Program Overview

If you’re already working in a professional institutional (not-for-profit) kitchen and wish to further specialize your skills, the Institutional Cook apprenticeship program is designed for you. Enhance your skills by studying basic cooking methods and food preparation of both savoury and baked goods, safe food handling, food storage procedures as well as nutrition and therapeutic diets. Upon completion of the in-school component of this program, you’ll be prepared to write your Red Seal Certificate of Qualification.

Program Details

Program Code

Your Learning Experience

The Institutional Cook apprenticeship program will train apprentices in large-quantity food production using specialized equipment and following prescribed menus created by dietitians and food service managers.


One of the largest benefits of becoming an Institutional Cook apprentice is to “earn while you learn” so you can continue your employment and develop your already impressive culinary skills with formal training to prepare you for your Red Seal certification. You’ll spend only one day a week on campus for your in-class training component and learn under the direction of experienced and seasoned chefs.


Are you ready to take your Institutional Cook career to the next level? If you answered ‘yes’, this apprenticeship program will assist you in accomplishing your goals!


This is an apprenticeship program. You cannot apply to this program through Applicants need a sponsor/employer. Your sponsor/employer must register you with:

Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development
Apprenticeship/Client Services
72-1200 Commissioners Road East 
London, Ontario, N5Z 4R3 
MLITSD is responsible for scheduling your in-school training at Fanshawe College.


Learn More


Career Information

Graduates of Fanshawe’s Institutional Cook (Apprenticeship) program have the knowledge and skill to prepare meals that meet the dietary needs, health requirements and religious and cultural needs of individuals. Graduates can find careers in:

  • retirement homes
  • long-term care facilities
  • childcare centres
  • schools
  • hospitals
  • correctional facilities
  • corporations
  • Canadian Armed Forces
  • meal prepping companies

Did you know Fanshawe consistently ranks high in graduate employment rates among large colleges in Ontario? 

Here are some examples of career opportunities for graduates of Fanshawe’s Institutional Cook (Apprenticeship) program:

Cook - Military
Provide the fuel that keeps the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces running and healthy.

Cook – Health Care
Prepare, season, and cook food as directed to meet the dietary requirements of patients.

Cook - Facility

Oversee the safe operation and maintenance of cooking and dining facilities and review/revise meal preparation needs for the facility.

Learning Outcomes


Program Coordinator:

Bob Murphy


Year 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
SANI-1005Sanitation, Safety & Nutrition2
Students will be introduced to food safety concepts, including time- temperature controls, preventative measures, proper sanitation techniques for equipment and proper storage of foods. After a review of relevant workplace legislation such as the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care Act and the Health Protection and Promotion Act, student will move forward to review Canada's Food Guide as it relates to the delivery of Nutrition and Hydration standards in Healthcare. Students will discuss therapeutic diets commonly prescribed in health care.
FDMG-1067Food & Bake Theory2
This course will introduce the student to the basic principles of cooking and baking. The student will reconnoiter stocks, soups, sauces, and mixing methods related to cooking methods. Basic commodities utilized in professional kitchens will be examined along with weights, measures and standardized tools for the workplace.
NUTR-3008Nutrition Therapy Practical2
This course provides an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge of therapeutic nutrition to the production of foods required to support therapeutic diets. Each week the kitchen lab will focus on a specific diet related to a current nutrition issue; such as texture modification for dysphagia, low fat/high fiber for lower GI problems or high enery/ high protein for Cancer.
FDMG-1017Meat Theory2
In this course, students will be instructed on the theory of a wide variety of meat products including Beef, Veal, Lamb, Pork, Variety meats, Poultry, Game Birds, Fish and Seafood. There will be an emphasis on Primals of the various animals, quality points in meats and the ability to match cuts and grades of products to suit cooking methods. Proper storage and aging requirements will also be covered.
FDMG-1064Purchasing & Menu Planning2
This course will introduce students to basic menu planning and purchasing. Through the course students will explore the history and purpose of the menu, different menu styles, how to develop dishes for a menu, and the truth in menu writing. Students will work collaboratively to develop a variety of food service menus, which will include understanding and using seasonal, organic foods. Students will be also be introduced to basic purchasing terms and basic ordering and receiving procedures. Basic recipe costing using current industry invoices will also be explored.
COMM-1128Professional Communication2
This course focuses on professional written and verbal communication skills. Students will prepare a variety of work related documents. The goal of this course is to prepare the students for efficient and effective workplace communication.
MGMT-1251Occupational Studies2
This course will review components of the program with emphasis place on provincial legislation, workplace policy and industry training standards. Students will be responsible for creating a portfolio that demonstrates key skills acquired over the training period.
FDMG-1123Food Preparation 14
The student will be instructed on all the fundamental cooking methods, terms and basic presentation of food. It is an opportunity to learn the basic cuts and preparation techniques in a proper and professional manner. The student will have ample opportunity to practise safe food and knife handling and familiarize themselves with basic kitchen equipment.
BAKE-1022Bake Practical 14
This course will provide the student with an understanding of all practical basic preparation methods and general terminology related to the pastry department. The student will prepare basic pastry department. The student will prepare basic pastry and pies, cookie dough, sponges, custards, pudding, meringue and bread.
FDMG-3043Food Preparation 22
This course takes the fundamentals learned from FDMG 1113 and enables the student to demonstrate and apply intermediate level culinary skills to cooking complete meals. There will be an increased focus on cooking a wide variety of proteins, sauces, alternative starches and working with ingredients suitable for special diets. Upon conclusion of this course, students will be proficient in the skills required to enter into their externship/apprenticeship placement.
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