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In 2013, then, the School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, stated in an article that they wanted NAIT to be recognized as one of the world's top culinary schools (Alberta Venture, 2013). In visioning that seven years ago, a lot changed, but the goal has never wavered.

In 2020 a new challenge has caused a pivot to the vision; a brand extension has emerged. One in which helps students feel like pioneers. The Department of Culinary Arts and Professional Food Studies, as the program is now known, has flourished with virtual instruction, blended classes through the tenacity of the staff and instructors, and augmented its on-campus restaurant Ernest's to be adaptive to the new landscape.

We allow students to witness the power of responsiveness and embrace change as we now offer by partnering with other departments; NAIT made items available through the curbside pickup, the grab and go, and hopefully soon delivery.

Several years ago, the department decided Ernest's needed a new mantra, a new message. Nothing was more fitting than Eat, Learn, and Celebrate. Now we are looking to have you experience Ernest's a little differently. Ernest's vision is adaptive. Your support for our students will see them obtain their goals in learning and meet critical objectives.


Ernest's Kitchen at home

Browse a wide variety of student created items in our catalog.



The Students

Without them, none of this would be possible nor matter!

Meet The Team

Our Staff

Executive Chef Rylan Krause

Rylan Krause

Executive Chef

Rylan Krause is the Executive Chef at Ernest’s Dining Room at NAIT. With over 15 years of experience working in kitchens across the province and in Europe, Rylan has always had a love for cooking. Before Rylan achieved his Red Seal in Culinary Arts, he completed his undergraduate degree with a major in psychology and anthropology. His degree allowed him to explore the cultural aspect of cuisine and how food is a centrepiece in gathering people and community. Rylan enjoys working alongside the unique local food community in Edmonton, which allows him to highlight and support the inspiring, hardworking, people that bring such diversity and passion to Edmonton. He cares deeply about the food he makes and he's passionate about passing his knowledge and interest on to others.

Mixologist Chad Cooper

Chad Cooper


Chad started in the hospitality industry when he was 19. He worked at the Keg & Vivo Ristorante then went to Nagasaki City, Japan to teach English. Japan fueled his love for food and hospitality causing him to document his culinary adventures on YouTube. Chad loves blending his experience with the culinary students and honing his craft of cocktails, wine & beer.