Having long established itself as one of the top culinary schools in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Community College (VCC) facilitates programs that result in the skills, experience and designation students need to become respected cooks — locally and globally.
In particular, VCC’s culinary arts (professional cook 1), culinary arts (professional cook 2) and culinary arts (cook) apprentice offerings serve as building blocks to obtaining the coveted Red Seal designation.
“The pathway to a Red Seal, which is the benchmark set out by the Industry Training Authority for skilled trades, means finishing levels 1 and 2 then completing the required number of work-based hours and coming back for the educational component of the apprenticeship training when a cook is sponsored by an employer,” says Collin Gill, VCC’s culinary arts department head.
While professional cook 1 takes seven months to complete, professional cook 2 takes four months and the apprentice program takes five weeks, full-time, or 10 weeks part-time, Gill says all VCC professional cook students receive a balance of theory and practical application. This includes experiencein the school’s teaching kitchens and service outlets where instructional activities include demonstrations, hands-on practice and group discussions.
“They not only learn how to handle ingredients or gain the knife skills they need to prepare culinary items, but VCC students gain the know-how to develop menus, adhere to industry health and safety standards whenhandling food, implement kitchen management for inventory and cost control, and more,” says Gill.
And although students can find work after completing professional cook 1 and 2, Gill says it is obtaining the Red Seal designation that opens the doors to higher positions as well as a global career. “One of the greatest benefits of being a cook is the ability to travel and because the Red Seal is internationally recognized, you can take your career around the world,” says Gill. “It isa statement that you achieved this benchmark and that is something chefs and cooks alike hold in high regard.”
Original article published in Metro Vancouver.
Get your career cooking! Sign up now to tour the VCC kitchens, meet instructors and ask questions at an upcoming culinary arts info session. Professional cook 1 offers a monthly intake. Professional cook 2, meanwhile, has starts in September and January.