview.

Admission Requirements

A minimum of 35 Alberta high school credits with at least 50% in the following courses or their equivalents:

  • English Language Arts 10-1 or English Language Arts 10-2 or Humanities 10, AND,
  • Math 10C or Math 10-3 or Pure Math 10 or Applied Math 10.
  • All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Competitive Entry: Seven Step Process

Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above.

Step 3: Review the selection information to understand the process and deadlines 

  • Applications and proof of the admission requirements (transcripts and/or anticipated final grades) along with all supporting documents must be submitted by July 1 to be included in selection.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who apply prior to April 1 and have industry experience or food training.

In the selection process, qualified applicants will be invited to attend an interview with representatives of the Professional Cooking program. Offers of admission will be determined based on the interview.

Step 4: Apply to Professional Cooking and submit your transcripts.

Step 5: Log in to mySAIT.ca to check your admission status. If eligible, your status will indicate that you're "In Selection."

Step 6: Attend the interview. 

Step 7: Continue to monitor changes to your application status through mySAIT.ca.

Failure to meet anticipated final grades will result in offers being rescinded.

Communication During Selection

Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. 

We recommend you add culinary@sait.ca and the sait.ca domain to your safe senders list or you risk missing critical email messages. 

Additional Information


Program outline

First Year

Semester 1

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
COOK-202 Culinary Fundamentals 3.0
COOK-253 Meat Preparation 3.0
COOK-227 Soups and Sauces 3.0
COOK-235 Dinner Cookery 3.0
COOK-267 Baking and Yeast Goods 3.0
Semester 1 Total 15.0


Semester 2

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
COOK-217 Vegetables and Starches 3.0
COOK-223 Cold Kitchen 3.0
COOK-233 Lunch Cookery 3.0
COOK-207 Breakfast Cookery 3.0
COOK-263 Line Cook 3.0
Semester 2 Total 15.0


Semester 3 - Between the first and second year

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
PRAC-287 Professional Internship 3.0
Semester 3 Total 3.0
First Year Total 33.0

Second Year

Semester 4

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
COOK-303 Lunch á la Carte 3.0
COOK-307 Patisserie 3.0
FDBS-327 Food and Beverage Service 3.0
NUTR-313 Nutrition and HMR 3.0
COMM-363 Workplace Communication Skills 1.5
FDBS-323 Food and Wine Pairing 1.5
Semester 4 Total 15.0


Semester 5

Course CodeCourse NameCredit
COOK-317 Dinner á la Carte 3.0
COOK-333 Garde Manger 3.0
COOK-350 Culinary Perspectives 3.0
FDBC-363 Purchasing, Receiving and Cost Control 3.0
FDPM-353 Supervision and Event Planning 3.0
Semester 5 Total 15.0
Second Year Total 30.0
Program Total 63.0


Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.


Domestic tuition and fees*

YearTuition feesSAIT feesSAITSA fees2016/17 total
1 $5,539 $420 $523 $6,482
2 $5,036 $420 $523 $5,979

International tuition and fees*

YearTuition feesSAIT feesSAITSA fees2016/17 total
1 $19,386 $420 $523 $20,329
2 $17,624 $420 $523 $18,567

SAIT fees

Campus athletic and recreation fee: $160
Universal Transit Pass (UPass): $260

SAIT Students' Association fees

Health Plan: $110**
Dental Plan: $125**
SAIT Students' Association (SAITSA): $288

Books and supplies*

  • Books and supplies are approximately $750.

Find out about tuition and financial aid.

* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.
** For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the SAITSA website for information on opting out.

Contact Information

School of Hospitality and Tourism

Inspiring Stories

Returning to school as a mature student with a meal prep business already underway, Mandy says the program taught her more than expected through the hands-on and fast-paced instruction.

A diploma in hand has led to an incredible career for Rosalyn, who used her cooking skills to feed the likes of cabinet ministers and then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the Canadian embassy in Beijing, among other opportunities. She says her instructors taught her that being different is a good thing.

Accolades have flowed for Paul since he was a student at SAIT and continue as his restaurant, Rouge, has garners local, national and international recognition, including a place on the coveted San Pellegrino list of best restaurants in the world. His time at SAIT continues to benefit him today, he says.

Mandy Crawford
Professional Cooking | 2016

“This gives me the credentials that I need to succeed and believe in myself.”

Rosalyn Ediger
Professioal Cooking | 2014

“SAIT instructors encourage students to try new things and not to be too concerned about doing something wrong,” she says.

Paul Rogalski
Professional Cooking | 2014

“The ongoing support I’ve been offered by SAIT has opened doors – from having a relationship of trust with instructors to having new young hires to bring into our system.”