Immigrating to Canada as a professional cook is one of the best decisions you can make for yourself. With Canada’s diverse culinary landscape, there is always a massive demand for professional cooks with experience in foreign cuisines. From poutine in Quebec to butter tarts in Ontario, Canadian cuisine has a lot to offer, and the cook has a big role to partake in.
However, getting a job offer in Canada as a cook won’t be an issue you’ll get to choose from numerous employment offers. The job role of a cook is very different from your usual 9 to 5 office role. There will be crazy hours, big personalities, and grueling physical requirements. Nonetheless, being a professional cook also offers lots of creativity, flexibility, and independence.
An aging population will likely increase the demand for cooks in retirement homes. Professional cooks may get job opportunities in restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and other healthcare institutions, central food commissaries, clubs, and similar establishments, and on ships.
In this article, we’ll discuss the different immigration pathways to Canada for cooks, their job functions, and the benefits.
Immigration Pathways For Cook Jobs In Canada
There are various immigration routes to work and live in Canada as a cook. Read on as we examine these immigration pathways.
Express entry is based on a point-based system known as the CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) scale. Furthermore, the CRS evaluates applicants on factors like age, education, language proficiency skills, and relevant work experience. Cooks are classified as level B in NOC, which means that qualified applicants can apply for any immigration program under the Express Entry.
Under Express Entry, you will create an online profile in a pool of applications (profile). Lucky candidates with the highest CRS points based on their education, age, language proficiency, and work experience will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a Canada Permanent Residence visa.
If you wish to immigrate to Canada as a cook and live in a particular Canadian province, the PNP is the perfect pathway. To be eligible for the PNP, qualified candidates must obtain a valid job offer from a Canadian employer supported by LMIA. Although, each Canadian province has its own PNP with a list of highly in-demand jobs that meet the requirements of industry and labor market in these regions and territories.
Since cooks are highly in-demand, most of the Canadian provinces need this particular skill. However, the list of highly in-demand jobs changes depending on the required skilled labor in these provinces. Some of the popular PNPs include
- Alberta Advantage Immigration Program.
- Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program.
- Nova Scotia Nominee Program.
- Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program
Job Functions of a Professional Cook
A Cook is a restaurant worker who is responsible for preparing food and menu items according to the company standards and guidelines. The job functions of a professional cook are listed below, read on.
- Cooks are in charge of preparing complete meals or individual dishes and foods.
- They also prepare and cook special meals for patients as instructed by the dietitian.
- They schedule and supervise the kitchen staff, as well as oversee all kitchen operations.
- Maintain inventory and records of food, supplies, and equipment.
- However, cooks may set up and oversee buffet services.
- In addition, they may plan menus, determine food portions, estimate food requirements and costs, and monitor and order supplies.
Advantages of Being a Professional Cook
Cooking is an excellent way to express yourself and share your passion with others, cooking brings out the creativity in you. As a cook, you’ll have the opportunity to create new dishes and experiment with unique ingredients. Over time, with your first-hand experience, you may eventually create your restaurant idea. Furthermore, culinary arts is an amazing field for individuals who want to showcase their creativity through food.
As a cook, sometimes you get to work for yourself and be the boss. However, an individual who values flexibility and creativity will find the culinary field full of potential. Restaurants are always in need of skilled and professional cooks and chefs, so career opportunities abound when you’re ready to learn new techniques, move to a different location, or simply find a change of pace. You could also consider a career as a personal chef for even greater flexibility and freedom.
3. Great Salary Opportunities
Being a professional cook with years of experience, you will get to earn a comfortable salary. However, this is quite possible if you secure a job at a high-paying restaurant, resort, or hotel.
As a professional cook, you can expect to earn an average salary of $37,550 per year.
4. You Work with Talented People
A career in culinary arts is a great way to surround yourself with creative, motivated, and independent individuals like yourself. The restaurant industry is filled with incredibly talented individuals, and you’ll have the opportunity to receive mentorship and collaborate with other passionate chefs every day in the kitchen.
Disadvantages of Being a Professional Cook
1. Unstable Job
The restaurant business is notoriously inconsistent, and things can change at a moment’s notice. However, as a cook/restaurant owner, the business may fail for reasons unrelated to food. For instance, a difficult landlord, a bad business deal, or one negative review may kick you out of the job as a cook. Disadvantages like this can somehow be terrifying, especially if you have a family that relies on your income, so you’ll have to decide if you can accept the risk.
2. Working for Long and Difficult Hours
A restaurant job means you must work when people want to eat, irrespective of the time. This could be early in the morning, late at night, all weekend long, or sometimes on holidays. Meanwhile, you may be working 10 to 12-hour shifts because cooks often have a challenging and inconsistent schedule, and balancing a culinary career with a personal life can be challenging.
3. Starting Salaries Are Low
The possibility of coming home with a solid paycheck as a professional cook is quite low. However, most culinary professionals have to work their way through a variety of lower-paying jobs before they reach the top spot in a restaurant. Entry-level cooks often start out earning low even at high-paying restaurants, and it can take years to make your way up through the ranks. Therefore, it’s important to be realistic about your salary early in a culinary career.
4. It’s Physically Demanding
Working in culinary arts takes a lot of energy, and you’ll likely have some scars to show for your years as a cook. In most kitchens, you’ll spend long hours standing and working with sharp knives, hot pans, and open flames. When thinking about a culinary career, make sure you’re physically capable of taking the heat before you step into the kitchen.
Working Hours of a Professional Cook
A cook should expect to work around 40-45 hours a week, but they can still work overtime based on the requirements of their job role. The shifts can be quite long and up to 12 hours a day in some cases. Most of this time will require cooks to be on their feet, so they must be physically fit for the job.
Opting out of the WTD enables cooks to work more than 48 hours a week, and some cooks can work up to 60 hours a week. If they do not opt out, the maximum hours they can work would be just 48 hours a week. However, being a cook is not a 9-5 job, and those looking at becoming a cook must be committed to working unsociable hours. These periods include early mornings, evenings, weekends, and bank holidays.
There may be some roles that offer set days and hours. However, there may be a requirement for overtime in busy periods, like the festival seasons. In addition, traveling may be a prerequisite for a cook if they work for a company with several food establishments or freelance at different locations. Some establishments may also provide on-site accommodation for cooks so they can stay during the season.
Analyzing Canadian cuisine, the salary of a cook can be influenced by a variety of factors, including experience, location, and education. While the salary ranges may vary across provinces, the demand for skilled cooks remains steady. While planning on Immigrating to Canada as a professional cook, always remember this. Dedication, creativity, and ongoing skill development can help you achieve a fulfilling and rewarding career as a cook in Canada.