Serve it Up! 2024

Serve it Up!

High School Culinary Career Exploration Program

student chef

The Serve it Up! program is available to Grade 10 and 11 students across Nova Scotia where industry capacity exists. This initiative is intended to offer students a meaningful educational opportunity to:

  • Explore and experience careers in the culinary trade
  • Provide paid work experience under the guidance of a Red Seal Cook or Baker
  • Provide students with an introduction to careers in the culinary trade
  • Facilitate the transition for students between high school and post-secondary education

What is the Serve it Up! Program?


The Serve it Up! mentorship program is rolled out to Red Seal Cooks & Bakers in the province prior to opening up applications in associated school regions. This ensures industry capacity to match student interest.

The Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Council (NSTHRC) recruits Red Seal Cooks & Bakers in Nova Scotia to participate as mentor employers in the program. As they are confirmed, the application process opens up to relevant schools.

Interested students then apply for the program and are interviewed through a panel process with a Youth Pathways Consultant, NSTHRC, and participating employer(s). Successful applicants must be 16 years of age before the first day of Kitchen Safety Training.  The deadline for applications will vary.

As Red Seal Cooks are confirmed, applications will be forwarded to the relevant school with a deadline for application of approximately two weeks from the date the school is notified.

Student interviews, selection and program orientation will be ongoing during early Spring. Workshops and Kitchen Safety Training will take place in May. Students who do not hold WHMIS, Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) and Food Handler’s safety certificates will be supported to receive the training prior to beginning their summer placement.

How to Apply


Successful applicants will participate in a five-day Culinary Training Program which includes Nova Scotia Best Customer Service Program and four days of Kitchen Safety instruction. Students will also receive the National emerit Occupational Standards for Line Cook and Kitchen Helper, as a resource.


In July and August, students receive a meaningful and relevant educational opportunity by experiencing hands-on, paid employment under the guidance of their assigned Red Seal Cook or Baker. Upon successful completion of their summer placement, the students will receive up to 3.0 Co-op credits and a 300 hour (preapprenticeship) incentive, to be credited to the hours needed to complete their trade (once signed up as an Apprentice).


Apply to the Serve it Up! Program
After reviewing the Student Information Package and confirming your eligibility to the program, talk to your teacher to determine if student applications are open in your area. If so, your teacher will provide you with the online application form link. You’ll be asked to upload your cover letter and resume. It’s a good idea to start working on obtaining and references by using the following forms: Community Reference Form, Teacher Reference Form.

Request a Class Presentation at your High School
Co-op and O2 teachers can contact our office to book a Culinary Career presentation where a Red Seal Cook or Baker will speak to the trade. 

Already employed in the Food & Beverage Industry?
Let’s talk about how your current employer can become part of the Serve it Up! program, enabling you to stay where you’re comfortable while obtaining all the benefits of the program.

Contact us!

Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Council (NSTHRC)

6589 Chebucto Road, Suite 201
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3L 1L9

Phone: 902.423.4480
Fax: 902.422.0184