Overview

Indulge your creativity and rise to the challenge in this demanding trade program. Take on the full menu of food preparation, including nutrition, presentation and international cuisine.

This two-year program brings you into the kitchen with everything you need to start your culinary career. In and out of the classroom, you will work closely with instructors through industry-based competitions, community projects and events. After graduation, you may be granted Level 1 and 2 towards becoming a Red Seal Chef once you register as an apprentice.

Follow your taste buds to the Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts at our North Hill campus in Brandon. Campus grounds overlook the river valley below. The beautiful heritage building features a spacious modern teaching kitchen, culinary theatre and a 60-seat dining room.

You will research and plan menus for buffets, banquets, festivals and other events that you and your team will put on throughout the year. Distinctive ingredients that you help choose will need special culinary touches, and you will learn the techniques you need to bring them to mouth-watering reality.

Help host some of Brandon’s best annual events, including Harvest on the Hill, the Holiday Buffet, the International Wine and Food Festival and the Great Grey Owl Restaurant. You will be a public face of college-grown food as you work side-by-side with students from other programs. Showcase the tasty side of sustainability as part of a field to fork approach you can be proud of.

Admissions

  • This is a competitive entry program. Please see our competitive entry page for further details.

  • A complete Manitoba Grade 12 or equivalent

  • English 40G/40S or equivalent

  • Consumer/Essential Mathematics 40S or equivalent

Note: Program requirements include participating in live restaurant and event operations outside of the typical day schedule and include early mornings, evenings and weekend hours. Alcohol and a variety of culinary traditions are part of the program.

English is the language of instruction at Assiniboine. All applicants educated outside of Canada or in a country not on the test exempt list are expected to meet the English language proficiency requirement. See assiniboine.net/elp for more information. 

Careers & Connections

Careers

Graduates are employed as chefs in hotels, restaurants, resorts, institutional kitchens and catering companies. Graduates enjoy opportunities for advancement, as the food service industry tends to promote from within.

Connections

Graduates who register as an apprentice within two years of completing the program may be granted credit for both Level 1 and Level 2 cook in-school technical training.

Assiniboine has a number of agreements with other colleges, universities and professional organizations, making it possible for students to apply credit taken at Assiniboine to programs at other institutions. For up-to-date information on agreements, visit our Articulation Agreements page.

Tools & Supplies

This program features a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen, elegant Great Grey Owl dining room and culinary theatre all located in the beautiful heritage building shared with the Hotel and Restaurant Management program. Together these students gain hands-on experience by hosting a variety of events that are open to the community.

Culinary Arts is a very practical program in which many skills are developed in the kitchen. With the large component of applied learning, the cost of textbooks is very minimal. 

Program Checklist:

Supplies:

Booklist:

Culinary Arts students benefit from hands-on experience researching and planning menus, preparing for buffets, banquets, festivals and educational events, exploring distinctive ingredients and culinary styles, and using state-of-the-art equipment and novel techniques.

Courses & Costs

To graduate with a Culinary Arts diploma, students must successfully complete 135 credits. The minimum passing grade for each course is indicated on the course outline

Please note, all costs are approximate and subject to change.

Estimated Program Costs

Tuition, fees and Students’ Association fees total approximately $5,490 for year one (plus additional $600 in extracurricular costs) and $5,430 for year two. Estimated costs for books and supplies are $1,120 for year one and $200 for year two. Please note, all costs are approximate and subject to change.

Estimated Program Costs (International, 2019-20)
  Credits Tuition & Related Fees Textbooks, Tools, & Supplies Student Health Insurance Estimated Total*
Culinary Arts (Year 1) 66 $17,240 $1,120 $1,000 $19,360
Culinary Arts (Year 2) 69 $17,400 $200 $1,000 $18,600

*All fees are estimated and are subject to change without notice.

Extracurricular costs for program activities in Year 1 are estimated at $600. These costs are for program activities that are optional to the student such as large trips.

 

Year One Courses
Title Credits/CEUs Elective Distance PLAR
1st Aid - Emergency (HLTH-0030)

Basic First Aid & CPR techniques taught in an interactive environment for individuals and employees who want an overview of First Aid & CPR in the workplace or home. The course covers skills needed to recognize, prevent and respond to cardiovascular emergences for Adults, CPR and other topics such as choking, airway and breathing emergencies, and prevention of disease transmission. This course meets the minimum regulations for Workplace Health & Safety for Basic First Aid. Participants who meet the required standard receive a nationally recognized certification that is valid for three years. Textbook included in cost of tuition.

0 credit(s) No No No
Breakfast Cookery (COOK-0004)

This course includes basic preparation, cooking and serving of egg dishes and breakfast items for an a la carte menu as well as for a buffet. This course also includes related dairy products.

3 credit(s) No No No
Cooking Fundamentals (COOK-0079)

This course provides an overview of the cooking profession and the food service industry. It includes information on sanitation, safety, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), first aid and safe food handling.

6 credit(s) No No No
Cooking Principles (COOK-0080)

This course provides information and practical experience on how to follow a recipe, use seasonings and flavours, as well as perform mise en place. The importance of basic nutrition is highlighted.

3 credit(s) No No No
Culinary Applications 1 (COOK-0081)

This course includes student participation in special projects and functions with closely supervised guided learning. Projects are chosen to match the abilities of year one students. The learner rotates through several stations to develop the skills, techniques, knowledge and critical thinking experience necessary to succeed in industry.

6 credit(s) No No No
Culinary Skills (COOK-0082)

Prerequisites: COOK-0014 FoodSafe 1 & COOK-0079 Cooking Fundamentals
The learner is introduced to the most commonly used equipment, tools and utensils in foodservice kitchens with a focus on safe techniques and procedures for handling, use and storage. Knife skills are emphasized and the basic concepts and specific operations of mise en place are discussed.

3 credit(s) No No No
Fire Safety (WRKP-0021)

This awareness seminar is provided by the City of Brandon Fire Department. Participants learn to identify various fire types and understand their individual characteristics. Fire hazard identification and fire safety procedures are demonstrated in relation to food service operations. Participants learn the functions of a fire extinguisher, coupled with a practical learning exercise demonstrating proper handling and extinguishing techniques.

0 credit(s) No No No
FoodSafe 1 (COOK-0014)

This seminar, delivered by Manitoba Health, is a must for owners, managers, supervisors, chefs, cooks, and other personnel responsible for purchasing, handling, preparing and serving food. FoodSafe is a nationally-recognized seminar that addresses the relationship between microbiology and food-borne illness, safe food handling, personal hygiene habits, effective cleaning and sanitizing of equipment and utensils, and measures to ensure a clean, safe food service operation. Participants who pass the examination receive a nationally-recognized certificate which is valid for five years.

0 credit(s) No No No
Garde Manger 1 (COOK-0005)

This course includes the basics and practical skills of cold food preparation. Topics include salads, dressings and sandwiches as well as plate presentation and garnishes.

6 credit(s) No No No
Hospitality 1 (HOSP-0028)

Prerequisite: HOSP-0052 Smart Choices
This course provides the learner with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills related to basic hospitality operations. It focuses on introducing learners to fundamentals related to service operations in the dining room including table service, bartending, and dining room management. Knowledge is also gained in beverage service as it relates to beer, wine and spirits. A large component of the course is completed in a practical setting allowing the learner to gain a hands-on approach to their learning. This course reviews the rules and practices the responsible alcohol service.

3 credit(s) No No No
Job Skills Development (PEDV-0145)

In this course students learn how to promote themselves more effectively to get the job they want. Students develop the skills and strategies needed to successfully market their skills so they can compete effectively in the job market. Emphasis is placed on understanding the job search process, preparing a résumé and cover letter, interview skills and business etiquette.

3 credit(s) No Yes Yes
Level 1 Final Practical Cook (COOK-0096)

This is the practical exam for Level 1 Cook for the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualification Board of Manitoba.

0 credit(s) No No No
Level 1 Final Theory Cook (COOK-0098)

This is the theory exam for Level 1 Cook for the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualification Board of Manitoba.

0 credit(s) No No No
Meats and Poultry 1 (COOK-0010)

In this course students learn meat and poultry varieties, grading and inspection, cooking methods, seasoning and marinating techniques, testing for doneness and quality of finished products and presentation with accompaniments.

6 credit(s) No No No
Menu Planning and Food Costing (COOK-0083)

This course examines three major areas of cost control: food, beverage and labour costs. Students learn to coordinate activities to prepare for banquets and dining room service. The use of computer software for ordering, inventory and cost control is included.

6 credit(s) No No No
Patisserie 1 (COOK-0074)

This course introduces students to basic principles and techniques of baking. The learner becomes familiar with the formulas, measuring and ingredients used in the baking process through the production of pies, yeast products, cakes, desserts, cookies and pastries.

6 credit(s) No No No
Smart Choices (HOSP-0052)

Smart Choices is a new responsible service training program, focussing on current laws, safety requirements, and responsible strategies when serving and selling liquor. This training helps people who sell and serve liquor and those who offer gambling in their establishments, understand the legal requirements and put in place responsible strategies to reduce risks and harm. This certification is a legal requirement in Manitoba for anyone serving in, supervising, managing or owning a licensed establishment to increase public safety. Certification through Manitoba Tourism and Education (MTEC) will be awarded after successfully completing the exam.

0 credit(s) No No No
Stocks, Soups and Sauces 1 (COOK-0174)

This course covers basic areas of stocks, thickening agents, soups and sauces.

6 credit(s) No No No
Vegetables/Fruits/Starches 1 (COOK-0087)

This course gives students a basic understanding of how to prepare and cook vegetables, fruits and starches. Students learn how to handle, as well as the proper techniques to preserve quality and how to retain texture and nutritional value.

6 credit(s) No No No
WHMIS 1 (HLTH-0047)

If you work in the proximity of hazardous materials, this awareness course is for you. As an introduction to Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), this course covers safe work habits with hazardous materials, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and labelling of hazardous materials. This course is presented in a straightforward, non-technical manner.

0 credit(s) No No No
Word Processing Skills (COMP-0020)

In this course, students work in a collaborative environment to learn the computer skills necessary to communicate with others, manage their work, and create a variety of files commonly found in the culinary industry. By utilizing web-based research skills, students learn about various applications and complete practical projects to develop skills in those applications.

3 credit(s) No No Yes
Year Two Courses
Title Credits/CEUs Elective Distance PLAR
Computer Applications (COMP-0198)

Prerequisite: COMP-0020 Word Processing Skills
Students gain practical skills in utilizing software to assist in food service management. Specifically, students learn how to use computerized programs to create prep, line and plating specifications, manage inventory and track food costs, and link the management of these components to the overall financial health of the food service operation. Students also hone their online portfolio to showcase their employability skills.

3 credit(s) No No No
Cuisine and Trends (COOK-0063)

In this course, students explore the flavours and recipes of international cuisine, as well as trends in cooking.

6 credit(s) No No No
Culinary Applications 2 (COOK-0088)

Prerequisite: COOK-0081 Culinary Applications 1
This course includes special projects and functions that allow the student to transfer what they have learned to practical application and to exercise critical thinking. The learner rotates through several stations as a chef de partie to develop skills, techniques and knowledge in the area of food service management and cost control.

6 credit(s) No No No
Foodservice Management (COOK-0061)

Students learn the concepts of effective foodservice employee management. Topics include hiring practices, orientation and training, supervision, performance evaluation, discipline and dismissal, and multicultural management.

6 credit(s) No No No
Garde Manger 2 (COOK-0058)

Prerequisite: COOK-0005 Garde Manger 1
Students learn to plan, design, prepare, and present advanced level platters, buffets, displays, sculptures and showpieces. This course prepares the student for the 'Special Culinary Projects' course.

6 credit(s) No No No
Job Skills Development (PEDV-0145)

In this course students learn how to promote themselves more effectively to get the job they want. Students develop the skills and strategies needed to successfully market their skills so they can compete effectively in the job market. Emphasis is placed on understanding the job search process, preparing a résumé and cover letter, interview skills and business etiquette.

3 credit(s) No Yes Yes
Level 2 Final Practical Cook (COOK-0097)

This the practical exam for Level 2 Cook for the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualification Board of Manitoba.

0 credit(s) No No No
Level 2 Final Theory Cook (COOK-0099)

This is the theory exam for Level 2 Cook for the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualification Board of Manitoba.

0 credit(s) No No No
Meats and Poultry 2 (COOK-0089)

Prerequisite: COOK-0010 Meats and Poultry 1
This course expands on the skills and techniques previously developed and it introduces advanced techniques and procedures. Topics include understanding cuts of meat, classifications and wild meats.

6 credit(s) No No No
Nutritional Cooking (COOK-0065)

This course focuses on the most common nutritional requests: reduced fat, reduced salt, reduced sugar, reduced calories, more complex carbohydrates and protein from sources other than red meat. Dietary guidelines, food allergies and institutional cooking are also included.

3 credit(s) No No No
Patisserie 2 (COOK-0067)

Prerequisite: COOK-0074 Patisserie 1
This course examines the procedures for making breads and other yeast products, cakes, icings, pies, frozen desserts and related items. Students develop skills in the preparation of yeast products, quick breads, choux paste, cookies and puff pastry.

6 credit(s) No No No
Patisserie 3 (COOK-0090)

Prerequisite: COOK-0067 Patisserie 2
This course focuses on advanced fermented and yeast-raised products, advanced cake decorating and dessert plating techniques, chocolate creations and classical pastries and tortes including creams, custards, puddings, frozen desserts and sauces.

6 credit(s) No No No
Seafood Cookery (COOK-0091)

Students work with a large variety of fish and seafood products to learn proper handling, preparation and cooking. This course includes filleting and determining quality and freshness of both fresh and frozen products.

6 credit(s) No No No
Special Culinary Projects (COOK-0112)

Students select, plan, design and create their own special project. Possibilities include culinary competition showpieces, food sculptures, wedding cakes and hot food competition entry.

9 credit(s) No No No
Stocks, Soups and Sauces 2 (COOK-0092)

Prerequisites: COOK-0174 Stocks, Soups and Sauces 1
This course covers advanced areas of stocks, thickening agents, soups and sauces.

3 credit(s) No No No
Vegetables/Fruits/Starches 2 (COOK-0093)

Prerequisite: COOK-0087 Vegetables/Fruits/Starches 1
This course provides students with advanced knowledge of preparing and cooking vegetables, fruits, starches and farinaceous products.

3 credit(s) No No No

Staff

Dr. Ryan Whibbs RSE, BA, MA, PhD

Academic Chair, Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts and Field-to-Fork Research Cluster
whibbsr@Assiniboine.net

Dr. Ryan Whibbs is the Academic Chairperson of the Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts and Field-to-Fork Research Cluster. He currently chairs all programs associated with MICA, including Culinary Arts, Hotel & Restaurant Management, Food Processing (Animal Proteins), Sustainable Food Systems, Horticultural Production, Baking Foundations, the Cook Apprenticeship Program at Keeyask Hydro Dam, and the college's Field-to-Fork Research Cluster. Ryan came to Assiniboine College in 2019. Before arriving at the college, Ryan developed and coordinated Canada's first four-year culinary degree program, the B.Comm. (Culinary Management) degree at George Brown College's prestigious Chef School. He also previously taught at Stratford Chefs School, the University of Toronto, York University, and Ryerson University. 

Dr. Whibbs has been active on many boards, and is currently a Member of the Brandon Food Council. He is a past Member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association for Food Studies (2014-2017); a subject matter expert advising the Cook's Trade Board at the Ontario College of Trades (OCT); a Member of the Ontario provincial Cook Apprenticeship Curriculum Committee (OCT); a Member of the Board of the Culinary Historians of Canada (2018-2020); and was the Ontario delegate for the federal RSOS (Cook) development initiative in Ottawa in 2019.

Dr. Whibbs completed his Red Seal (Cook) in 2002, spending time working in Canada, France, England, Scotland, and Ireland. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, completing his doctoral dissertation at York University focusing on the history of European food habits and cooks’ guilds. Ryan has published his research through the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, Oxford University, as well as in various food studies scholarly journals. Ryan has also been invited to present research at various conferences and lectures held at York University, Ryerson University, the University of Toronto, Western Michigan University, Brandon University, Walnut Hill College Restaurant School, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, Culinaria Research Centre, and the Toronto Renaissance & Reformation Colloquium.

When he is not cooking or researching, Ryan enjoys travelling, photography, gardening, and spending time with his two pugs. 

 

Chef Joanne Johnston

Joanne Johnston RSE

Instructor, Baking and Patisserie
canadaj@assiniboine.net

Chef Joanne Johnston, Culinary and Patisserie Arts Instructor at the Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts of Assiniboine in Brandon, MB received her baking certificate from Red River Community Colleges in Winnipeg, MB followed by her Red Seal cooking certification with Manitoba Apprenticeship. Joanne’s career as a culinary educator spans over two decades in the Province of Manitoba. She spent nine years as a vocational culinary teacher at Swan Valley Regional Secondary School before joining the college. Joanne has been instructing at Assiniboine for 19 years, where she instructs patisserie and cooking principles to post-secondary learners.

Chef Johnston actively promotes sustainability through her teaching and enjoys interacting with the Horticultural & Sustainable Foods programs at ACC to develop and grow local products that are used by her students in the teaching kitchen for curriculum and public events. Joanne continually strives to strengthen her skills by participating in patisserie specialty courses across North America with world-class patisserie chefs. She enjoys sharing her skills with her students and challenging them to move to the "next level" in the teaching kitchen.

Outside of the teaching kitchen, Joanne enjoys interest in painting, gardening and fishing.

 

Chef Bryan Hendricks

Bryan Hendricks RSE

Instructor, Culinary Arts
hendricksb@assiniboine.net

Born and raised on the Prairies, Chef Hendricks knew since he was a young boy that he would become a chef. This desire has never left, and has driven Bryan to push my career in directions he would not have dreamed possible. Growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan instilled in him the importance of agriculture, and of the people who work the land to the benefit of the local economy. In Manitoba, it is important for chefs to take advantage of these doorstep opportunities and employ them in their kitchens. The Field to Fork Research Cluster at Assiniboine is a great example of just that.

Having lived over 20 years in northern Saskatchewan in the community of Lac La Ronge, Bryan also had the opportunity to work with Indigenous communities throughout the north. Based on their teachings, Chef Hendricks now forages for boreal gifts such as juniper berries and spruce buds to use in the kitchens at the college's Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts (MICA).

Chef Hendricks' great appreciation for the seasons and the outdoors has given him countless opportunities to camp, kayak, snowshoe, cycle, and simply to travel and explore our great provinces.

 

Chef Trevor Atamanchuk

Trevor Atamanchuk RSE

Instructor, Culinary Arts
atamanchukt@assiniboine.net

Graduating from the very first professional cooking program offered at ACC back in 96’-97’ lead to a prestige 15-year career with Fairmont Hotel & Resorts. Trevor attained his Journeyman-Red Seal cooks' certificate from SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology – Calgary), while cooking through the ranks at the Banff Springs Hotel. Promotions also took him to Chateau Lake Louise and Scottsdale Arizona, holding positions as Banquet Chef, Restaurant Chef and Chef de Cuisine. He was also an Executive Sous Chef in Winnipeg and Executive Chef in Kelowna, BC. His culinary adventures lead him back to Calgary to an Executive Chef position at the Palace Theatre by Concorde Entertainment Group, and then as Banquet Chef at Calgary Sports & Entertainment Corporation (Calgary Flames Saddledome).

Returning back to his hometown, Trevor joined Assiniboine as a Culinary Instructor with MICA. Chef Atamanchuk notes, “I believe that not only do I have a passion for food, I have the desire and drive to be creative, to inspire the next generation of Culinary Students, and to look forward giving back to my community in the most adventurous way…through food! Never trust a skinny Chef!”

 

Chef Donald Berger

Donald Berger RSE

Instructor, Culinary Arts and Hotel & Restaurant Management
bergerd@assiniboine.net

Chef Berger's culinary expertise has taken him across the world! Before joining Assiniboine as an Instructor, Culinary Arts, Chef Berger worked in numerous high profile hotels and restaurants. Immediately prior to joining Assiniboine, he was the Chef owner of Don's Bistro in Vietnam. Don's Bistro was recognized with many accolades, including 50 Best Restaurants in Asia, and received First Place in Vietnam by Diners Club. Before this, he was the Executive Chef at the Shanghai American Club and Tokyo Capital Club, Opening Executive Chef at the prestigious Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, Executive Sous Chef of the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel California, Opening Chef of the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco. He also worked in Monte Carlo with Alain Ducasse, at the 3 Michelin star Louis XV Hotel De Paris, as well as in Milan Italy at the 3 star Gualtiero Marchesi. Before leaving for Europe, Chef Berger was Banquet Chef at The Four Season’s Hotel in Newport Beach California, as well as working in Hawaii at the Mauna Kea Beach Resort, The Los Angeles Century Plaza and Towers, and The Westin Calgary. 

Chef Berger has earned many honours and accolades, including the Award of Merit from Escoffier Society, member Disciples d' Escoffier. He was Co-Chairman of the International Wine Challenge, and was on the Founding Board of the Shanghai Chef’s Association and Shanghai Chaine des Rotisseurs where he was the Conseiller Culinaire, Commanderie De Bordeaux, Hanoi. 

Fast Facts

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the next program information session?

Program information sessions are completely free to attend, and we invite you to bring a guest along as well. It's a good idea to register in advance so we know you're coming. 

To find the complete schedule for our program information sessions and to RSVP, visit the program information session page.