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Chef in Residence

In 2009, NAIT launched the Hokanson Chef in Residence program, the first of its kind in Canada. The program provides students in NAIT's Department of Culinary Arts and Professional Food Studies with the rare opportunity to learn first-hand from some of the best chefs in the world.

This ongoing program will bring culinary authorities from around the world to NAIT to share their insights and expertise with students and faculty. The goal of the Chef in Residence program is to expose students to innovative cooking techniques and diverse culinary trends and styles.

The Chef in Residence program has 3 different levels of participation.

Guest Chef in Residence

  • A celebrity chef who is well-known to industry, food educators and the general public, with a diverse industry track record ranging from successful restaurant ownership, TV shows and published books and articles to affiliations with global and national food organizations.
  • This is usually a short-term residency of three to five days.
  • Chefs in Residence work with students, give presentations and demonstrations and participate in special events.
  • The Hokanson Chef in Residence program kicked off with Canadian celebrity chef Rob Feenie in 2009, followed by David Adjey in 2010,  Susur Lee in 2011, Massimo Capra in 2012, Chris Cosentino in 2013, Lynn Crawford in 2014, Michael Stadtländer in 2015, Vikram Vij in 2016 and Amanda Cohen in 2017.
  • The 2018 Hokanson Chef in Residence is Rod Butters.

Chef in Residence

Meet NAIT's all-star Hokanson Chefs in Residence!


Technical/Master Chef in Residence

Master Chefs with expertise in a specific area such as pastry, olive oil, bread making, vegetable carving, ice carving, butchery or molecular gastronomy. These experts may be local, national or international.

These residencies will be between 1 and 30 days in length.

During their tenure, Technical and Master Chefs in Residence will participate in:

  • student lectures and student labs
  • faculty consultations on curriculum and program content
  • mentorship of faculty and students
  • interactive demonstrations
  • internal and external special events
  • applied research and product development of Alberta and local foods
  • media opportunities
  • Culinary Cookbook development
  • menu and recipe development for Ernest's

Honorary Chef in Residence

  • Typically a local chef who has a long-term relationship with NAIT and our programs.
  • This residency is a one-year period.
  • These chefs nurture and mentor students, participate in advisory boards and support students in their practicums and career aspirations.

The Hokanson Chef in Residence program was made possible as a result of a generous donation from John and Susan Hokanson.


Other visiting chefs

In addition to the Hokanson Chef in Residence program, the Department of Culinary Arts and Professional Food Studies makes an ongoing effort to connect students with industry leaders. Our visiting chefs include

  • 4th Generation German Master Butcher Karsten Schellhas (June 2015)
  • Executive Pastry Chef Philippe Le Corre (May 2014)
  • Bread expert, author and culinary instructor Peter Reinhart (May 2010)
  • Master Baker Didier Rosada (September 2009, May 2010 and May 2014)
  • Master Chef Giuseppe Mazzocchi (April 2008, November 2009)
  • Master Baker Jeffrey Hamelman (March 2008)
  • German Master Butcher Stefan Follner (February 2008)