What Does it Mean to be a Red Seal Chef?

Ask any budding cook in Canada what they aspire to become and chances are they will tell you that they want to become a Red Seal Chef. You don’t have to be an expert in the culinary arts to know why. The Red Seal, which is short for Red Seal Interprovincial Program, is a universally recognized and highly prestigious certification of apprenticeship in Canada. It is an endorsement of the skills and experience that apprentices have acquired in their chosen trade.


Established in 1959, the Red Seal is administered jointly by the federal, provincial and territorial governments of Canada. As of this date the program covers 52 skilled trades, including cooking. To obtain the certification in cooking, you have to complete a formal apprenticeship program of three years, which consists of 5,000 hours of work experience and three six-week blocks of technical training. At the end of the program, you must pass a written exam. The certification qualifies you to work anywhere in Canada without having to take any other examinations.


There is also another route to a Red Seal certification. If you are an experienced chef with over 8,000 hours of work experience but have not undergone any formal apprenticeship, then you may challenge the exam to obtain your Red Seal certification. The certification gives you recognition for your skills, experience, creativity and professionalism. Equally importantly, it opens the door for you to find employment in any province and territory of Canada.


The Red Seal carries great prestige in Canada and a Red Seal Chef is regarded by employers, peers and customers alike as the epitome of quality, creativity and professionalism. If you are an aspiring chef, then it effectively launches you on your journey to achieving your dream. If you are already a chef, then it adds a feather to your cap and enhances your reputation.

While there is no doubt that you will enjoy the apprenticeship if you love cooking (and that’s why you’ll be doing it in the first place!), the written exam is not a piece of cake. It entails three hours of multiple choice questions that are designed to test your knowledge on recipes, food safety, business concepts and industrial cooking techniques. This means that besides spending a lot of time in the kitchen, you must study hard in your free time. This is why a Red Seal is so highly regarded.


If you are a young and ambitious cook starting out on your journey to become a well-known chef (at the head of a team of cooks) you must understand that the Red Seal is not meant to be your ultimate goal, but one that is a means to give you recognition and launch you on your journey to achieving your dream. You should keep learning, keep inventing and keep improving your skills. That will make you a true Red Seal Chef.

Chef Sean Bone is a certified Red Seal Chef, meaning he has performed many hours of training and study on food preparation, food safety and more. His years of expertise make him an excellent private chef to invite into your kitchen to prepare a wonderful meal for your family, friends or business colleagues.

Contact Chef Sean today to learn more about private chef services in Vancouver.