What to Expect
The first year of the program focuses on a sound knowledge of kitchen fundamentals and core culinary theory, including making stock and preparing meats, poultry, seafood, cold foods and desserts. These practical courses are complemented by training in nutrition, sanitation, trade math and personal and professional management.
The second year emphasizes culinary finesse for students aspiring to become chefs and kitchen leaders and introduces the principles of gastronomy and culinary management. Courses include international cuisine and culture, contemporary cuisine, menu management and purchasing management.
The faculty in the Department of Culinary Arts and Professional Food Studies bring a world of experience to the classroom. A number of our instructors have international experience, and several more have won multiple awards. Many are former NAIT grads, back to share their knowledge with the next generation of students. Our instructors are dedicated to student success, mentoring them in the classroom and through our various student clubs. The manager and coaches of Culinary Team NAIT have also guided our students to a number of provincial, national and international awards.
Our full-time faculty is complemented by a number of visiting chefs and the Hokanson Chef in Residence.
Classroom & Study Hours
Students can expect to spend, on average
- 30 hours per week attending classes over the course of a semester
- 8 to 10 hours per week studying and completing class assignments
The Hokanson Centre for Culinary Arts is the heart of NAIT's Department of Culinary Arts and Professional Food Studies. The centre's state-of-the-art labs and Ernest's Dining Room give Culinary Arts students hands-on experience in contemporary cooking and fine dining.
The Culinary Arts labs are equipped with motion sensor cameras that transmit live audio and video of the food preparation process through 50-inch plasma screens. Students work on top-of-the-line equipment, including
- computer-programmable Rationale ovens with perfectly consistent heat and adjustable humidity
- Baxter rotating deck ovens
- induction heatless cooking elements that transfer energy through magnetic waves
- modern cookware and utensils from world-class manufacturers
Take a virtual tour of the Hokanson Centre kitchens
- Cold Buffet and Culinary Design Lab
- Contemporary Cuisine Lab
- International Cuisine Lab
- Patisserie Lab
- Servery 1
- Servery 2
- Servery 3
As a student in the Department of Culinary Arts and Professional Food Studies, you’ll get more than just a great hands-on education. There are opportunities to get involved with the school and the community or to even put your skills to work on international trips. Learn more about the student experience through the following links.
- Clubs – students in the Baking, Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management programs can strengthen their skills and serve the community through their respective service clubs.
- Team NAIT – Culinary Arts students interested in competing on the provincial, national and international stage should consider joining Culinary Team NAIT.
- International Exchange Program – NAIT currently has exchange agreements with 3 international hotel and hospitality schools.
- Video galleries – learn from our instructors, alumni and students and see what the Department of Culinary Arts and Professional Food Studies has to offer.
- Photo galleries – see photos from our recent events.