Choosing a Culinary School in France

French cooking has withstood the test of time through fads, wars, emperors, and monarchs. France is not only the birthplace of the famed Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, but is also home to a number of independent, small cooking schools that will provide excellent training for anyone seeking a career in cookery, or for those who simply love French food and wine and want to learn more.

Throughout France there are cooking schools targeting professionals, amateurs, and tourists in all regions. However, if you need class credit, credentials, or certification, it’s best to go with an accredited institution like the renowned Le Cordon Bleu Paris, which offers multiple certificate and diploma options for students.

It Takes an Army

Great French food doesn’t just happen; it almost takes an army to pull off such wonders. This is why most schools and kitchens around the world use the French Brigade System of kitchen hierarchy. Formal titles and duties are assigned to everyone in the kitchen, including Chef de Cuisine, or Executive Chef; Sous Chef; Garde Manger, or pantry chef; Commis chef, or assistant chef; Saucier, or sauce chef; and Patissier, or pastry chef. This is essential training for anyone with aspirations for the culinary industry.

View of Paris at Night.

Diplomes and Certificates

At Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, students will participate in a series of nine-month courses that culminate in Le Grande Diplome le Cordon Bleu. Courses cover cuisine and patisserie at basic, intermediate, and superior levels and incorporate both theoretical and hands-on practical lessons. An additional course in wine offers students the opportunity to visit the Chablis and Chancerre vineyards. The school also offers specialty training for advanced students and professionals in Hautes Etudes du Goût, which focuses on the arts, technology, history, and contemporary trends in French cuisine.

Although Le Cordon Bleu is an internationally known school attracting students from all over the world, it’s important to know that classes are taught mainly in French with English translation. Non-French speaking students are required to take a French language course. To apply, students must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and be 18 years of age. As Le Cordon Bleu is a private school, tuition costs can be steep. The school does not offer scholarships or financial aid, so private funding must be provided by each student.

Beyond the Classroom

Outside of Paris, there are many independent and home-based cooking schools that offer a variety of learning options. These schools offer shorter, single-course options and are quite intimate, with around 10 students per class. These schools are designed mainly for experienced professionals who would like to beef up their training, or casual learners and tourists who are interested in learning more.

Gastronomicon, located in the south of France, is a small cooking school that offers classes on French pastry, French wine, French cuisine, and sugar decoration. A team of three experienced chefs teach courses lasting between one and four months, and there is an internship option for French students or international students with a work visa. The cost of a class ranges from €200 – €6,000.

For those seeking a bit more hands-on, field work with their culinary learning experience, there are cooking tours. Students are taken through the countryside to see for themselves the regional ingredients that go into delicious recipes and wines. Two Bordelais is a small cooking school based in California that offers weeklong tours for up to 12 people through Bordeaux and Basque Country. There is no experience necessary to participate, and tours cost between $3,000 -$4,000.

On-campus Programs

Le Cordon Bleu Paris
8, rue Léon Delhomme
75015, Paris, France
Te l : +33 (0)1 53 68 22 50
cordonbleu.edu/paris/accueil/fr
French Cuisine
Wine
Hautes Etudes du Goût

Gostronomicon
24 rue de l’Eglantier
34450, Vias, France
+33 467 215 556
gastronomicom.fr
Culinary
Pastry
Wine

Ferrandi
28 Rue de l’Abbé Grégoire
75006 Paris, France

+33 1 49 54 28 00
ferrandi-paris.fr/en/
French Cuisine
Pastry
Breadmaking

French Culinary Schools in the United States

We maintain a directory of French culinary schools which can help you find nearby opportunities. Many vacations & retreats also specialize in French cuisine.

Two Bordelais
P.O. Box 8191
Berkeley, CA 94707
510-848 -8741
twobordelais.com
Cooking and Wine Tours

Online-based programs

The Art Institutes of Pittsburgh – Online Division
www.aionline.edu/
Hotel and Restaurant Management
MSCHE Accredited

Johnson and Wales University
www.jwu.edu/campus.aspx?id=25934
Baking & Pastry Arts and Food Service Management
Culinary Arts & Food Service Management
NEASC Accredited

Le Cordon Bleu – Online Division
www.chefs.edu/online/
B.A. Culinary Management
ACCSC & ACICS Accredited

Penn Foster Career School
www.pennfoster.edu/
Hotel and Restaurant Management
DETC & CHEA Accredited

Sullivan College
www.sullivan.edu/
Beverage Management
CCSACS & ACF Accredited


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6 Responses to “Choosing a Culinary School in France”

  1. Martine Lessault Says:

    Dear Sir,
    i want to inform you that our school Gastronomicom has changed the address and is now located :
    Résidence Saint Loup, 1 avenue des Soldats, 34300 Le Cap d’Agde, France
    and our phone number is +33671722813
    Thank you to rectify, you have also all these information on our new website!!
    Sincerely
    Martine Lessault

  2. Audrey Says:

    HI Martine!

    Gastronomicom sounds interesting! I would be interested in the wine program, but first wanted to know if this school is accredited!???

    Thanks!
    Audrey

  3. Phil Bernard Says:

    Hi!

    Please note that “Art and Cooking Classes in France” has a new website:http://artandcookingclassesinprovence.weebly.com/
    We have experimented this school and I wrote the following in the guest book:
    “We have had a perfectly wonderful time with you, learning many recipes. You made it so very easy to breakdown what we initially thought were complicated recipes, but to our great joy & surprise, extremely easy & beautiful to look at. A plus of course is that we did not gain any weight! I think it is the terrific wines we drank! You are very personally lovely people, so patient & forthcoming with tricks of the trade. (Johanna & George B., CA., USA)”

  4. Orlando Santiago-Natera Says:

    Hi! My name is Orlando originaly from the Dominican Republic, but I have citenzeship from United State. I live in New York city; and I would like to study abroad culinary arts in France. Could you please sent me information of your program and cost to study there please.

  5. Nguyen Minh Says:

    Hello, my name is Minh, im looking for a course to learn about culinary arts and pastry in France, I have three small kids so I just can study during summer break ( 3 months), and at the moment I live in Jordan. May I have the information and the cost? Hopefully there are courses that suitable for my condition.
    Thank you.

  6. David Says:

    Hi I am us citizen and I would like to study abroad culinary arts (pastry)in Paris France, could you please send me information of yours programs and cost to study there. Thanks David

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