Top 30 catering schools in the world 2014

Caterer Middle East rounds up 30 global cooking schools and programmes

Academia Barilla
Academia Barilla
Academie Culinaire
Academie Culinaire
At-Sunrice Global Chef Academy
At-Sunrice Global Chef Academy
Ballymoe Cookery School
Ballymoe Cookery School
Culinary Academy of India
Culinary Academy of India
Culinary Institute LeNotre
Culinary Institute LeNotre
Ferrandi Paris
Ferrandi Paris
Hattori Nutrition College
Hattori Nutrition College
Hong Kong Culinary Academy
Hong Kong Culinary Academy
Institut de tourisme et d'hotelierie
Institut de tourisme et d'hotelierie
International Centre of Culinary Arts (ICCA)
International Centre of Culinary Arts (ICCA)
International Culinary Center
International Culinary Center
Johnson & Wales University - Centre of Culinary Arts
Johnson & Wales University - Centre of Culinary Arts
Keiser University Center for Culinary Arts
Keiser University Center for Culinary Arts
Le Cordon Bleu in Paris
Le Cordon Bleu in Paris
Liaison College Downtown
Liaison College Downtown
National Hospitality Institute, Oman
National Hospitality Institute, Oman
New England Culinary Institute
New England Culinary Institute
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts
Rhodes School of Cuisine, Morocco
Rhodes School of Cuisine, Morocco
Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School
Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School
SCAFA (School of Culinary and Finishing Arts)
SCAFA (School of Culinary and Finishing Arts)
Shermay's Cooking School
Shermay's Cooking School
SITCA
SITCA
Sydney Seafood School
Sydney Seafood School
Tante Marie
Tante Marie
The Agrarian Kitchen
The Agrarian Kitchen
The Art Institute
The Art Institute
The Culinary Institute of America
The Culinary Institute of America
The School of Artisan Food
The School of Artisan Food

Training and education is always a hot topic for those Caterer Middle East speaks to in the F&B industry, so we foraged the globe to create a list of the world's most interesting and respected culinary schools.

The following pages lists, in alphabetical order, a selection of the world's best culinary schools, cookery classes and programmes, across North America, Europe, Africa, Australia, South America, and the Middle East.

However, this is by no means a comprehensive list, and we would recommend all prospective F&B industry members to do their own thorough research into where they intend to study.

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If you are a graduate of the culinary world, be sure to see if your school made it on to our list, and if it didn’t, feel free to leave a comment below on why you think it should have been. You can leave a comment on this story, or message us on Facebook, or mention us on Twitter.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Academia Barilla, Italy

Located in Parma, the school is dedicated to promoting Italian gastronomy across the world, and welcomes food enthusiasts and Italian wine and food experts from across the world.

The culinary institute offers cooking classes for food lovers, professionals and companies taught by a skilled and experienced team of chefs.

Facilities include an auditorium with 100 seats and demonstration kitchen, a kitchen laboratory with 16 individual professional stations, a practical lab, a baking lab, a tasting lab and a shop.

Interestingly enough, the Academia Barilla houses a unique collection of over 6500 books and 4750 historic menus of all types.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Académie Culinaire, Canada

Located in Laval, Montreal and Quebec City, Academie Culinaire is open to both amateurs and professionals.

A variety of classes are offered, such as basic skills like handling knives and equipment, desserts and pastry making, an introduction to world cuisine and wine courses, among others.

Its semi-professional programme helps students learn the ins and outs of the professional kitchen environment and works on kitchen tools and equipment, basic cooking techniques, kitchen organisation, purchasing and stock management, and hygiene and safety codes.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

At Sunrice Global Chef Academy, Singapore

The concept was created in 1999 by founder Dr Kwan Lui and started its operations in 2001.

Today, the academy is EduTrust certified and is recognised by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) as a National CET Institute (NCI) administering nationally-recognised diplomas, is partnered with America's world class university Johnson & Wales University (JWU) and is a member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF). It teaches both Asian and Western cuisines.

The education experience in At-Sunrice comprises of Cuisine, Culinary, Pastry & Bakery and Food & Beverage studies of East and West, Old and New, Herbs and Spices, Innovation and Technology. All these combine a work-study methodology.

The faculty is comprised of chefs from various countries. The At-Sunrice faculty are culinary chefs, pastry and bakery chefs, F&B professionals and qualified instructors with backgrounds ranging from award-winning food authors, Michelin Star experienced chefs, English majors, magna cum laude graduates, service excellence professionals and executive chefs.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Ballymaloe Cookery School, Ireland

Established in 1983, the Ballymaloe Cookery School is located in the middle of a 100-acre, organic farm of which 10 acres are devoted to organic market gardens, orchards and greenhouses.

Along with shorter courses that deal with a variety of topics like making sushi, cake decorating, gluten-free cooking and more, it also offers a 12-week certificate course. The School is led by Ireland's Darina Allen.

The students learn the value of cooking with local ingredients, and many alumni have gone on to being professional chefs.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Culinary Academy of India

The Academy has eight classrooms and seven fully equipped training kitchens. It also has a demonstration kitchen and a compact 36-cover training restaurant.

The faculty includes 18 chef instructors covering all aspects of Food Production, Food Presentation, Kitchen Management, F&B Matching etc, and have worked in hotels in India and abroad.

It offers a three-year-long Bachelors Degree in Catering Technology & Culinary Arts, a Post Graduate Diploma in Culinary Arts, and a Craft Certification Course in Food Production lasting 1.5 years.

CAI is also the official training centre for galley personnel, and students who want to work on cruise liners can apply for specific courses to do so, which are offered in association with various cruise companies.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Culinary Institute Lenôtre, USA

Culinary Institute LeNotre awards Associate of Applied Science Degrees and Diplomas in the culinary arts, with a veteran team of chef instructors and expert faculty.

Aspiring students can pick between degree or diploma programmes in culinary arts of French and international cuisine, baking and pastry arts, and hospitality and restaurant management.  Sommelier courses are also available. In the diploma programme, 85% of the kitchen lab training is hands-on.

Students also gain experience in Kris Bistro & Wine Lounge, a gourmet bistro at the heart of the school.

The academy is owned by chef Alain and his wife Marie LeNotre. He is a certified pastry chef, candy maker and ice cream maker; he was also trained as a cook at the Grand Véfour, a 3-Star Michelin Restaurant in Paris. He has over 40 years of experience.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Ferrandi Paris - The French School of Culinary Arts

Located in the heart of Paris and founded in 1920, Ferrandi is dedicated to culinary arts: cooking and service, catering, bakery and pastry, and restaurant management.

Job placement is important for this school, and the elite of the culinary profession (e.g. chefs that have won stars from Le Guide Michelin, “Meilleurs Ouvriers de France”, famous names in the catering or pastry businesses) oversee the students during internships or as apprentices.

The school is affiliated to the Paris Ile-de-France Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Its Intensive Professional Programs in English are designed to provide a solid foundation of skills in French Cuisine or French Pastry. These include five months of intensive training followed by an internship (three or six months) in a professional kitchen or pastry lab.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Hattori Nutrition College, Japan

The college's leader is Yukio Hattori, who is known across the country for participating in the Japanese show Iron Chef. The school is one of the best-known in the country, and the founder's appearance on TV has only increased its popularity.

Hattori Nutrition College offers certification courses and full degree programmes in the culinary arts, with a focus on health issues and techniques.

The Japanese school benefits from state-of-the-art facilities providing a strong infrastructure for students to learn from.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Hong Kong Culinary Academy

After providing professional training services for hotel and catering industry for many years, the Hong Kong Culinary Academy started providing culinary training to young adults to earn professional qualifications in order to join the F&B industry.

Training is provided by overseas chefs and catering professionals, and catering managers.

The Academy is also one of the WSET Recognised Examination Centres, HKFORT and Hong Kong Hotels Association Recognised Training Body.

There are full-time courses in Hotel Culinary Management, Italian Pastry, and French Bakery & Pastry, and part-time courses as well.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ), Canada

Established more than 45 years ago, the ITHQ specialises in tourism, hospitality, food service and sommelier training. It offers vocational (secondary level), technical (college level), advanced and university-level programs, as well as continuing education. The ITHQ also has a teaching hotel and two teaching restaurants, along with its research centre, the Centre d’expertise et de recherche (CER).

The ITHQ has over 100 expert professors, proficient in the latest trends in tourism, hospitality, food service, sommelier training and management.

Students can expect to get practical training throughout the learning experiences, due to the work-study format of the programmes.

The courses also include industry-specific internships (usually paid) in Québec, others parts of Canada, or abroad.

The Paul-Émile-Lévesque dining room and the Restaurant de l’Institut serve real patrons, and The Hôtel de l’Institut is a teaching hotel whose 42 rooms were fully renovated in 2010.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

International Centre for Culinary Arts, Dubai

Established in 2005, the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) Dubai is an industry centred vocational training (VET) centre. It is accredited by the City & Guilds London, and the Knowledge, Human Development Authority (KHDA) Government of Dubai.

The centre has been featured amongst the Top 10 Culinary Institutes in the World and awarded the “Recognition of Quality Culinary Education” by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS).

ICCA Dubai student chefs have been placed on international cruise lines such as, The Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) USA, Oceania Cruises USA, Celebrity Cruises USA, Thomson Ships UK and hotels such as JW Marriot Hotel, Le Meridian, The Address Hotels, Armani Hotel, Fairmont, Grand Hyatt, Hilton Hotels, Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, Kempinski Hotels, Jumeirah Hotels, Shangri-La, The Westin and other international restaurants.

It also provides Amateur, Gelato, Barista & Lifestyle Classes, as well as industry certification programmes in international industry best practices in Food Safety & Hygiene.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

International Culinary Center, USA

This institute started off as The French Culinary Institute in 1984, and is now the International Culinary Center. The center counts Jacques Pépin, André Soltner and Jacques Torres among its deans and its 15,000+ alumni include Wylie Dufresne, David Chang, Christina Tosi and Bobby Flay, who graduated in the very first class.

Programmes range from Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts and Cake Design to Italian Culinary, Spanish Studies and Intensive Sommelier.

The curriculum is rooted in the fundamentals of French cooking, and allows students a range of hands-on training.

It has an extensive “chef demo” program–including luminaries like Dominique Ansel, Seamus Mullen, Francois Payard, John Besh and Massimo Bottura.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Johnson & Wales University – Centre of Culinary Arts, USA

The courses combine the art of cooking, with science and nutrition, management skills, global citizenship and a variety of work experience opportunities, whether it's culinary arts, nutrition or baking & pastry arts.

With no demo kitchens, students learn by actually doing in labs under the guidance of expert chef-instructors in classes with an 18:1 student/teacher ratio.

It also features an integrated arts and sciences curriculum, in addition to its undergraduate and continuing education degrees.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Keiser University Center for Culinary Arts, USA

The culinary arts wing is accredited by the American Culinary Federation. Its Associate of Science degree in Culinary Arts presents a comprehensive curriculum that includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.

Students acquire professional knowledge of food, its preparation and handling and cooking from basic to advanced. The curriculum includes an externship to prepare students for entry-level positions in the foodservice industry.

The flagship campus is in Fort Lauderdale, but culinary arts students are based in Sarasota, Melbourne or Tallahassee.

It offers associate’s degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts. Both are two-year degrees accredited by the American Culinary Federations.Students complete 60 hours of specialised classes and laboratories followed by an externship or residence, going on to becoming chefs or bakers.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Le Cordon Bleu, worldwide

In less than one year, it is possible to obtain Le Grand Diplôme Le Cordon Bleu, which is recognised worldwide by culinary professionals.

Le Cordon Bleu, as a culinary arts school, was founded in Paris in 1895 by the journalist and publisher of La Cuisinière Cordon Bleu magazine, Marthe Distel. On January 14, 1896 the first cooking demonstration ever to be held on an electric stove was staged at Le Cordon Bleu.

Today, Le Cordon Bleu has a presence in some 20 countries with more than 40 international schools attended by 20,000 students annually. Students are taught by Master Chefs, of which the majority come from Michelin-starred restaurants or are winners of prestigious competitions and titles such as Meilleur Ouvrier de France.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Liaison College, Culinary Arts, Canada

Located in Toronto, Canada, and established in the 1996, Liaison College focuses on training in the culinary arts, and boasts of its "excellent placement rate" for its graduates.

The chef training programmes are designed by hospitality industry professionals, to provide students with the skills they need in today’s demanding restaurant and food services operations.

It's professional training programmes include: Cook Basic - Level I; Cook Advanced - Level II; Chef de Cuisine; Culinary Management; Specialist Chef; Hospitality Administration; Personal Chef Diploma; and a Food Handler Certification Programme.

The College has campuses across the Greater Toronto Area and Ontario.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

National Hospitality Institute, Oman

The National Hospitality Institute (NHI) provides vocational training for the hospitality, catering and travel industries in the Gulf.

Its Gulf Chef School provides foundation, intermediate and supervisory certificate programmes, along with advanced patisserie certification, and advanced kitchen and larder certificates.

It also awards certificates in food safety and HACCP.

With a live training restaurant, cafeteria, and kitchens which provide catering requirements for staff, students and guests, students get a training ground for the real industry.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

New England Culinary Institute, USA

Established in 1980 with just seven students in its first graduating class, NECI now has nearly 4000 alumni. 

It aims to provide hands-on, standards-based education for the F&B industry, where its students work alongside skilled, dedicated chef-instructors in the institute's teaching restaurants.

It offers Bachelor of Arts and Associate of Occupational Studies Degrees in Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry, and Hospitality and Restaurant Management.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Canada

Founded in 1996 by Sue Singer, the Institute is located in Vancouver, British Columbia and combines practical learning and theory. Small classes, hands-on training and dedicated European chef instructors teach the art of cooking and baking.

There are diploma programmes in Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Arts, with 10% theory and 90% hands-on training.

As part of the practical training, the students operate the institute's restaurant and bakeshop and also participate in on and off-site catering for private functions, all under the direction of the instructors.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Rhodes School of Cuisine, Italy and Morocco

Established in 1996, Rhode School of Cuisine offers cooking classes for gourmet cooking vacations in Tuscany, Italy and Marrakech, Morocco.

Classes are conducted in state-of-the-art kitchens in the villas, where each student gets involved with the process.

The schools use food as a way to explore the history and culture of the city they are in.

The latest addition to the luxury villa in Tuscany and the Dar Liqama palazzo in Marrakech is the Hambledon House mansion in Surrey, half an hour south of London.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School, Australia

Internationally acclaimed, award winning chefs, Kirsten Tibballs, Paul Kennedy, Robyn Curnow with special international guest chefs, instruct students how to make modern and exquisite chocolates and pastries using the finest equipment and ingredients.

It has over 40 classes dedicated to chocolate and patisserie, and targets both professionals and beginners.

Previous guest chefs have included Stephane Glacier, Christophe Adam, Philippe Marand, Serge Alexandre, Paco Torreblanco, Kanjiro Mochizuki, among many others.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

SCAFA, Dubai

Based in the UAE, the School of Culinary and Finishing Arts has courses to introduce students to various types of cuisine, pastry and restaurant management. It also offers a range of other programmes from corporate events, evening programmes, children's classes, bespoke cooking classes and food and menu consulting.

Not only does the school have full-time education programmes for students aspiring to become professional chefs, it also features advanced programmes for chefs looking to upskill their abilities.

Recognising the importance of work experience, professional students can be placed in apprenticeships at restaurants or hotels locally and internationally.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Shermay’s Cooking School, Singapore

Founded in 2003, the school welcomes everyone from amateurs to the seasoned cook.

Each chef/teacher has been selected by chef-owner Shermay Lee based on their teaching ability, technical knowledge and culinary experience. It also collaborates with chefs with decades of experience and of 3-Michelin star repute, award-winning cookbook authors and food personalities.

Classes range from Straits Chinese to Japanese, French to Italian, bread to pastry - not to mention chocolate tempering or beer brewing in a state-of-the-art professional kitchen equipped by De Dietrich.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

SITCA (Samui Institute for Thai Culinary Arts), Thailand

Whether an amateur, whether someone considering entering the industry, or already firmly in F&B, this Thai cooking school teaches more about the cuisine straight from culinary masters.

SITCA offers a range of programmes - one week, two week, or a 12-day training for professionals.

Considered one of the best ways in which to learn the secrets of authentic Thai food, students learn a multitude of recipes and more about the spices and preparations, which non-Thais rarely ever get to experience.

Those who participate in the professional programme learn over 100 recipes hands-on, delving into areas usually reserved for the domain of native born cooks.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Sydney Seafood School, Australia

Established in 1989, the School teaches a wide variety of cuisines, with seafood being the reason why it started. Australian chefs, including Christine Manfield, Matthew Moran and Guillaume Brahimi, are among the School’s presenters.

All classes commence in the School’s tiered auditorium with a demonstration of the dish or dishes to be prepared. After the demonstration, guests, in groups of five with guidance from the presenter and assistants, recreate the dishes,.

Guests cook at custom-made, stainless steel cooking islands fitted with state-of-the-art Fisher & Paykel appliances, including a gas cooktop, oven, refrigeration unit and extraction system. Hettich soft close drawers, hinges and runners ensure all cabinetry opens and closes smoothly and silently and 46" High Definition LCD Sharp television screens above the demonstration bench ensure a perfect view of all the cooking action.

Sydney Seafood School conducts a wide range of classes for all skill levels, from a simple paella or stir-fry to the more complex weekend workshops with leading chefs. A vast array of cuisines and cooking styles are covered, including the School's most popular class, Seafood BBQ, using built-in 5-burner Beefeater gas barbecues and scheduled five or six times a month to keep up with demand.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

Tante Marie Culinary Academy, UK

With professional chef courses and the Cordon Bleu Diploma qualification, Tante Marie is also known for its association with Gordon Ramsay, whose company Gordon Ramsay Holdings is business partners with the school.

Established in 1954, it is said to be the UK's oldest independent cookery school.

The courses range from one day to one year and its alumni include UAE-based Simon Chabowski of Chabowski Trading and Paul Frangie, founder of This Dude Knows Food.

At Tante Marie 80% of the time is spent in the kitchens cooking, and the CTH Level 4 Diploma in Professional Culinary Arts was created by Tante Marie in co-operation with the exam awarding body.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

The Agrarian Kitchen, Australia

This school is a sustainable farm-based cooking school located in a 19th century schoolhouse. Established by Rodney Dunn and his wife, Séverine Demanet in July 2007, cooking classes commenced in January 2009.

Cooking classes are led by Rodney Dunn, former food editor of Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine and one-time apprentice to Australian chef, Tetsuya Wakuda, as well as a supporting cast of Tasmanian cooks and producers.

Classes range from learning more about vegetarian food, sausages, chacuterie, cooking with fire, smoking meats, cooking with truffles, making pasta, pastries, and more.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

The Art Institutes – Culinary Arts, USA

Start from the basics like using kitchen tools and then work up to skills needed in professional kitchens.

The Art Institutes cover culinary arts, and teach everything from basic cuts to managing a menu to working as part of a team. Students will also explore international cuisines, including the latest flavours that are becoming more popular

Courses include: culinary techniques, classical techniques, sanitation & safety, baking and pastry techniques, management by menu, nutrition, garde manger, foodservice technology, F&B operations management, planning & controlling costs, and a lot more.

It has campuses all across the USA.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

The Culinary Institute of America

For more than six decades, The Culinary Institute of America offers associate and bachelor's degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and culinary science, as well as certificate programmes.

It also provides thought leadership in the areas of professional excellence, health & wellness, sustainability, and world cuisines and cultures through research and conferences.

The CIA offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as consulting services in support of innovation for the foodservice and hospitality industry.

The college has campuses in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Singapore.

Click through to look at the culinary schools that made our 2014 list.

The School of Artisan Food, UK

The School of Artisan Food aims to teach all aspects of artisan food production through a variety of short courses and a one-year Advanced Diploma.

The school is housed in an 1870 Grade II listed building in Sherwood Forest. Newly refurbished training rooms are specially equipped for the teaching of breadmaking, cheesemaking, brewing, butchery, charcuterie and preserving.

It has a team of expert artisan producers and practitioners from the UK and beyond, and also hosts well-known visiting artisans, chefs and guest lecturers.

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