The Cook/Chef Red Seal Examination Preparation course is designed based on the competencies listed in the trade’s Red Seal Occupational Standard (RSOS). The course will help students review all the trade-specific concepts and theories they will need to challenge and successfully pass the Red Seal Examination.
This intensive review course is for participants who have the requisite theoretical and practical knowledge and have met the challenge requirements to write the exam. The course will guide candidates and help them with the preparation material for the exam to become Red Seal certified.
Students will have eight weeks to complete this course, which will involve two hours of live instruction each week. Additionally, students will be expected to take part in various independent and group activities.
Cooks prepare, cook, season and present a wide variety of foods such as meat, fish, poultry, game, pasta, pulses, grains, nuts, dairy products, eggs, vegetables, fruit, stocks, soups, sauces, salads, desserts and baked goods. They provide complete meals or individual dishes.
Cooks are generally employed in the hospitality and tourism sector (for example in restaurants, hotels, resorts, catering establishments, country clubs and aboard ships) or in institutional settings (for example: hospitals, nursing homes, educational institutes, correctional facilities, camps and military bases). While some cooks may have conventional work schedules, most cooks work shift work, including early mornings, late evenings, holidays and weekends, and the number of hours worked each week varies depending on the type of position and in which establishment the cook is employed.
Cooks plan menus, determine the size of food portions and estimate food requirements and cost, as well as monitor and order supplies, and oversee others in the preparation, cooking and handling of food. They must also be thoroughly familiar with safety requirements, safe work practices and with health regulations pertaining to food handling, preparation and service. Areas of specialization vary according to where the cook is employed. Cooks may also specialize in ethnic food preparation, or in preparing meals according to dietary recommendations and varying nutritional requirements.
Cooks must be able to stand for extended periods of time, to function in close quarters, and to lift heavy objects such as pots and heavy bags. Occupational hazards include burns, cuts, slips and falls. Cooks that work at camps in remote areas must be able to work under adverse environmental conditions and can be away from family for extended periods of time. Creativity, a keen sense of taste and smell, interest in precision work and a good memory for details are key attributes for people entering this trade. Cooks must be able to remember recipes and be able to adapt them to available supplies and to the current need. They must be conscious of health information such as dietary requirements and allergies. Cooks must also be able to work independently and as part of a team, have good organizational skills and have the ability to multi-task to effectively do their jobs. Other important abilities for cooks include solid mathematical, communication and customer service skills. Cooks should be versatile enough to assist with any task that needs doing within the kitchen.
With experience, cooks may act as mentors and trainers to apprentices in the trade. They can also move into other positions such as sous-chefs, kitchen managers, chefs, executive chefs, banquet managers, food service administrators and coordinators, general managers or food editors. They can also own their own restaurant.
Health-related issues and diet requirements have become increasingly important to the cooking trade and the food manufacturing industry. Consumer health concerns in all demographics regarding food allergies and sensitivities, diabetes, heart health and sodium content are becoming more common. Due to these concerns and customer perceptions there is an increase in the use of ingredients such as organics, omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, oats, soy and gluten-free products. There is a growing demand to meet requirements of various consumers, both for health and cultural/religious (kosher, halal, vegan, vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, gluten-free, wheat-free, lacto-ovo, raw) reasons. The food supply processing and manufacturing industry is rapidly changing and adapting their methods and products which are driven by industry and consumer demands. Cooks must be versatile in adapting to these ever changing products in their establishments. A greater number of businesses are specializing in fewer products. These include specialty food service operations such as food trucks, gastro pubs, BBQs, specialty bake shops, burger shops and vegetarian restaurants. With new and innovative food preparation techniques, cooks are incorporating culinary chemistry in their kitchens. There is an increase in modernist cuisine. Kitchens continue to develop menus and practices that consider environmental sustainability.
Note: Before registering for any Red Seal Exam Preparation courses, please contact your local trades authority to confirm your eligibility to write the relevant Red Seal Exam.
Ashton College uses web conferencing tools (Zoom for Education) to help instructors and students connect and collaborate live online. Students should have access to a computer, laptop or smartphone to access the class sessions. To be able to participate in webinars, students need a webcam and headset, or a microphone and headphones, along with a high-speed internet connection.
Registration fee for this course is $495.
Note: As part of the course, you will have to purchase one textbook, which may approximately cost $200.
This program does not require approval by the Private Training Institutions Branch of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training. As such, it was not reviewed.