May 25, 2024  
PUBLISHED 2022-2023 Credit Catalog 
PUBLISHED 2022-2023 Credit Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Culinary Arts

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Program Description

Considered one of the best in Canada, the Culinary Arts program at SAIT is delivered by world-renowned chefs that will give you expert, hands-on culinary training. In just two short years you’ll have the opportunity to train and interact with 20 leading culinary professionals - a remarkable experience for anyone passionate about the culinary arts.

During this full-time two year program, you will train 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, culinary diplomacy and more. You will gain valuable, real-life experience in this high demand industry and will be well prepared for a diverse range of options in the dynamic world of culinary arts.

Our students’ success is a top priority and we deliver on this promise through small class sizes, a personalized approach and state-of-the-art facilities. Our classrooms and labs 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 will provide you with real world experience that prepares you for success in the culinary industry.

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 workplace kitchen. Working in teams, you will hone your professionalism, critical thinking skills while you develop 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

During your third semester, you will apply your skills in the industry through a professional paid internship. During your internship. you’ll experience learning in a real-world environment while you develop valuable industry connections and get networking opportunities with future employers.

You can also broaden your horizons and take advantage of exciting international study tours. Previous tour locations include Australia, France, Spain, Italy, Chile and Thailand.

Global recognition through chef competitions

Our 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, as well as in Canadian Chef Association competitions. Our students also competed in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Toronto over the last several years and were placed in the top three rankings.

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.
  • All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Program Outline

Total Credits 73.5

Graduate Outcomes (SGO)

A. Safety - Awareness of safety standards relevant to the workplace

  • Safety awareness

B. Responsible Leadership - Personal, ethical and respectful behaviour within the workplace and global community

  • Teamwork and multi-disciplinary collaboration
  • Self-Initiative
  • Ethical reasoning and action
  • Global awareness
  • Sustainability

C. Communication - The exchange of information in a professional and effective manner

  • Language skills
  • Interpersonal skills

D. Information Literacy - The strategies used to become informed from recognizing an information need, to accessing and evaluating information and using it effectively and ethically

  • Problem solving and/or Critical thinking
  • Quantitative literacy
  • Technological literacy

E. Technical Knowledge, Skills and Abilities - Technical competence specific to the discipline or industry

  • Specialized, technical skill set

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