Preparing for red seal test

Joined Feb 15, 2011
I have been cooking now for just over 11 years. All of my experiance comes from working in fine dinning restaurants as either a line cook, sous chef and head chef. I never did any school programs but have had been lucky enough to work and learn from some great chefs over the years aswell as sharing the experiance i have learned with other while running kitchens.

My question is having never been to school my food terminology isn't as great as those who have been to culinary school. I do try to read what i can and keep myself up to date. My concern is when i go to write my red seal i may see things that i know but may not understand because of the terms used in the question. I have done some practice test and things that know i was getting wrong because of the wording. So i was wondering if anyone could suggest some books or sites that would help me get familiar with some of the termanology.

Also if anyone has any info on where I would go about writing my red seal in ontario or find info on it would be great aswell. Most stuff i have found on this seaching the net is either out of date and leads to a dead end.

Any words of wisdom anyone has to is always appreicated too.

Thank you
Last edited:
Joined May 22, 2010
Get ahold of your nearest cooking school. Ask for their book list for the Culinary Arts program. Start studying. You WILL be tested on classical terminology, and there WILL be enough of it that it could sink you if you don't know it

There should be a gov't site for the Ontario Apprenticeship Board. They would have all the info you need about writing the exam.

It's a pretty broad subject base, so it's hard to tell you what to focus on... learn your terms for cuts (brunoise, batonet, etc), cooking methods, kitchen equipment, stations in a classical brigade... what else? umm... some of the terms are going to be strict memorization of classical dishes you've probably never cooked or will ever need to. I got hit with a dish I had never cooked or heard of (can't recall what it was now) and the ONLY reason that I got it right is my Chef asked me about that exact dish the night before. I'm convinced he knew it was on the test.

I'd imagine if you could get ahold of a syllabus for the apprenticeship program at your local school, you could get a feel for how much  you know, simply by reading the suggested material. If you notice yourself learning something new on every page, then you probably need to dig a little deeper. If the opposite is true, you're probably good to go.
Last edited:
Joined Oct 10, 2005
PrarieChef, does ITA administer the cook's  Red Seal in Ontario?

Here in B.C. many of the questions come from "On cooking", a textbook used exclusively by VCC (Van Com College). 

Prariechef's advice is spot on, check with local CC's for course material and textbooks.

Has Ont. finaly implimented an actual cooking component to the test?  They finally did that 2 years ago here in B.C and I think about 5 years ago in Alberta.

Remember your temps....
Joined Feb 15, 2011
As far as I know there is no cooking component yet, I had a friend get his back before christmas and don't recall him saying anything about that.

Thanks for all the advice and quick replies greatly appreicated
Top Bottom