About the Program | Cook Apprenticeship

Are you an aspiring chef? Are you looking to gain skills and confidence in the kitchen or make a career change?

Our 32-week Diploma program with Enriched Cook Apprenticeship* was designed for you!

We offer a single Professional Culinary Diploma Program and spent more than thirty-six years perfecting it.

Experience the Stratford Chefs School difference for yourself.

Program Schedule:

  • Mid-October through early March (over 2 years with a 6-month work term in between)

  • Rotating Schedule – Tuesday through Saturday 8am to 10pm


  • Diploma in Cookery (2-year)

  • ADVANCED.fst 3rd. Ed. Management Level Certificate in Food Safety Training (if eligible)

  • Certificate of Apprenticeship (if eligible)

  • Cook Red Seal Certification (if eligible)

What is Apprenticeship*?

Apprenticeship is based on the premise that we learn by doing, under the guidance of an experienced practitioner in a skilled trade.

A Cook Apprenticeship at Stratford Chefs School is no different. A student begins by learning basic skills and techniques under the watchful eyes of our expert Chef Instructors through our immersive, hands-on program model.

As training progresses, students gain the experience and skills required to meet the increasingly complex demands of the trade. After successfully completing the required elements of training, a student is eligible for Red Seal certification.

Apprenticeship training is complete by passing the Certification of Qualification Exam (Red Seal).

cook apprenticeship

What is Enriched Apprenticeship* at Stratford Chefs School?

The Stratford Chefs School’s immersive, hands-on program model is a harmonious mix of practical and theoretical courses that exposes students to all aspects of cuisine and facilitates the student’s development into a skilled and thoughtful chef.

Our program includes training students in all aspects of owning and operating a small business. This unique entrepreneurial model is recognized for giving Stratford Chefs School alumni a well-rounded foundation for success in a wide variety of specializations within the hospitality industry.

Curriculum at Stratford Chefs School is enriched in several ways. Our academic semester runs for 16 weeks, more than the provincial curriculum standard of 12 weeks. In-class training hours at Stratford Chefs School exceed provincial requirements by 244 hours in year one and by 360 hours in year two. Students enrolled at Stratford Chefs School receive more than 604 additional in-class training hours over two years.

cook apprenticeship

What is an Apprenticeship Contract?

An Apprenticeship is registered through a contract between an eligible student and the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities.

Stratford Chefs School serves as the Sponsor on student Apprenticeship contracts.

*To qualify for an Apprenticeship, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years of age

    • For students under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must sign the contract on the student’s behalf.

  • Have legal permission to work in Canada (for example, have a valid social insurance number)

  • Have a Sponsor in Ontario. For eligible students enrolled at Stratford Chefs School, the School is the Sponsor on the Student’s Apprenticeship contract. If a prospective Student already has an active Cook Apprenticeship contract (with their employer for example), that existing contract will be re-registered with Stratford Chefs School as the Sponsor after the Student is enrolled. The School’s Administration team will assist with this process.


Do I need an Apprenticeship Contract before beginning the Stratford Chefs School program?

No, a Ministry representative is available during Orientation Week to complete Apprenticeship contracts for incoming students.

Prior to Orientation Week, students are required to submit an Application for Apprenticeship directly to the Ministry along with any required supporting documentation. If everything is submitted on time, the Apprenticeship contract will be ready to sign during Orientation Week.

What if I already have an active Cook Apprenticeship Contract?

Your existing Apprenticeship contract will be re-registered with Stratford Chefs School as the Sponsor. If this is the case, you need to advise our Administrator before Orientation Week.

cook apprenticeship

Does Stratford Chefs School offer a Red Seal Exam Preparatory Course?

Yes. A Red Seal Exam Preparatory Course is built into our curriculum and delivered in the final week of year two classes. The cost of this course is included in tuition fees.

How do I Complete my Apprenticeship?

Upon successful completion of the required elements of Apprenticeship training, Stratford Chefs School will assist you in the completion of your Apprenticeship with the Ministry.

Our Ministry representative will also be happy to assist you with any questions that you have throughout the Apprenticeship training process.

Apply Now


*must meet eligibility requirements for Apprenticeship

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