I really did not know what to expect when I showed up but I do know that I enjoyed the people I met and I think the whole operation was run as professionally as anyone could expect when dealing with personalities. As for the instruction, I don’t think it could have been any better when dealing with different levels of competence and commitment. I enjoyed the whole experience and would highly recommend it (and have) to anyone that is interested in improving their culinary skills.
As an adult educator myself, I really valued how all the chefs taught with so much patience, humour, passion, and mastery of the subject area…which is pretty much as good as it gets in education. The personal stories (and rants), scientific explanations, historical references and sharing of food values really made the experience special and memorable. I also really appreciated that you all took the time to get to know us a little and to check-in with us throughout each week.
I loved the experience, realized right away how little I knew and know now how much more I need and want to learn. The instructors have very different personalities and teaching styles. That provides for a lot of variety and keeps the days and weeks interesting. I also really appreciated that they always made themselves available to provide individual coaching during and also after the daily classes. And thank you for slowly leading us up to a seven-course menu development (The Big Night) over several weeks. Thank you so much for all your teaching and sharing! You are a fantastic group.
The facilities are first class, the curriculum provides the students with incredible exposure to the art of cooking and the worldly knowledge of the chefs, their energy, and dedication to making the daily experience “serious fun” simply incredible! For me personally, Northwest has delivered its promise of changing one’s view of the culinary world making it accessible, challenging and very exciting. The course has energized me to continue exploring, being creative and taking chances in the kitchen as well as honing some skills.
I feel that this course came for me at the perfect time…..what is that old Daoist saying – the teacher(s) arrive when the student is ready…I have no doubt that I will see the ripple effects of this learning for me for a long time to come.
The curriculum of this course is straight out of our Professional Culinary Program, extracting the most essential techniques and exciting plates. Starting with sharpening a knife with a whetstone, to precise mise en place skills, using heat and spices with confidence, and restaurant-style plating techniques, the course culminates with a 10-course final dinner (yes!) created from scratch and served to your public. In-between, your hands and knowledge evolve that much closer with each day of kitchen work to what chefs know and do. The goal is simple: take your confidence and skills to levels where you can create like never before in your own kitchen.
Who is this course for?
Anyone who is willing and ready to learn and participate wholeheartedly in an intensive and exciting hands-on, brains-on education. No minimum level of proficiency is required – only your commitment as a keen learner and doer. Some students in the past have taken this course to receive a serious taste of professional skills; others simply to elevate their game for their own kitchen.
How do we do it differently?
Firstly, our all-in-one classroom/kitchen space is designed to function as a studio, a place of collaborative interaction and relaxed yet focused work. Secondly, we value our role as educators (above that as chefs), taking advantage of your ability as a learner, your individual needs, strengths, and anxieties. We have 7 different instructors throughout the course offering a different perspective and unique set of eyes on your progress. Plus, our student-teacher ratio is unmatched. We can say confidently that no school anywhere is offering anything of this length, breadth, level, and outcome.
Mon-Friday 9:30am – 2:30pm
Teacher-student ratio: 1:7 (at full capacity)
Average age: 35 (about 2/3 female, 1/3 male)
7-Week Master Culinary Boot Camp
May 13th to June 28th, 2019
9:30am – 2:30pm
$5,950 + GST
Refund Policy: 90% Refund up to 30 days prior to the start of class: 50% Refund within 30 days but more than 15 days and no refunding within 14 days of start of class.
In this course we will cover an extensive array of techniques and work with incredible amount of ingredients. Some of what we will cover includes:
- The fundamentals on the cutting board, from knife to choreography
- Vegetables, grains, herbs, and spices
- Animal Proteins and Butchery
- Italy, Spain and Middle Eastern influences
- Asian and Latino cuisine
- Menu Creation, Preparation, Test Kitchen, The Big Night
- Field trips to markets, restaurants, and farms
- Guest speakers
- Menu Developments (put your spin and ideas, test your progress)
What level of proficiency do I require?
If you have very minimal skills, this is for you. If you have pretty good skills, the course is still structured to put improve them and give you the aha! moments to level up.
What is a typical flow of a day?
We usually cover 3 to four dishes complete with specific techniques and concepts we deem essential in the kitchen. Instructors demo, students execute the dishes in teams of two in well-provided stations. This is repeated 2 more times. Everything you learn is layered and put into context. For instance, a dish and new technique you learn on, say, Day 5 will reinforce and build upon what you learned on Day 2. In others words, our curriculum is put together with a purpose.
Who typically takes this course?
All age groups between 18 to seniors. Typically, the class is usually split 50-50 male/female. What they all have in common is the desire to learn and walk away with real skills, great knowledge, and freedom from recipe following – in other words, people who are looking for more than just a one-off class.
What do I need to bring?
The toolkit is listed above. You can either purchase it on your own or from us.
What if I have food sensitivities, allergies, or dietary restrictions?
We can easily adjust to your needs with almost all our recipes. In fact, the recipes are a guideline, not a must-do written in stone.
What is parking like in the area?
The school does not have a parking lot, but there is plenty of free parking in the neighbourhood between 12-14th Street, Main and Ontario. There is metered parking in front of the school, and free parking on 12th, both after 6pm (which is why we begin classes at 6:15pm).
Other Enthusiast Programs
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6-Day Pastry Basics
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3-Week Plant Based Culinary Boot Camp
A comprehensive course focusing on our summer’s bounty, serious techniques, and achieving wonderful food. We teach the same key skills, creative thinking, and plating techniques as in our professional programs. For those ready to seriously walk the walk in the kitchen.
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2-Week Boot Camp
Full days condensing the most essential aha! moments of cooking in perhaps the most important 10 days of learning in your life.
After completing the Master Camp I can honestly say that it was everything I wanted, I have no inclination to continue in the industry but I am sure that this would give you a good idea of what the business is about. As for the instruction, each chef was extremely knowledgeable and as different as their personalities were they all brought something different to the table. The chef to student ratio was extremely high, answers and ideas were never far away. Each chef was very entertaining in their own way and it was a real pleasure getting to know them.
Throughout my time at NWCAV, I improved my flavour game and learned much more. By the end of the program, I found myself much more comfortable cooking dishes from other countries introduced to me during the Master Camp such as fresh made pasta and gnocchi. As the program progressed, many of the later recipes required foundation knowledge and skill sets from previous days of learning. I have been to about a dozen schools in my life time because my family moved very often and I have to say these instructors at NWCAV were the best instructors I have met.
The instructors possess both a passion for teaching and an approach to cooking which resonated deeply with me. They approach cooking as a creative endeavor with the “kitchen as studio” as the mindset. You of course learn technique (along with great food history!), but they also push hard to help you cultivate courage and confidence in the kitchen and to become your own unique type of chef. The entire team at NWCAV is really amazing.