This program includes all of the in-school training requirements to complete the Cook Apprenticeship Program, as defined by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
This program is open only to individuals who are currently working in the industry, have been sponsored by their employer as a registered cook apprentice, and who are working towards obtaining their Provincial Certificate of Qualification.
This program is funded in part by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
Learn more about Apprenticeships in Ontario. For start dates, contact the Employment Ontario apprenticeship office in your area.
Take a tour of our training and production kitchens in our 360° videos and meet our Chef Instructors.
Apprenticeship training is recognized as one of the most efficient methods of training and educating skilled tradespersons. Flexible in-school training options are necessary to meet the specific needs of apprentices and their training sponsor or employer. Apprentices learn to become qualified tradespeople or “journeypersons” while sponsors or employers gain highly skilled employees with current knowledge and work techniques.
Ministry Website: Cook Apprentice
Cook Apprentice The Next Step: Red Seal Certification
Students that attend culinary programs at St. Lawrence College (SLC) are taught by talented and dedicated chefs that experience working at four and five-star hotels, Michelin star restaurants, and large catering companies around the world. Small class sizes at SLC ensure cook apprentices get the individual attention they deserve.
Essence Dining Room: real-life experience right on campus
First and second-year apprentices embrace real-life learning by running the on-campus restaurant Essence Dining Room. First-year level one apprentices create three-course lunches for the college personnel and the general public in their second semester. Second-year level two apprentices create high-quality lunches and dinners in semesters three and four. Essence Dining Room motivates apprentices learning and empowers confidence in a safe instructional environment.
When you have graduated from the Level 1 Cook Apprenticeship course or the Level 2 Cook Apprenticeship course you will have completed all of the theoretical requirements for the Cook Apprenticeship program in Ontario.
During your employment with your chosen employer you can work towards obtaining the provincial designation of “Cook” by completing the practical portion of the Cook Apprenticeship program and challenge the red seal examination through the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
This course provides the student with basic knowledge of nutritional principles and how these are applied to all aspects of food production, healthy eating, and how food is utilized by the body. Students learn about the Canadian Food Guide and various dietary guidelines that are used when developing recipes, menus, portion sizes, and promoting healthy eating choices.
In this practical lab course, students develop foundational culinary techniques in a production kitchen. Students demonstrate the ability to plan, prepare, and present menu items. Students learn to follow technical instructions, develop knife skills, and practice classical cooking methods and techniques in food preparation.
This course introduces students to the theories, science, and foods involved in the fundamentals of classical French cuisine and culinary techniques as they pertain to the professional modern food service industry. Students learn cooking methods and the wide range of ingredients used in the operation of a professional kitchen and the foundational principles of bakeshop production.
This course provides students with an introduction to the theory, science, and application of fundamentals techniques in the professional bakeshop. Students apply the knowledge of how various ingredients interact and develop the skills required to prepare yeast products, quick bread, pies, pastries, cookies, custards, and sweet/savory fillings.
This course provides an overview of the operational guidelines for a professional food service operation in a variety of subsections of the industry. It also assists students to explore the possible career paths within the various styles of operations in the industry. The course emphasizes the need for teamwork, communication strategies, and the physical/mental/organizational demands of the professional kitchen. Students acquire the skills required to provide a safe, healthy, and well-maintained kitchen environment using the principles of the Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Point System (HACCP).
This course builds upon the theories and science involved in the fundamentals of classical and modern food cookery as it pertains to the professional kitchen. Students demonstrate a working knowledge of food theory and how it is applied in culinary labs. The science of sauces and sauce making, both classical and modern, comprehensive meat, poultry, seafood fabrication, and vegetable theory are the focus of this course.
This course focuses on the development of skills and professional confidence in the preparation and delivery of menu courses served to the public. Students apply foundational and intermediate preparation methods including the selection and use of appropriate cooking/baking techniques, ingredients, mise en place, and garnishes. Working in a modern brigade system, students develop practical team and interpersonal skills. Students perform a wide range of cooking techniques in the operation of lunch service in the college dining room.
In this course, students are introduced to environmental sustainability, cost control techniques, and legal aspects of food operations. Students become familiar with managing human resources, materials, and supplies and with the applicable laws/regulations that cover the industry sector such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Health Boards, and the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
In this course, students continue to develop culinary knowledge and practical experience gained in the first year labs. This includes demonstrating intermediate preparation and presentation skills such as in-depth charcuterie work and international cuisine. Using a team-based approach, students provide a variety of traditional lunch and dinner menu items for the public in the student-operated dining room, Essence.
Students develop practical skills in advanced baking following bakeshop formulas and technical instructions. Students apply key techniques in patisserie to create more complex classical and modern desserts such as authentic Black Forest cake, wedding cake, laminated dough, pâté à bombe, and various meringues and soufflés.
In this course, students apply a wide range of advanced culinary preparation and production techniques encompassing international cuisines, specialized ingredients, and practical dining room service. Students focus on such topics as advanced sauce making, lobster breakdown, fabrication, offal, and sushi techniques. Team, leadership, and organizational skills are also further developed and demonstrated in the student-operated restaurant.
This course addresses key kitchen management concepts in a variety of commercial, non-commercial, and institutional settings. It focuses on catering and banquet management practices for back and front of house operations. Topics include industry-standard ordering and receiving practices, advanced inventory control systems, cost reconciliations, and data entry for menu and spreadsheet applications. In addition, students study marketing strategies and business management principles that promote successful operations. Students have the opportunity to learn how a catering operation is created including menu planning, banquet event orders, and contracts.
The apprentice must be:
- Sponsored by an employer
- Registered with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
- Registered with the Ontario College of Trades
Our Kingston campus has seen significant renovation over the past few years, including a brand new Student Life and Innovation Centre that houses a new gymnasium, fitness centre, pub, and more.
- Prep cook
- Line cook/commis chef
- Pastry cook
- Breakfast cook
- Personal chef
- Food writer/critic
- Food photographer
- Kitchen, restaurant, or recipe designer
- Food truck owner
- Catering companies
- Conference centres
- Retirement living
- Cruise ships
- Airline catering
Our graduates have found jobs at the following local establishments in Kingston:
- Bread and Butter Bakery and Toast and Jam Restaurant
- Aqua Terra Restaurant
- Pan Chancho Bakery and Chez Piggy Restaurant
- Black Dog Catering Company
- Woodenheads Restaurant
- Casa Domenico Restaurant
- Olivea Restaurant
- Tango Neuvo Restaurant
- The Rustic Spud Restaurant
- Bella Bistro
- The Keg Restaurant
- Milestones Restaurant
- Bustini’s Catering Company
Graduates have also gone on to find employment in establishments across Canada and around the world, including:
- Atelier Restaurant, Ottawa
- Fairmont Hotels, Bermuda
- Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts, Banff, Alberta
70% of instruction occurs in the training kitchens with hands-on direction from senior chef professors. Apprentices learn the skills needed for career success and advancement. Ingredients and menu selections are comparable to those used in finer restaurants, hotels and resort establishments. St. Lawrence College provides the academic training, in cooperation with the Apprenticeship and Client Services Branch of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
How to Prepare https://www.ontario.ca/page/start-apprenticeship
How to Start
- Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development Ministry Website
- Apprenticeship Incentive Grants ($4000.00) Incentive Grant Website
- Employer Tax Credits Job Creation Tax Credit for Employers
- College of Trades College of Trades Website
- Red Seal Examination Examples Red Seal Website
Contact your local office of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development:
299 Concession Street, Suite 201,
135 North Front St
132 Second Street East, Suite 202,
Chef Richard Hendy
613.544.5400 ext. 1395
Chef Leslie Leacy
613.544.5400 ext. 1027
Click here to message Recruitment.