If you enjoy creative challenges and working in a fast-paced environment, then you will enjoy working in the culinary industry. Cooks often work under pressure in time-sensitive situations and can work in a variety of places, such as restaurants, hotels, catering, hospitals, schools, and more. Professionals in this field love making and creating food expressed through a keen sense of taste and smell. In addition to preparing food, an individual should be able to work as part of a team.

At NAIT, Culinary Arts classes begin early in the morning, which is reflective of typical work hours in industry. The kitchen environment can be loud, hot, and humid, while using stoves, ovens, knives, and many other types of kitchen equipment. Standing for long periods of time is common. Shift work and working on weekends and holidays is also typical in the industry. In the culinary field the principles of professionalism are key, along with respect, responsibility, and accountability. Activities in the Culinary field involve proficiency in the following: use of basic math skills such as measurement calculation, clear and concise written and verbal communication, and an ability to adhere to public health and safety standards. Kitchen environments may involve lifting and moving objects up to 25 kg (55 lbs.). These skills are essential to be successful in the Culinary Arts program and to fulfill all the requirements of working in any food service profession. (Please contact NAIT should you wish to discuss possible accommodations).

The NAIT Culinary Arts program provides students with relevant, high-quality culinary arts training. Our graduates are in demand for a variety of career opportunities in leading hotels, restaurants, and catering facilities. Our students get real-world experience through:

  • hands-on training in the state-of-the-art Hokanson Centre for Culinary Arts
  • preparing the dishes served in Ernest's, NAIT's acclaimed fine dining restaurant
  • participating in work experience placements

Chef in Residence

The Department of Culinary Arts and Professional Food Studies' unique Chef in Residence program provides students 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.

Quick Facts

Credential: Diploma

Diplomas and Certificates are credit programs that take 1 or 2 years and lead to government approved and industry-recognized credentials.

Campus: Main

Any in-person components of your courses will be delivered at NAIT's Main Campus in Edmonton. View map

Delivery Options:

  • Both On-Campus and Virtual - Some of your coursework will be in-person, on campus and some will be done online.

Length: 2 Years

With a typical full-time course load, this program will take 2 Years to complete.

Open Studies: Available

This program has courses that are available for Open Studies. Open Studies allows you to explore credit courses without applying to a program. It is an opportunity to get a feel for school and what program you want to be in. View courses

International Students: Accepted

This program accepts international students, however, program availability may be limited. Check program availability for this term. This program also meets the eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit program. Each student is responsible for maintaining their eligibility throughout their studies.

Grad Employment Rate

Employment rates reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and do not guarantee future employment opportunities.

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Median Starting Salary

Salaries reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and are not a guarantee of future alumni income.

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Hands-on, industry-relevant skills

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.

Training at NAIT

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.

Lab Features

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

Ernest's

Ernest's Dining Room at NAIT has been aptly described as the "jewel in the crown" located in the Hokanson Centre for Culinary Arts in the Department of Culinary Arts and Professional Food Studies.

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Enter the workforce with confidence

NAIT Culinary Arts grads work in hotel and restaurant kitchens around the world. Other career opportunities exist in culinary publishing, food styling and product research and development. Other career opportunities exist in culinary publishing, food styling and product research and development.

Students in NAIT's renowned Culinary Arts program are introduced to the fundamental skills of cooking with an emphasis on safe food handling, sanitation and nutrition. These skills are enhanced by hands-on participation in advanced cooking practices including contemporary hot and cold presentation, pastry art and international cuisine.

Culinary arts students

Want to learn more about this program?

Thank you for your interest! We want to get you in contact with the right person to answer your questions.

Please contact the Student Service Centre for general inquiries such as:

  • Student application support
  • Program entrance requirements, tuition & fees, and how to apply
  • Program admissions process
  • Enrolment support
  • Student funding options
  • Fee and refund inquiries
  • General program and course withdrawal procedures
  • Navigating nait.ca and MyNAITPortal

Contact Student Service Centre

Please fill out the form below if you have any program-specific questions relating to:

  • Program details
  • Work-integrated learning and cooperative education
  • Advance credit and Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)
  • Program and course withdrawal

Contact this program




The personal information on this form is being collected under the authority of the Post-secondary Learning Act and section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). The information will be protected by the provisions of FOIP, and will be used for the purpose of registration and administration of the event. If you have any questions or concerns about the collection, use, security or disclosure of the personal information, please contact General Council at 780.471.7664 or legal@nait.ca.

Advanced Credit

You may apply for advanced credit once you have been accepted into the program. Advanced credit can be Transfer Credit (for completed post-secondary courses) or PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition).

Transfer Credit

In addition to the common guidelines outlined on the Transfer and Credit Options section and on the Transfer Credit Request Form (PDF), your program has other advanced credit requirements that are applied to each request including:

  • You must have completed the course or program no more than 5 year(s) ago unless a formalized articulation agreement is in place
  • You must have a minimum mark of B in the course(s) or program

Students from the following colleges are eligible for block transfer credit to the Culinary Arts program.

  • Northern Lights College – Professional Cook Training
  • Northwest Community College – Culinary Arts Certificate
  • Portage College – Cooking Certificate
  • SIAST – Professional Cooking
  • Yukon College – Culinary Arts

Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition (PLAR)

Please see below for the list of courses available for PLAR credits in this program. Click on the course name for more information on the evidence required for that course.

Please refer to the Credit for Work and Life Experience page for more information on how to apply for PLAR credits.

Read more about advanced credit or contact us about applying for credit for this program.

Courses

Expand each course below to see details about credits, requisites, scheduling, and more.

Tuition & Fees

Scholarships & Awards

How to Apply

Want to learn more about this program?

Thank you for your interest! We want to get you in contact with the right person to answer your questions.

Please contact the Student Service Centre for general inquiries such as:

  • Student application support
  • Program entrance requirements, tuition & fees, and how to apply
  • Program admissions process
  • Enrolment support
  • Student funding options
  • Fee and refund inquiries
  • General program and course withdrawal procedures
  • Navigating nait.ca and MyNAITPortal

Contact Student Service Centre

Please fill out the form below if you have any program-specific questions relating to:

  • Program details
  • Work-integrated learning and cooperative education
  • Advance credit and Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)
  • Program and course withdrawal



The personal information on this form is being collected under the authority of the Post-secondary Learning Act and section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). The information will be protected by the provisions of FOIP, and will be used for the purpose of registration and administration of the event. If you have any questions or concerns about the collection, use, security or disclosure of the personal information, please contact General Council at 780.471.7664 or legal@nait.ca.

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