This program is designed with employability in mind, particularly in specific areas where a high level of confidence and expertise is demanded in the industry.

The student is exposed to many complex techniques and preparations; from laminating dough, cake decorating, chocolates, sauces, and artisanal breads. Emphasis is placed on accurate performance, patience, diligent hand skills, and detailed understanding of scientific principles and creative design (see photos of 100% student creations).

Next start dates:

September 4, 2017
January 8, 2018
April 30, 2018
September 3, 2018

15 weeks:
Monday to Friday 9:00am – approximately 4:00pm.

Note: Only for the April 30th intake, there will be AM and PM classes

AM Class: 8am to 3pm  The AM class for April is now full. There is still availability in the PM class. 
PM Class: 4pm to 11pm


$11,450 for Canadian residents/United States citizens
$13,450 for International residents

Uniform Cost: $448.00

Pastry $925
Pastry Supplement for those who started in Culinary: $145

Food Safe*: $100.00 (tax included)

*Note: Toolkit, Textbook, and Food Safe may be supplied by the student or purchased from the school. Prices subject to change without notice. 

Average student-instructor ratio is 8:1.

The qualities we look for (which, by the way, we demand of ourselves) are:

  • a disciplined learner with an open mind.
  • a commitment to hard work, every day.
  • a willingness to practice and study beyond class hours – music students do not leave their instruments in their school locker, nor actors leave their script behind.
  • an ability to adapt to different teaching and learning styles
  • an ability to communicate honestly, intelligently, and diplomatically with peers and instructors
  • a willingness to be challenged and digest constructive criticism
  • a passion for fine pastries and baking (however, this should not even have to be mentioned)


Architectural Drawing Of Pastry Kitchen



Intro to essential ingredients + cookies & confections
Quick breads + Laminated dough
Danishes + Pies & Tarts
Artisinal Breads I + II
European tortes + Entremets
Mousse cakes + Buttercream cakes + Custards
Mid-term Practical
Chocolate tempering + Molded chocolates
Frozen Desserts
Plated Desserts I + 2
Sugar art + Gumpaste
Alternative Baking
Cake Decorating
Black Box
Final Practical exam
Student Menu Development + Service Day

Also covered throughout the curriculum are the following: Marzipan, ice cream/gelato, sugar blowing, ethnic desserts, food costing, menu design, pastry history, food science, plating techniques, hygiene, food safety, green and sustainable practices, knife cuts, gluten-free baking principles, white sugar alternatives.

A typical day at NWCAV is unique to most schools simply because we structure each day to get more done, more intensely, practically, and efficiently than other schools. Below is a snapshot; however, if you are in Vancouver, we highly suggest you spend a few hours with us in our kitchens to witness first-hand what we are all about.

  • Pastry instructors arrive at the school around 7am. Doors open to the students at 8am. Classes start at 9:00am for Pastry.
  • We gather in the common kitchen area, an all-in-one classroom/demo/kitchenarea. This specifically designed theatre allows its teachers and students to performance seamlessly from one dish/technique to another.
  • We start even before 9am by scaling the day’s recipes. Each station has a drawer for each partner and these drawers are transferable between stations. This is especially useful as all the tools you require are within hands reach.
  • The wooden counter tops of each station table are ideal for rolling pastry dough, kneading bread dough, and each station has a marble slab for chocolate tempering, handling molten sugar, and working with temperature sensitive mediums.
  • At 9am sharp we discuss the day’s game plan, focusing on specific techniques inherent in specific recipes and dishes. We commence with precise demonstration while at the same time discussing its concise theory (most schools perform theory in room filled with desks; we do it in conjunction with our physical demos).
  • Students are teamed in pairs (teams change every week) and create their own game plan before moving into the kitchen; this promotes clear communication, organization, time-management, accountability, and solidifies understanding of the demo’s key points – all, again, vital skills demanded by the industry.
  • Students work in an island-configured kitchen, never facing a wall, maintaining clear lines of communication between instructors and students, facilitating movement, flow, and coaching.
  • Guidelines, timelines and often deadlines are given to further promote an understanding and respect for the importance of quality communication, organization, game planning, multi-tasking, time-management, choreography, skill development, etc.. These are the very tangible industry skills which separate the home cook from the professional.
  • Executed preparations are gathered, critiqued, tasted, and improvements discussed. Then the next technique/dish is demonstrated and theorized, executed, and tasted.

This sort of rhythm proceeds throughout the day, most often 3-4 times, and this integration of theory, demo and kitchen-work allows us to cover more material on a hands-on basis. More importantly, it simulates and acclimates the student to the pace, intensity, and expectations of the real industry kitchen. Other “reality advantages” our teaching/learning style gives our students:

  1. It exposes your strengths and, more importantly, the key skills and attributes that need further focus, nurturing, and development. Most often, the key we work on is patience, patience, patience!
  2. We repeat key skills, like laminations, piping, bread dough, bread shaping, croissants, tarts, pastry creams, anglaise, all for the hands to gain confidence to tackle more complex techniques such as tempering chocolate, sugar work, or cake decorating.
  3. Though focused on European fine pastries and breads, our curriculum covers some pastries and flatbreads from around the world, and also gluten-free and alternative substitutions. Students are exposed to many quality ingredients and preparations. Our food cost, included in the tuition, far exceeds that of most culinary schools.
  4. Menu development projects allow students to express their creative palate.
  5. We convert the last week of each term into a “mock” restaurant where students create their own menus and practice them first before executing them – as part of their final practical exams – to an invited public and industry judges
  6. All students experience a personal growth during their education. You soon realize that professional and personal development, especially in this field, go hand-in-hand.