Jun 25, 2024  
PUBLISHED 2021-2022 Credit Catalog 
PUBLISHED 2021-2022 Credit Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Culinary Arts

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Program Description

Considered the best in Canada, the Culinary Arts program at SAIT is delivered by world-renowned chefs who provide expert, hands-on training. In just two short years you will have the opportunity to train and interact with 20 leading culinary professionals - an amazing experience for anyone passionate about the culinary arts.

During this full-time two year program, you will be trained in all aspects of the culinary trade including foundational cooking techniques, garde manger, introduction to global cuisines, patisserie and culinary management which includes courses such as hospitality mindset, teams and cultures, beverage arts and culinary diplomacy to mention a few. In an industry experiencing high demand, graduates from SAIT’s Culinary Arts program gain valuable, real-life experience and are well prepared for a diverse range of options in the dynamic culinary world.

At SAIT, we are focused on our students’ success and deliver on this promise through small class sizes, a personalized approach and state-of-the-art facilities. Our classrooms and labs have recently received $7 million in upgrades including the new Michelle O’Reilly Charcuterie Lab, SAIT’s gourmet Market Place and our downtown Culinary Campus. Operating in live classroom environments such as the renowned Highwood restaurant, downtown Campus and 4 Nines Dining Centre provides real world experience that readies you for success in the culinary industry.

As a student, you will learn essential cooking skills and current trends through repetitive production style cooking for the public under the watchful eyes and guidance of our professional chefs - just like you would in a real kitchen. Working in teams, you will hone your professionalism, critical thinking and effective communication skills.

At the year-end capstone courses you will have the opportunity to showcase and demonstrate the skills learned throughout your learning journey.

Professional paid internship and study tours

Between your second and fourth semester of your study, you will get to apply your skills in the industry through a professional paid internship. In addition to learning in a real-world environment, internships provide valuable connections and opportunities to network with future employers.

As a student, you can also take advantage of exciting international study tours. Previous tour locations have included Australia, France, Spain, Italy, Chile and Thailand.

Global recognition through chef competitions

SAIT’s Culinary Arts program will give you the skills for a global career path and opportunities to work in the world’s finest dining establishments. You also have the option to compete in skills and culinary competitions - both locally and internationally. Our students have won gold and silver in Provincial and National Skills in addition to the Canadian Chef Association competitions. Our students have also competed in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Toronto over the last several years placing in the top three.

Program Overview

Fast Facts

  • Two-year diploma
  • Face-to-face delivery
  • Paid Internship of 240 industry work hours
  • Opportunities for Culinary Competitions
  • International study tours

Your Career

You will be prepared for a diverse range of career options in restaurants, hotels and convention centres after graduation. You may find work locally or abroad as a(n):

  • Executive Chef
  • Sous-chef
  • Chef de Partie
  • Banquet Chef
  • Garde Manger
  • Chef de Cuisine
  • Kitchen Manager
  • Food Stylist
  • Educator

Graduates of the Professional Cooking program have a 100% employment rate.

Student Success

  • Most successful students spend approximately 20 hours per week doing homework and review, with additional study required to prepare for exams.
  • Keep in mind hospitality industry hours can range from early morning to late in the evening and often include holidays. For example, our cold food prep classes start at 7:00 a.m. and dinner service at the Highwood ends at 10 p.m.
  • The culinary industry is fast-paced with a focus on customer service.
  • The material is presented at a fairly rapid rate. For the greatest level of success you must be present and take responsibility for your learning experience.
  • You must be able to read, write and comprehend the English language at a level exceeding basic conversational English.

Students with higher grades in high school usually experience more success in SAIT programs.


After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT diploma in Culinary Arts.


Alberta Apprenticeship has accredited this program for all three technical training periods.

Students are still required to complete 4680 hours of paid work experience and must successfully challenge all three provincial exams before considered eligible for the Red Seal exam and designation.

Students in the Culinary Arts program can challenge:

  • The first year government exam after successful completion of their first year in the diploma program.
  • The second year government exam after successful completion of the third and fourth semesters provided they passed the first year government exam.
  • The third year government exam after successful completion of the Professional Cooking diploma provided they passed the first and second year government exams.

For more information contact the School of Hospitality and Tourism.

Professional Designations and Certifications

After successful completion of the program and the sectional government exams, our students have the opportunity to write the Red Seal examination. A Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) is recognized globally.


The progression requirement for students taking credit courses is a Term GPA and Total Institutional GPA of 2.0, with the exception of English Language Foundations and Academic Upgrading programs.

Admission Requirements

A minimum of 35 Alberta high school credits with at least 50% in the following courses or their equivalents:

  • English Language Arts 10-1 or English Language Arts 10-2 or Humanities 10, AND,
  • Math 10C or Math 10-3 or Pure Math 10 or Applied Math 10.
  • All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Program Outline

Total Credits 73.5

Program Outcomes

1. Technical Skills - Demonstrate technical competency in a variety of production-based environments in professional cooking.

2. Menu Creation - Create high-quality menu items using professional cooking skills, techniques and artistry.

3. Recipe Creation - Create recipes to meet client preferences and dietary restrictions.

4. Food and Beverage Foundation - Apply foundational food and beverage knowledge.

5. Meat Portion Cut/Meat Processing - Prepare cuts and portions for meat production.

6. Emerging Technologies -Demonstrate knowledge of current and emerging culinary trends and technology.

7. Equipment Safety - Operate and maintain equipment efficiently and safely.

8. Health and Safety Regulation - Adhere to current health and safety regulations for the professional cooking industry.

9. Culinary Management - Demonstrate competency in culinary management.

10. Financial Foundation - Apply financial tools and principles to product costing and viable day-to-day culinary operations.

11. Brand Development - Demonstrate social media competency to build personal and professional brand.

12. Culinary Operation Foundation - Apply foundational knowledge in sustainability as it relates to culinary operations.

13. Professional Communication - Adapt professional behaviour and respectfully communicate with people of diverse backgrounds and points of view.

14. Customer Service - Demonstrate a hospitality mindset with a focus on guest experience and problem solving with the guest needs in mind.

15. Client Experience - Support a healthy lifestyle by adopting effective strategies to balance demanding industry needs with personal values and priorities.

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