Behind those tantalizing Instagram photos of food is a chef who creates edible works of art on a daily basis. You can become that chef with world-class culinary training in the Culinary Careers program.
Our Culinary Careers program is as well-planned as a gourmet meal. As an appetizer, we’ll teach you about restaurant production methods before moving onto a second course in sweet and savoury techniques. For the main course, we’ll serve up a paid industry placement. Finishing off with dessert, you’ll be immersed in dining-room cuisine.
While you’re with us, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to prepare real meals for real customers, create menus, work in teams and explore your creativity. During your paid industry placement, you’ll have the chance to wow employers with your culinary skills while earning some dough. And you won’t have to worry about struggling to find employment when you’ve completed the program; our grads have a perfect record of landing that important first job.
Hungry for your future? Apply for the Culinary Careers program today!
You’ll be able to find employment throughout Canada and abroad in a variety of culinary roles, including:
- banquet chef
- business owner
- corporate chef
- food and beverage manager
- food sales representative
- line cook
- prep cool
- sous chef
- Domestic for Fall 2019: September 3, 2019
- International for Fall 2019: June 1, 2019
For a full list of dates and deadlines, click here.
- Diploma students are eligible to apply and write (for a fee) their government apprenticeship exams after Year 1 and Year 2 respectively. This will lead them to qualify to apply and continue on into their third year apprenticeship with the option to write their Red Seal examination when their apprenticeship has been successfully completed.
- Please be advised that the Culinary Careers program start and end dates, as well as exams, fall outside of the dates found in the Academic Schedule.
- In order to receive your diploma, students must have an overall combined (practical and theoretical) average of 80%.
- Students, not already employed, will be required to attend Hospitality Recruitment Day where employers come to the College to interview for summer work placements. Past students in our program have achieved 100 percent employment. Summer work place locations vary from resort areas along the Rocky Mountains to local hotels, restaurants, care facilities and catering companies.
- Our 16-week dining room cuisine section starts after the Labour Day long weekend each year and again at the beginning of January each year. Our culinary department has an excellent association with over 50 employers in Alberta and further afield who have regularly offered paid employment to our culinary students.
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New students are accepted into the Culinary Careers program for the Fall (September) term with a late August program start date. New students are also accepted in the Winter (January) term.
General admission requirements
All applicants must meet the general admission requirements for Lethbridge College programs as indicated in the Admissions section of this calendar.
Applicants to this program do not require a high school diploma; however, they must satisfy the following specific course requirements (or equivalencies):
- Grade 10 English
- Grade 10 Math
All students in the Culinary Careers diploma program must follow the sanitation, hygiene and safety practices standard to the industry and present themselves in the following condition whenever entering any of the food service labs: Students must be clean shaven (moustaches are acceptable), hair must be clean and controlled. Students wear a white uniform, chef hat, apron and approved footwear.
Practicum experience requirements
There is a required practicum component to this program. The college dictates the legal terms and conditions governing the practicum experience.
It is strongly recommended that applicants update or complete a personal medical profile and their immunization records prior to entry into the program and employment.
Applicants may be asked to complete a follow-up medical at the discretion of the college's Health Centre.
A uniform deposit and laundry fees are also required.
Prior learning assessment (PLA)
If you have experience working in this field of study, you may be eligible for prior learning assessment.
Applicants who lack the required academic admission requirements can apply to the Academic Upgrading program to upgrade their academic skills.
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- Tuition for international students is assessed at three times that of domestic students. The cost of additional fees, books and supplies is the same for all students.
- Students will be charged a medical/dental benefit fee unless they opt out by demonstrating alternative coverage prior to the end of the first week of class.
- Costs for supplies may vary considerably depending on what students already have or where they purchased their supplies; cost provided is on the moderately high end.
Cooking up course credits and a paycheque, too
Nearly 100 per cent of our grads leave college with a job offer in hand – often thanks to that important first placement.
At Lethbridge College, we’re not just providing you with an education, we’re equipping you for a career. And in our Culinary Careers program, that includes helping our students secure that important first job. We hold Recruitment Day the first Monday of every March, when we bring in employers from around southern Alberta who interview our students and hire them on the spot for a paid industry work placement.
During this placement, you’ll spend 480 hours working in a professional kitchen at a hotel, restaurant or other institution. The best part? You’ll be earning course credits and a paycheque.
Hands-on, immersive training
Students serving students
You’ll be serving up culinary creations to the campus community.
Students serving students
Unlike most culinary programs where, for cost-saving purposes, students learn by watching demos and are then expected to somehow survive in the industry, at Lethbridge College you’ll actually prepare food. In fact, you’ll be treated like an employee as you prepare all food on campus from scratch. That food is then used in upcoming menus for our Food Court and Garden Court dining room as well as banquets and special functions. Our Culinary Services experience truly is students serving students.
With the exception of a required amount of theory (based on hours) in a traditional classroom, you’ll spend the majority of your time learning in kitchens and labs that emulate the restaurants, clubs and large scale operations like cruise ships and oil camps that will one day be your workplace.
That’s right. You’ll learn the science behind the food.
Though often referred to as the culinary arts, there is a whole other side to cooking: science. And in our culinary arts programs, we’re bringing that science into the classroom to improve your skills and expertise.
As a student in one of our culinary programs, you’ll tour our Aquaculture Centre of Excellence (ACE) to learn about sustainable growing of produce and food fish. Researchers over at ACE are growing produce with, believe it or not, fish waste. But the research to date indicates that there’s nothing fishy about the food grown in ACE.
Intrigued? You’ll have the opportunity to participate in ongoing organoleptic (sensory) testing led by Chef Rob Sonnenberg. It’s a test you can’t exactly prepare for. You’ll taste a variety of produce that could be from the aquaponics facilities a hundred metres away or from a store that’s a kilometer down the street. And your insights into things like preference, taste, look, smell and texture will help determine just how good the produce grown in our aquaponics facilities is.
Testing the best and brightest in skilled trades and technology.
After a year or two here, you’ll have what it takes to compete with the best of the best in your field on the provincial and national stage at Skills Canada. The Skills Canada National Competition is the only national, multi-trade and technology competition for students and apprentices in the country. It’s an experience of lifetime, with the possibility of being named the nation’s best in your chosen field. That opportunity starts with the exceptional hands-on training you’ll receive at Lethbridge College.
From LC student to executive chef
Out of the kitchen and into the river
out-of-the-kitchen training that truly sets our grads apart
When we say our program is hands on, we really mean hands on. Our second-year students trade their whites for hip waders during a fall field trip that teaches them how to seine fish. From the river, they head to the butcher shop, where students learn how to mass clean and fillet their catch.
It’s this kind of out-of-the-kitchen training that truly sets our grads apart. Get the most out of your culinary education at Lethbridge College.
A taste of what’s to come
From here to there: alumni updates
Lethbridge College isn’t just a place to go to school – we’re a community that is here to support you from your initial interest in our program through to the moment you cross the stage at Convocation and beyond. Just take a look at where an LC education has taken some of our grads.
Bryce sent in an update to his former Culinary instructors, letting them know he and his best friend had just purchased a restaurant in the west end of downtown Vancouver, near the water, called The Blind Sparrow. The team behind The Blind Sparrow is Michael Gayman and Bryce, who have worked together at several restaurants. They weren’t initially looking to open up the west end, however the charms of the property, including its terrific side-street-facing patio, proved irresistible, as did the prospect of giving the area a bar and restaurant that could fill a void for locals. Bryce’s menu has been designed to go well with beer, wine and cocktails, and features global flavour influences and a bit of spice. The dishes are perfect for sharing and may include Korean chili-braised boar ribs, spicy prawn tacos, cedar plank roasted sablefish and sweet treats. The Blind Sparrow also serves a weekend brunch.
– From Winter 2016 Wider Horizons
“As a Lethbridge College alumni and Distinguished Alumni from 1980, my career has taken a turn over the last 10 years supported by receiving my Master of Arts in Leadership at Royal Roads University in 2013. However, some of my greatest life and academic learning was conceived at Lethbridge College. The most satisfying parts of my work are that I still have the ability to make change; that I can connect and support people who are vulnerable and have loved ones in care; and empowering employees and collaborating with partners.”
– From Winter 2016 Wider Horizons
Alyssa Kramarich Storrusten
Alyssa opened up a new bakery in Great Falls, Mont., in May 2017. Called Cory Block Bakery, the shop features five regular bread types each week with an additional type changing each week and the breads are made from local Montana flours and grains. She was born and raised in Montana and came to Lethbridge for the Culinary program. After graduation, she spent six years working at the Chateau Lake Louise hotel as a line cook before realizing she preferred working as a pastry chef. She returned to Montana about four years ago and worked at Great Harvest Bread. “I am passionate about what I do, and I love to bake,” she said in an April article in the Great Falls Tribune.
– From Fall 2017 Wider Horizons
Success stories from Wider Horizons
Dude, where’s your restaurant? College culinary grad starts successful pop-up restaurant in Victoria
Amazing ovens: An oven with an on-board computer? Lethbridge College’s high-tech self-cooking centres make meal prep for the masses a piece (or several hundred pieces) of cake.
Your classroom is the kitchen
Take a look around at the spaces that could be your classroom with the virtual tour.