Professional Cooking

Information session: Thursday, Oct. 20 at 6:30 pm
4 Nines Dining Centre, John Ware Building, SAIT Main Campus
Register online

Applications for Fall 2016 are accepted Oct. 21, 2015 to July 1, 2016.

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 fact, we offer the highest amount of hands-on training available in any culinary program in North America. The program has recruited chefs with diverse, global backgrounds to offer you an amazing experience. As a Professional Cooking student at SAIT, you will have the opportunity to train and interact with 20 leading culinary professionals in only two years.

During this two year diploma 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.

Video: Stop Instagramming food At SAIT, we are 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 retail Market Place, the downtown Culinary Campus, and our own culinary garden, Jackson's Garden. Operating in live classroom environments such as The Highwood 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 famous Highwood, recipient of the 2015 Dinners' Choice Awards by OpenTable guests, 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 competitionsProfessional Cooking Quote

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.

Graduates of the Professional Cooking program have a 100% employment rate.

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