Professional Cook Foundation Level 1

This 28-week program is designed to train students for a career in professional cooking, including the fundamentals of food preparation in a modern industrial kitchen setting. Graduates can apply to take the 14 week PC2 remainder of the Culinary Arts Certificate Program at the Nanaimo campus.

Apprenticeship and the Culinary Program

All students are sponsored as Professional Cook apprentices under the auspices of the British Columbia Industry Training Authority while enrolled at the Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island. This allows learners to log apprentice hours while training within the culinary program. After 28 weeks of study, and having successfully passed the Certificate program requirements, students will write the ITA Professional Cook 1 Apprentice Practical and Theory exams. Cowichan and Powell River students can then apply to the Professional Cook 2 section of the Culinary Arts Certificate program offered at the Nanaimo campus. Upon successful completion of these exams and the second half of the Certificate program, students can write their ITA Cook 2 apprentice practical and theory exams, if they have completed the ITA's required 1000 hours of industry training. Please note: due to the timing of the co-op, it is recommended that applicants for the August Nanaimo campus intake have a minimum of 280 hours in the industry to successfully fulfill the PC2 apprenticeship hours requirement in their certificate year. Please consult the Program Chair regarding questions about industry hours.

For more information, see the VIU Culinary Programs website and the VIU Apprenticeship page.

Culinary Arts Certificate

After completing the Professional Cook 1 (PC1) program students have the option to apply to the Nanaimo campus to complete an additional 14-weeks of training (Professional Cook 2) and receive a Culinary Arts Certificate. See the Admission Requirements for information about how to apply to the Culinary Arts Certificate.

Admission Requirements - Professional Cook Foundation Level 1

  • Grade 12, or equivalent or mature student status.
  • Mature students without Grade 12 will be required to complete an assessment test.
  • Minimum 17 years of age.
  • Interview may be required.
  • Submission of copy of Foodsafe Level I certificate (see Note below).
  • Criminal record check, for Cowichan and Powell River campuses only.
  • See also Trades general admission requirements.

Note: Foodsafe Level I certificates are offered through the following organizations:

  • Foodsafe through VIU's Professional Development and Training

Program Outline

Professional Cook Foundation Level 1 (28-weeks)


COOK 100T - (Orientation and Evaluation)


COOK 102T - (Breakfast and Meat Cutting - Theory & Practical)


COOK 104T - (Garde-Manger, Vegetables and Starches 1 - Theory & Practical)


COOK 108T - (Stocks, Soups, Protein Cookery 1 - Theory & Practical)


COOK 112T - (A la Carte 1 - Theory & Practical)


COOK 119T - (Pastries and Desserts 1 - Theory & Practical)


Vancouver Island University, formed a partnership with Providence Farm in February 2013 and opened The Farm Table Restaurant in April 25, 2013. Students can expect an "Artisan Field to Plate" experience through the seasons and to participate in farm activities such as seeding, weeding, and harvesting produce for use in The Farm Table which is open to the public.

Please contact Student Affairs at 250-746-3509 for program information and details on admission requirements.

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