protecting you


 protecting your business 

insurance for cooking classes and culinary instructors

a growing trend in canada

Chefs and Culinary Instructors are found working in the kitchens of average Canadian families and in schools, stores and commercial kitchens to hold private one-on-one, group recreational and group institutional cooking lessons.  Sometimes, these classes are tailored to the requests of the clients; other times, they are pre-set and available for registration.  They cover a wide variety of topics such as cooking techniques, baking techniques, knife skills, grilling, smoking foods, juicing, raw foods, Italian cuisine, Chinese cuisine, sushi-making and everything in between.

Although it is easier for a Chef Instructor to individualise a private lesson to account for the allergies, likes/dislikes, health goals etc. of their client, a Recreational or Institutional Chef Instructor must also consider these topics and accommodate for any attendees with allergies and health concerns.

commercial general liability insurance is essential

Liability insurance is essential for Chef Instructors.  A slip-and-fall or burn that occurs during a cooking lesson, for example, could result in a lawsuit, since the Chef Instructor is ultimately responsible for their workspace.  Any breakages or damage to the kitchen, whether in the client's home or in a commercial kitchen setting, even if unintentional, would also be solely their fault.  Food poisoning claims from food consumed during, or relating from, the cooking lessons can cost thousands in medical bills and lost productivity.  

These events could cost thousands of dollars in medical, legal or replacement costs.  Without liability insurance, this could make the difference between running a business and going through financial hardship, as you would be personally liable for the costs.  
Clients are knowledgable of these issues, and usually require proof of liability insurance to be presented during the initial interview stage, before signing a contract.  This is where Chef Insurance comes in, and our Success Managers are always ready to assist and answer your questions.


Many Chef Instructors run their business from a home office.  Your home insurance company will need to be notified any time you operate a business from home, otherwise any claims may not be honoured, leaving you to pay for the costs relating to the claim out of your own pocket.  Even if you are simply testing recipes, if you damage your home while working or have business-related meetings at home and someone gets injured or slips and falls, for example, then these may not be covered if your insurance company was unaware that business was being conducted.

large event coverage

We understand that Chef Instructors may need to conduct large events, such as for team-building or corporate events.  Although our standard coverage is for Events up to 20 people, we can increase this to cover Events up to 200 people.  This Large Event Coverage (LEC) can be added to our standard packages at any time.  Read more about LEC.

accounting and tax considerations

Your accountant can advise you on how to set up your business to take advantage of tax rules relating to business expenses.  You should also discuss the best way to set up your business (e.g. a sole proprietorship, a corporation etc.) to declare income, whether you need to charge sales tax etc.  Remember, it is a crime to earn income, including tips, without declaring it to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and there can be serious consequences for doing so.  Being convicted of tax evasion can also lead to fingerprinting, court imposed fines, jail time, and a criminal record. When taxpayers are convicted of tax evasion, they must still repay the full amount of taxes owing, plus interest and any civil penalties assessed by the CRA.

Food safety

There are many practices that are OK for a home-cook preparing food for their own family that are not OK when teaching clients how to cook.  If you have not already done so, you should enrol in a course to get up-to-date food safety training.  After all, anyone working with food can have a serious effect on the health and wellbeing of those consuming the food - it could be a matter of life and death.  Being armed with the necessary knowledge of how to handle food correctly, is essential to any foodservice business.

The Chef Alliance is a leading foodservice association in Canada offering Chefs and Entrepreneurs a place to grow their business.  They can benefit from liability insurance to protect their clients and finances, peer support strengthen their business, discounts to lower their business costs, market their services and increase profits.  This leaves them time to concentrate on what they do best - cook great food!