Marine Cooking

via Contract Training



What is the Marine Cook Program?

This program is a 39-week program which will prepare students for careers as marine cooks, working in an offshore environment. Students are required to complete all aspects of the course curriculum as well as the Marine Emergency Duties (MED) segment, and a 28-day work term (sea-time) which involves working in the galley of an offshore commercial vessel. This program is designed to meet the ever-growing demand for professionals within the food service industry, with an emphasis on the offshore environment. 

What are the entrance requirements?

Applicants to this program must possess one of the following: A Provincial High School completion, or equivalent, or Grade XI Public Examination pass, or equivalent, or Adult Basic Education graduation certificate, or Persons 19 years of age or older who do not meet the educational prerequisites for this program may be considered on an individual basis under the Mature Student Clause.

What topics and certifications are covered in the program?

Cooking includes appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches, main dishes, side dishes, meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, pasta, and vegetables.  Baking includes breads, rolls, pies, cakes, cookies, squares, and desserts. 

Other training includes galley safety, hygiene, and sanitation; food preparation; quality assurance and control; food presentation and serving; menu planning; and budgeting, purchasing, and inventory control.

Certifications include:
  • Marine Cook Certificate (CNA)
  • Ship’s Cook Certificate (Transport Canada)
  • National Food Safety Training Program Certification
  • Marine Advanced First Aid
  • STCW Basic Safety (MED A1 & B2)
  • Security Awareness Training for Seafarers with Designated Security Duties
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • WHMIS 2015
Required related courses include Communications Essentials, Math Essentials, Cook Math Fundamentals, Workplace Essentials, Computer Essentials, Introduction to Apprenticeship.
As part of the Marine Cook program, you will also develop:
  • Desirable attitudes,
  • Willingness to follow instructions,
  • Cooperation with fellow workers and your employer,
  • Safety consciousness,
  • Appropriate personal conduct and professionalism.
Is a career in marine cooking right for you?
  • Are you comfortable in a warm or hot working environment?
  • Are you prepared to live at sea for a minimum of 30 days at a time in all weather conditions?
  • Are you physically able to practice fire fighting, water safety and water survival during the Marine Emergency Duties segment of your training as well as your career? (see examples of similar training at and
  • Are you physically capable of operating in an environment that can involve moderate-heavy lifting?
  • Are you prepared to work extra hours during this program to refine your skills and meet the academic requirements?
  • Are you prepared to work in a supervisory role in the work place?
What is a career in Marine Cooking like?

As a Transport Canada certified Ship’s Cook, you will be responsible for preparing and cooking full course meals for your vessel’s crew/ guests. You will plan menus, prepare all meals including soups, salads, sandwiches, fresh baked goods, and desserts. You will supervise and direct galley staff in preparation of meals, and the cleaning and sanitation of the galley and work areas. You will ensure that all stations remain stocked before and during the meal period. You will perform inventory control and receive product by verifying invoices and freshness of merchandise. You will assist in the training and supervising of other employees with adherence to company standards.

What do specific jobs look like in the industry?

Steward (see a sample description at

As a Steward, you are involved in food service activities by serving meals. You may also be responsible for maintaining cabins and common areas on the vessel as well as assisting with the delivery of supply such as helping to load the merchandise on board the ship.


As a Cook-Steward, your role is to assist the Chief Cook in preparing the daily meals, particularly in the preparation of desserts and breakfasts. Upon delivery of supply, the Cook-Steward may help load the merchandise on board the ship.

Chief Cook (see a sample description at

The ship's Chief Cook must have the knowledge and competency required to prepare large variety of healthy menus (in accordance with the Canada’s Food Guidelines). He is responsible for the planning and execution of all menu items, including inventory supply and re-supply. He also participates to the ship re-supply planning. The Chief Cook supervises all cooks and stewards onboard the vessel.