Your Hands are important to us.

But so is your past. We encourage you to draw on your personal history, food values, education, work experience and culture.We value ALL of what you can bring to the table. Like creating great food, it’s about bringing out the most of what you’re working with. The best schools put people first and let their work speak for itself. (See photos of student creations).

15 weeks:
Monday to Friday 8:30am – 3:30-4pm.

Next start dates:
September 4, 2017
January 8, 2018
September 3, 2018

Interested in Culinary courses starting in May?
Please click here to visit our non-professional Summer Programs


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

Uniform Cost: $448.00

Culinary $895
Culinary Supplement for those who started in Pastry: $115

$65  Kenji Lopez-Alt – The Food Lab (recommended)
$45  Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg – The Flavour Bible (recommended)

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. 


Northwest Culinary Academy is proud to have an average student-instructor ratio of  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 food and cooking (however, this should not even have to be mentioned)


Architectural Floor Plan Of Culinary Kitchen


What We Cover

  • Garde Manger (knife skills, salads, canapes)
  • Stocks & Soups
  • Vegetables
  • Sandwiches + Fundamental Breads
  • Grains and Starches
  • Sauces
  • Eggs and Poultry
  • Fish and Crustaceans
  • Meat Butchery
  • Italy & Spain
  • Middle East, India, and Asian influences
  • Fundamental pastry, doughs and sauces
  • Plant-based cooking
  • Nurtional principles of balanced cooking and eating
  • Farm-to-Table

Menu Development (MD) Projects give the individual student the opportunity to develop and create his or her own dishes using ingredients and techniques learned during the week`s theme.

Also covered throughout the curriculum are the following: Nutrition (both main stream and holistic); food costing and management; menu engineering; food and culinary history; food science; plating techniques; catering techniques; farming practices; hygiene, food safety, green and sustainable practices; fundamental pastry and breads; introduction to wine appreciation.

Note: We constantly evolve our curriculum. Some content is subject to modifications, term to term.

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 witnessfirst hand what we are all about.

  • Instructors arrive at the school before 7am. Doors open to the students at 8am. Classes start at 8:30am sharp (9:00am for Pastry). We highly encourage our students to arrive at the school at 8:00am to prepare for their day. Solid mental and physical preparation habits are stressed throughout the course and vital in the industry.
  • We gather in the common kitchen area, an all-in-one classroom/demo/eating area open to the rest of the work kitchen. This specifically designed theatre allows its teachers and students to performance seamlessly from one dish/technique to another.
  • We start by discussing 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.
  • Students bring their executed dishes to the common dining table where the food is 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.
  2. We repeat key skills, like processing whole fish and poultry, stocks, soups, key sauces, or fresh pasta/gnocchi, all for the hands to gain confidence to tackle more complex techniques such as butchering a whole side of pig or lamb,or making artisanal products.
  3. Our curriculum covers cuisines other than the French Classics. Students are exposed to many quality ingredients and preparations. Our food cost, included in the tuition, far exceeds that of most culinary schools.
  4. Students are also exposed to modernist as well as ancient techniques.
  5. Menu development projects allow students to express their creative palate. This usually happens at the end of a themed week.
  6. We convert the last two weeks 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 – for three days of service to an invited public and industry judges
  7. 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.