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How do I Choose the Best French Cooking School?

By Carol Francois
Updated May 16, 2024
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Cooking the cuisines of the world is both a wonderful hobby and a rewarding career, and going to French cooking school is a great way to learn about this internationally recognized type of food. The type of school that you select is directly related to your intended use of these skills. A professional French cooking school is significantly more expensive, has higher standards, and requires more time and dedication that one offering classes for home entertaining. In addition to the level of program offered at the school, there are three other items to consider: admissions qualifications, reputation, and student services.

In order to qualify for admission to the best professional French cooking school, you must have worked at least six months in a restaurant. Many applicants have already completed a culinary arts program from a recognized school, and are looking to upgrade their skills. The culinary arts program is typically one year in length and provides the training required to prepare a wide range of dishes. The best French cooking school in the world is the famous Le Cordon Bleu®, which offers professional-level French cooking classes in France and in satellite locations around the world.

In the United States, French cooking school is offered as a postgraduate program through the major colleges or culinary schools. The best school in the United States is the Culinary Institute of America® (CIA®), and it offers a French cooking school as a certificate program. In addition to the cooking classes, there is an externship program, where students work in commercial kitchens and restaurants, under the guidance of a master chef.

The reputation of the school is very important, as you are learning its techniques and methods. The expectation is that you will employ these skills in your position as chef. Many schools have a core set of instructors, and a series of high profile guest instructors, who provide short courses or seminars. As a rule, cooking schools guard their reputations and take great care to ensure that graduates have the skills required to be instantly employable in a commercial kitchen.

Student services are an aspect of French cooking schools that are often ignored. However, the services available and provided have a huge impact on your success in the school. These programs are designed to help students with financial issues, workload management, study skills, housing, and more. In addition to the actual support services, clubs, athletics, and other social programs are usually delivered through student services. Take a look at what is available when making your selection.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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