Studying French Cuisine

If you dream of crafting exquisite dishes and pastries, culinary school is the first step on your journey to becoming a top chef. Whether aspiring to be a renowned chef or a master pastry artist, understanding what culinary school entails can help you make an informed decision. Let’s explore how culinary school works and the types of programs available, and highlight some of the best culinary schools for French cuisine.

How Does Culinary School Work?

Cooking is an art, and culinary school is where you refine your skills and learn to create restaurant-quality meals. While you may know the basics of cooking, professional training helps you perfect techniques and gain the knowledge needed to wow your diners.

In culinary school, you’ll learn:

– Knife skills, where you’ll master the functions of different knives, types of cuts, and knife care.
– Cooking techniques, from butchery to sauce making, you’ll cover various culinary methods.
– Safety and sanitation for proper equipment use and food handling practices to ensure a safe kitchen environment.
– Kitchen etiquette to understand the hierarchy and culture of professional kitchens.
– Task and time management to handle multiple projects efficiently.
– Plating to make your dishes look as good as they taste.

Types of Culinary Schools

Culinary schools come in various forms, each offering unique benefits:

– Culinary Institutes: Focus solely on culinary arts with comprehensive programs covering a wide range of techniques.
– Community Colleges: Offer culinary programs alongside general education courses, often at a lower cost.
– Four-Year Universities: Provide bachelor’s degrees in culinary arts or management, combining culinary education with business and liberal arts classes.
– Vocational and Technical Schools: Provide hands-on training and practical skills for specific trades, including culinary arts.
– Online Culinary Schools are ideal for flexible learning options, offering virtual classes and resources.


Which is the Best Culinary School for You?

Choosing the best culinary school depends on your goals and interests. Here’s a look at some of the top culinary schools for studying French cuisine:

Becoming an Executive Chef

Institut Disciples Escoffier (IDE)

Supported by Disciples Escoffier International, the world’s largest chef association, IDE is a professional best culinary school recognised by the French Ministry of Education. They offer several programs:

  • Double Bachelor Degree Program: No prior culinary experience is required. This 4-year program includes study in Thailand and France, culminating in a double bachelors and two certifications recognised worldwide.
  • Diploma Program in Cuisine: This 540-hour program is suitable for aspiring restaurateurs or those wishing to improve their French cuisine skills. It covers French gastronomic traditions, global cuisines, and new trends. Classes take place in Bucharest, Romania, and Hong Kong.
  • Diploma Program in Pastry: Aimed at beginners and career shifters passionate about pastry, this 504-hour course covers fundamental and advanced pastry techniques. Classes take place in Bucharest, Romania, and Hong Kong.
  • Diploma Program in Bakery: A 368-hour course on French and European bakery techniques, taught through demonstrations and hands-on practice. Classes take place in Hong Kong.

Visit their website: [Institut Disciples Escoffier (IDE)]


Le Cordon Bleu

Established in 1895, Le Cordon Bleu has campuses worldwide, including Paris, London, Tokyo, and other prominent cities. They offer several programs:

  • Patisserie and Boulangerie Program: For those with a passion for pastry and bread baking, Le Cordon Bleu’s Patisserie and Boulangerie Program is a gateway to mastering the art of sweet and savoury delights.
  • Bachelor of Culinary Arts: A four-year program that delves deep into culinary techniques, kitchen management, and culinary entrepreneurship.
  • Bachelor of Pastry Arts: Focuses on advanced pastry techniques, chocolate work, and pastry business management.

In addition to degree programs, Le Cordon Bleu offers a range of short courses and workshops for culinary enthusiasts and professionals looking to enhance their skills or explore new culinary avenues:

  • Gastronomy and Food Culture explores food history, culture, and culinary trends.
  • Wine and Beverage Studies students learn about wine pairing, beverage service, and the art of mixology.
  • Cooking and Baking Workshops are hands-on sessions led by expert chefs focused on specific culinary techniques or cuisines.

Visit their website: [Le Cordon Bleu]


The French Culinary Institute (FCI)

Located in New York City, FCI offers intensive culinary programs that cater to both professionals and amateurs.

  • Culinary Arts Program: Led by expert chef-instructors, this program teaches students fundamental cooking techniques, kitchen management, and culinary creativity. It includes hands-on training in classical and contemporary culinary styles, preparing graduates for diverse culinary careers.
  • Pastry Arts Program: This program is a sweet haven for dessert enthusiasts and future pastry chefs. From mastering the art of delicate pastries to creating intricate chocolate creations, under the guidance of experienced pastry chefs.
  • Bread Baking Program: The program delves into dough fermentation, shaping techniques, and the nuances of creating a perfect crust and crumb.
  • Culinary Entrepreneurship Program: Students explore the business side of the culinary world, learning about restaurant management, menu development, cost control, and culinary marketing. 

Visit their website: [The French Culinary Institute]

 The IDE school

Ready to Cook Up a Storm?

Graduating from one of the best culinary schools can open doors to top restaurants worldwide. Remember, while a diploma is your entry ticket, the journey involves dedication and hard work. Starting as a line cook, you’ll work your way up, honing your skills and seizing opportunities to become a sous chef and, ultimately, a head chef. Just like a fine soufflé, your culinary career requires patience, precision, and passion. Ready to take the leap? Let the culinary adventure begin!