April 4, 2020
Top Culinary Schools in the World
The top culinary schools have a lot of clout in the food world and can open many doors. Getting a formal training provides you with the technical tools and mental discipline needed to perform at your best in this competitive and, at times, brutal industry.
But these schools can also be very expensive and pay in the first few years after graduation is generally poor. So before you commit yourself to a career in the restaurant industry, be sure it is something you really want.
Chef’s Pencil has done the research on the best culinary schools from around the world to show you what is on offer. Here is a shortened version of their full article.
1. Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, USA
Named after the world-famous Auguste Escoffier, the school follows a farm-to-table philosophy that teaches students where food comes from and encourages them to respect local resources and sustainable practices.
Located in the US with campuses in Boulder, Colorado, and Austin, Texas, the accredited school specializes in culinary and pastry arts education offering diploma and degree programs. Students receive career services assistance while in school and after graduation.
2. Culinary Arts Academy, Switzerland
One of the most respected culinary institutions in the world, the Culinary Arts Academy prepares students for their future career, focusing on entrepreneurship as well as kitchen skills. With an approach to culinary traditions that reflects modern trends, trainees will become expert in international cuisine from traditional culinary basics to international fine-dining methods.
Located in Switzerland, this a highly selective school with just 300 students is based in two campuses, Lucerne and Le Bouveret.
Students will enjoy the unique internship opportunities available through industry juggernauts such as the Ritz Paris and Ritz Escoffier.
3. Culinary Institute of America, USA
The Culinary Institute of America spans coast to coast and even has an international campus in Singapore. All three of the US campuses offer associate degrees and a variety of other programs for food and wine enthusiasts. Only the institute’s main campus in New York offers a bachelor’s degree.
The Napa Valley, California Campus hosts a one-of-a-kind Food Business School teaching what’s needed to deal with the challenges of running a foodservice, while the Hudson Valley, New York campus operates four public restaurants specializing in Italian cuisine, French cuisine, American cuisine, and café foods where students get real life experience.
The institution has a long list of notable alumni, including the famous Anthony Bourdain, whom the Institute honored with a scholarship in his name.
4. Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, France
Le Cordon Bleu is one of the most illustrious institutions for culinary education, and considered the guardian of French techniques. The first woman in her class, Julia Child, graduated in 1949 and the school includes a popular demo on boeuf bourguignon in her honor.
With 40 campuses spread over five continents, Le Cordon Bleu is the largest culinary and hospitality school in the world.
Their one- to four-day courses and workshops are considered the passport to a world of career opportunities. Le Grand Diplôme® is an intensive and comprehensive program in classic French culinary techniques that combines Diplôme de Pâtisserie and Diplôme de Cuisine.
5. Institute of Culinary Education, New York, USA
The award winning Institute of Culinary Education located in Manhattan, New York offers several programs covering every interest and skill level, including recreational cooking and continuing educating courses.
The New York campus provides opportunities for advanced creativity in its bean-to-bar Chocolate Lab, an indoor hydroponic herb garden and vegetable farm, a Culinary Technology Lab fitted with a tandoor oven, vertical rotisserie, and dedicated spaces for mixology and wine studies.
Notable alumni include Vivian Howard, Ed Behr, Rachel Yang, Marc Murphy, Mashama Bailey, Elisa Strauss, Zac Young, Denisse Oller, and many more.
6. Apicius, Italy
Founded in 1997, Apicius International School of Hospitality is now a thriving center of learning for cuisine, wine, and hospitality. Set in the beautiful city of Florence, the school provides lectures, workshops, and seminars across its three locations in the city.
It has state of the art facilities including three learning labs that link students with the local community for experience in hospitality, catering, and management, and its very own pastry shop, Fedora, that showcases student work.
Their Certificate Career Programs are unique for their combination of in-class learning and practice in the field.
7. Westminster Kingsway College, London, UK
Based in the heart of London, Westminster Kingsway College operates across four campuses and has an excellent reputation in Culinary Arts and Hospitality.
The programs are designed to fit those from the very young but passionate to adults taking a turn into a new career. The range of courses starts with the Young Chef Academy, going up to the Grand Escoffier Diploma, offering six kitchen-based modules
Notable alumni include Jamie Oliver, Ainsley Harriot, Kathy Burke, Michelle Collins.
8. Kendall College, School of Culinary Arts, IL, USA
The Kendall College School of Culinary Arts in the heart of Chicago develops not only culinary skills but solid business management and communication abilities.
A wide range of courses are offered including Associate of Applied Science degree programs that provide aspiring chefs and bakers with all the knowledge they need to enter the food service industry.
In junior and senior years, students practice a range of world cuisines while gaining real-world experience through an internship at a restaurant in Chicago.
The Culinary Arts Certificate is for those who want to change career, start a small business, or advance their current knowledge with foundational professional cooking skills.
Notable alumni include Michael White, Mindy Segal, and José Garces.
9. BHMS, Lucerne, Switzerland
Business and Hotel Management School, one of the world’s leading hospitality schools offers programs for specializing in the culinary arts.
Students acquire all the fundamental skills needed to work in a real kitchen, from food preparation and presentation to kitchen management, all through hands-on training and classroom learning.
The BHMS offers a full range of qualifications over three years, each year building on their acquired skills, providing students with the specialized knowledge necessary to open their own culinary or catering business.
10. New England Culinary Institute, Montpelier, USA
Combining tradition with innovation, the New England Culinary Institute, located in the capital of Vermont, offers both degrees and certificates in culinary arts, hospitality and restaurant management.
To enhance their degree, students can choose a specialty such as sustainability, learning about sourcing local foods and being environmentally conscious, and wine and beverages. Culinary arts and baking options can also be combined or paired with management for a specific career focus.
Notable alumni include Alton Brown and Heather Terhune and the founders of Ben & Jerry. Chef David of Chefs-Resources also attended NECI.
11. Gastronomicom International Culinary Academy, France
Founded by Matine Lessault, this international culinary academy set in the charming town of Agde in the south of France enrolls students from all over the world.
Aimed at beginners and professionals, three basic courses in French cooking, pastry, and French language can be taken in a range of programs that involve hands-on classes and internships. There is also a Diploma in Gastronomic Cooking or Pastry
Both courses offer internships at luxury hotel-restaurants in France including room and board.
For lucky pastry students, Johanna Le Pape, 2014 world champion of sweet arts, provides a masterclass.
12. Culinary Institute of Barcelona, Spain
Here, in Barcelona, you will find cookery courses that nurture creativity and innovation. The school prides itself on its unique methodology, rejecting traditional teaching of following recipes, and instead focusing on product, technique and context. Their students become chefs able to innovate, to solve problems, and to adapt to whatever products in whichever circumstances.
Whether you want to become a chef, build on your experience, or want focus on management, the school has well-designed courses for all.
13. Hattori Nutrition College, Japan
One of the most renowned culinary schools in Asia, the Hattori Nutrition College was established in 1939 by the Iron Chef, Yukio Hattori. As well as culinary courses, the College provides dietary education based on “Shokuiku”, the Japanese term for “food education”.
The school president says it is “acquisition of knowledge about food and nutrition, and the ability to make appropriate decisions through practical experience with food, with the aim of developing life on a healthy diet.”
The school develops chefs able to bring joy to the table through focusing on technique, practical training, and a developed sense. The Nutrition Course teaches diet coordination for maintaining health.