CULINARY: Apprenticeship Program

Hawaii’s Premier Culinary Institution

The Purpose of Apprenticeship

There are nearly 2,000 apprentices learning in more than 80 ACF-sponsored culinary apprenticeship programs in the United States. All these programs have important objectives for its students:

  • To develop a personal sense of pride and professionalism necessary for success in the hospitality industry
  • To achieve a knowledge of the history, evolution, and international diversity of the culinary arts
  • To develop basic principles of nutrition, dietetics, and food and beverage composition
  • To understand the requirements for proper sanitation in the foodservice industryTo gain a proficient understanding in the use and maintenance of foodservice equipment
  • To become acquainted with the organization of the professional kitchen and bakeshops and effectively practice basic and advanced skills in food preparation
  • To develop a professional work ethic through a commitment to the apprenticeship program
  • To develop a personal philosophical base that builds ideals for a successful culinary career

Qualifications Required

Apprenticeship is an on-the-job training program combined with technical classroom instruction. For entry into Kapi’olani Community College’s Culinary Apprenticeship program, prospective students must

  • Be at least (17) years of age and a high school graduate, or its equivalent.
  • Have successfully completed KCC’s Fundamentals of Cookery class (5 CR) and Safety and Sanitation class (2 CR) or an articulated class from an approved culinary program. The estimated cost to residents of Hawaii is: $88.00 per credit (Fall2011 only), and $97 per credit (Fall 2011 & Spring 2011 only) plus approximately $400 – $450 for fees, textbooks, uniforms and knifes. (Depending upon class requirements and uniform / knife package purchased)
  • Have applied and been accepted into the college.
  • Have a current TB clearance and MMR inoculations.

To Apply for an Apprenticeship Position

Notify our Apprenticeship Coordinator, Mr. Mark Okumura at 734-9481 or via email at, of your desire to enter the program. If accepted into our apprenticeship program, students will be required to:

  • Join the Chefs de Cuisine Association of Hawaii, Honolulu Chapter as a junior member, which has annual membership dues of $75.
  • Pay an enrollment fee to the ACF of $137, which includes apprentice identification card, apprenticeship pin, Training Log (Cook or Pastry Cook), The Art and Science of Culinary Preparation (required text) and the Study Guide to The Art and Science of Culinary Preparation.
  • Complete three years of full-time work (6,000 hours) of on-the-job training in a foodservice kitchen under a qualified chef.
  • Complete all required classroom instruction as designated by the KCC Apprenticeship Program.

Benefits of the Apprenticeship Program

The major benefits of obtaining a culinary education through our Apprenticeship Program is that you:

  • Earn as you learn. You will be paid to work full-time in one of our culinary department’s operational outlets or at a participating industry partner. Your rate of pay will be progressively increased during your apprenticeship, so that upon completion of the program, your pay should be comparable to industry scale for someone with that level of expertise and experience.
  • Get a well-rounded education. You will be rotated through all jobs and also obtain a balanced experience of various styles of operations, from catering to fine dining.
  • Focus on learning how to cook. All of the instructional courses that you are required to take will have a direct relationship to the culinary profession. All academics are relative and appropriate to your professional goals.
  • All courses taken are articulated. Every academic course that you take can be counted towards an Associates degree if you wish to continue along that career pathway.
  • Enjoy a Free Education! Best of all, the employer is responsible for paying the cost of your culinary training.