The culinary industry has so much to offer. Deciding to attend culinary schools in Hong Kong, you must have been at one point or the other attracted to the environment- an energetic kitchen instead of the quiet offices and computers most offices bear.
In this article, we will be looking at the culinary schools in Hong Kong and if you are wondering if becoming a chef in Hong Kong is a good idea, then you must not miss this article.
Modern Hong Kong has a predominantly service-based economy and restaurant businesses serve as a main economic contributor.
Hong Kong has the fourth-densest population per square meter in the world and serves a population of 7 million, Hong Kong is a host to a restaurant industry with intense competition.
The small geographical size of Hong Kong makes it contain more number of restaurants per unit area.
Hong Kong Chef Visas – Special Rules Apply
As a ‘special category’ occupation, chefs who hold Hong Kong employment visas must expressly notify the Immigration Department when they leave their job and must leave Hong Kong within 2 weeks of the employment termination date.
This rule is imposed by ImmD on chefs due to the ‘high-risk potential for chefs to job hop and the prospect of them taking up unauthorized employment in between employment visa approvals.
In essence, ImmD tends to keep foreign national chefs on somewhat of a short leash!
If the chef wishes to work for a different employer in Hong Kong, he must apply for a whole new entry employment visa – after a formal employment termination notification process has been followed at ImmD within 14 days of the date of employment termination.
In this regard, the chef (or a representative) should bring the following documents to 5/F Immigration Tower, notifying the Immigration Department that he has left his job:
- Copy of the chef’s HKID Card.
- Copy of the chef’s passport bio details page & current visa label.
- A letter to the Immigration Department, signed by the chef, including the information on the (i) termination date of employment, (ii) sponsor name, (iii) chef’s HKID card number & (iv) chef’s name.
- The employment termination letter from the sponsoring employer.
Moreover, people holding Hong Kong chef visas cannot change their employer.
Instead, after completing the employment termination notification process essayed above, they must leave Hong Kong within 14 days of their employment termination date.
Normally, therefore, if a chef wishes to change employer they must:
A – Complete processes (1)-(4) above, then
B – Take the 11 pm ferry to Macau on the 14th day after their employment ceased, then
C – Return to Hong Kong (as a visitor) on the 1 am ferry on the 15th day after their employment ceased, then
D – Make a completely new employment visa application for a Hong Kong chef visa on the 24/F of ImmD Tower (normally processing criteria and application timelines – 4-6 weeks p apply).
It normally takes ImmD 2-3 weeks to internally complete the employment termination formalities so in this regard the chef’s HKID card will still reflect the old limit of stay in the smart chip.
However, formal notification by the chef has been given of the cessation of his employment and the 14 days will have passed so it is vital that the chef does NOT re-enter Hong Kong on his ID card again when he returns from Macau – this will be a breach of his conditions of stay and he will be in Hong Kong unlawfully.
So the chef MUST re-enter on his passport using the Visitor counters.
Needless to say, making a new application for a Hong Kong chef visa subsequently DOES NOT enable the chef to take up the work UNTIL the new visa application has been approved.
The List of Culinary Schools in Hong Kong
- Institute Culinaire Disciples Escoffier, Causeway Bay
- Thei, Chai Wan
- VTC International Culinary Institute, Kowloon
- Chinese Culinary Institute, Hong Kong
- International Culinary Institute, Hong Kong
- Hong Kong Culinary Academy, Kwai Chung
- Hong Kong New Oriental Culinary Training, Hong Kong
- Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (Chai Wan Campus)
- BiteUnite Hong Kong
- Star Chef Management School (ERB)
- Towngas Cooking Centre
- Baking Arts Academy
- CHEFS (Chocolate & Culinary School)
- ABC Cooking Studio – Cityplaza Studio
- Kids’ Cooking Hub
Institute Culinaire Disciples Escoffier, Causeway Bay
This culinary school is located in Hong Kong’s Towngas Cooking Center, the institute has renowned programs that allow students to earn a Diploma in Culinary Arts or a Double Diploma in Pastry Arts.
It is one of the culinary schools in Hong Kong that features stunning spacious kitchens equipped with individual workstations to enable students to have their own space when working.
Combining state-of-the-art facilities with hands-on technique-based training allows new standards for culinary education in Hong Kong.
Guest chefs are often invited from around the world to tutor the students and give them guidance on how they can prepare for their future as chefs.
Discovery workshops are also offered in this culinary school and students get to learn how to make lemon meringe tartlets, acarons, coq au vin, quiche aLorraine,nd ratatouille.
Regardless of the program signed up for, students will learn how to master basic kitchen skills and how to communicate in the kitchen.
Classes take place at 9A, Lee Theatre Plaza, 99 Percival Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Visit their website.
Thei, Chai Wan
This is one of the culinary schools in Hong Kong that was founded in the year 2012 that gives students first-hand experience in the food industry as they learn how to use important kitchen utensils and devices as well as create delicious meals and desserts.
Their Culinary Arts and Management program is credit, therefore students will normally complete over 4 years (in 8 semesters).
Students are required to take 132 credit points with modules and an Industrial Attachment module for work-integrated learning.
To encourage lifelong learning in general, and to provide students with greater flexibility, the program is offered through a credit-based module accumulation system with a multi-entry and multi-exit structure.
Thei’s Bachelor of Arts in Culinary and Management allows students to dive into cooking-themed classes like:
- Catering Management
- Food styling
- Cuisine Culture
- Regional Chinese Culinary Arts
- Menu Development
- Food Supply Chain Management
- Accounting for Management
- Business Ethics & Law
- Food Production Operations
- Human Resources Management
- Marketing Management
- Recipe Development
- Regional Chinese Culinary Arts
- Western Culinary Arts
- General Education Core Module: Technology, Society & Work
- General Education Core Module: Entrepreneurial Mindset
Students can sign up to take one of the school’s numerous electives, like Chinese Tonic Food Business and Food Photography.
A lot of times, students are required to take language courses so they can understand how to properly communicate in Kitchens around the world.
Usually, this degree at this culinary institute lasts for four years and each semester is broken up into different sections to help students from feeling overwhelmed with their studies.
Prices for the classes are $3,032 per credit point. Visit their website to find out more.
VTC International Culinary Institute, Kowloon
The ICI is the latest addition to the Hong Kong Vocational Training Council’s (VTC) Pokfulam campus.
As the first of its kind in Asia, ICI provides world-class culinary training for over 2,000 students covering European, Mediterranean, American, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines.
WSP was appointed by Lead Consultant, Leigh & Orange, as the Building Services consultant of this world-class facility.
Usually, programs offered at this culinary institute include a Higher Diploma in Culinary Arts, a Basic Food Hygiene Certificate, Diploma in Chinese Cuisine, and Certificate, Diploma in Chinese Cuisine, and a Certificate in European Pastry.
Those studying for a degree here will not only acquire knowledge of the world’s cuisines but master basic kitchen skills.
Their facilities span 9 floors that are packed with training kitchens, restaurants, fragrant herb gardens, and a wine cellar.
Their classes can last from a few months to four years. Their tuition also depends on the program you sign up for and can be found on their website.
Chinese Culinary Institute, Hong Kong
The Chinese Culinary Institute (CCI) provides training in Chinese culinary skills and catering management to industry practitioners and those who wish to pursue a career in the industry, enabling them to obtain or upgrade their qualifications.
With a view to strengthening Hong Kong’s reputation as the “Food Capital of the East”, CCI endeavors to create a systematic training system in Chinese cuisine from elementary to the master chef levels to elevate the professional standard and status of Chinese chefs. They offer:
- Higher Diploma Programs
- Diploma Programs
- Certificate Programs
- Part-time programs
Chinese Culinary Institute (CCI) provides both full-time and part-time programs to youngsters and practicing chefs in the industry who wish to obtain or upgrade their qualifications in Chinese Cuisine.
During your training, you will work in the cooking school’s training restaurant and lounge as well as in its four high-tech kitchens and food science laboratory where they can experiment with flavors and textures.
Once a student has graduated, they can then apply to earn the Chinese Culinary Institute’s impressive Certified Cook title. Visit their website.
International Culinary Institute, Hong Kong
The International Culinary Institute (ICI) was established in the year 1982. It is one of the strategic initiatives of the Vocational Training Council (VTC) with the aim of training and developing talent in culinary arts, wine and beverage business management to sustain Hong Kong’s status as Asia’s wine-and-dine destination.
It provides quality and professional programs with state-of-the-art facilities to groom aspiring culinarians to be well-versed in international cuisines, supporting students’ successful career development in the industry.
It also provides youngsters with diversified progression pathways leading to various professional qualifications.
ICI offers a wide range of quality professional culinary programs covering cuisines of Europe, the Mediterranean, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia as well as bakery and confectionery.
It also provides wine and beverage business management programs to groom aspiring youths for career development in the culinary, wine and hospitality industries.
Programs are conducted in training facilities of the International Culinary Institute, VTC Pokfulam Complex, VTC Kowloon Bay Complex and Tin Shui Wai Training Center. Find out more here.
Hong Kong Culinary Academy, Kwai Chung
This is one of the culinary schools in Hong Kong that offers two programs where students can earn a degree.
The Advanced Diploma in Hotel Culinary Management is a three years program geared toward young students who are looking to first enter the industry.
On completion of this program, they can now move to the academy’s Bachelor of Arts in Professional Culinary Arts; a degree that lasts two years and builds on students’ previous knowledge.
Tuition for both these degrees is $18,000 and a few prerequisites are required before being admitted into a program, such as having English proficiency and passing an admission interview.
- Full-Time Courses
- Advanced Diploma in Hotel Culinary Management (2 Years)
- Advanced Diploma in Hotel Culinary Management (3 Years)
- Advanced Diploma in Hotel Culinary Management (2 Years) (Spring, March 2022)
- Bachelor of Arts(Honours) in Culinary Arts (Hospitality Mgt) by University of Derby, UK or in Food Business Management (Top-up) BA (Hons) awarded by University of West London
- Diploma in Culinary Arts (Full-time)(One Semester)
- Diploma in Bakery & Pastry (Full-time)(One Semester)
- Advanced Diploma in Hotel Culinary Management (2 Years)
- Night Time Courses:
- Diploma in Hotel Culinary Arts
- Food and Beverage Business Start-up
- Diploma in Hotel Culinary Arts
- Daytime Short Courses:
- Weekend Certificate in European Cuisine
- Sunday Diploma in Culinary Arts
- Diploma in Patisserie
- High Diploma in Professional Bakery & Pastry
- Weekend Certificate in European Cuisine
- Professional Interest / Short Courses:
- General Cookery
- Wines / Cocktails
- Seasonal Courses
- General Cookery
- Summer Interest/Diploma Course
- Distancing Learning:
- Advanced Diploma in Hotel Culinary Management (Distance Learning)
Visit their website to find out more.
Hong Kong New Oriental Culinary Training, Hong Kong
This is also one of the culinary schools in Hong Kong that offers a large number of classes.
Their OpenFire International Cuisine Course gives you the opportunity to learn how to make dishes from around the world, like baked duroc pork chops with fried rice and braised morel mushrooms.
There is also a West Point Baking Course that will teach those who are interested in the pastry arts how to make sweets like Japanese cheesecake, matcha cake, and pound cake.
They also have a handful of themed courses that focus on certain topics, like coffee brewing and how to make dumplings.
The classes are held in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English and last about two hours. Prices vary depending on the course taken. Visit their website.
Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (Chai Wan Campus)
This program aims to develop students into a new generation of catering management professionals to serve the manpower demands of the hospitality and catering industry locally and regionally.
The program integrates culinary arts with professional management knowledge and skills. It encourages creativity and curiosity to develop intellectual critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
Students immerse in Chinese and Western culinary practices interspersed with food science and culinary-related design underpinned by a business management framework.
This program is included in the Government’s Study Subsidy Scheme for Designated Professions/Sectors in the 2021/22 academic year to fulfill the industry’s demand for professionals. They are located at 133 Shing Tai Rd, Chai Wan, Hong Kong. Get more details here.
BiteUnite Hong Kong
Here you can discover Pasta Recipes To Make At Home For All Occasions. BiteUnite is a shared commercial kitchen and event space for food entrepreneurs and chefs. Check out cooking classes from our chef communities in Hong Kong. It is located in Wan Chai. Check out their classes.
Star Chef Management School (ERB)
The Star Chef Management School organizes various catering skills-related courses with the goal of:
- Provide professional and practical technical teaching for those who intend to join the catering industry;
- Deepen the technical level of current practitioners and prepare them for more senior positions or career changes in the future;
- Set up various service platforms to benefit all sectors of society;
- During the course, instill the correct concept of catering industry operation.
Visit their website to find more information.
Towngas Cooking Centre
Towngas Kitchen is equipped with Mia Cucina kitchen cabinet with adjustable heights so that adults and young kids can cook together with the built-in hobs with ease.
To make the best use of this inspiring new facility, they are providing a series of Parent & Kid cooking classes, such as “lunchbox in lovely looks”, and cupcake classes, to name a few.
By cooking together, parents can foster the habit of flame cooking in their kids and, more importantly, this is a golden opportunity to enhance the parent-child relationship!
They have also invited Ms. Mary Cheung, Chairlady of the Professional Image & International Etiquette Institute to co-run the “Mary Cheung Manners & Etiquette Workshop” with them to teach the children cooking skills as well as table manners and etiquette! Check out their classes.
Baking Arts Academy
Here, Instructor Ivy spent 11 years pursuing her finance dream in Private and Investment Banks after she graduated from Toronto, Canada.
She then shifted her career goal and polishes her baking skills in France, Japan, US, Thailand and Taiwan etc.
She was extremely thankful that she was a senior instructor and recipe creator/developer for a leading Japanese culinary school for the past six years, Ivy just simply loves to share baking skills with everyone who loves food and pass on the love to others through food. Baking Arts Academy is located at 902 Cochrane Street, 10-16, Hong Kong Island, HK. Visit their website for more.
CHEFS (Chocolate & Culinary School)
CHEFS is professional chocolate and culinary school that provides courses on chocolate, desserts, and cakes. They are located at 12/F, 28 Hung To Road, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
ABC Cooking Studio – Cityplaza Studio
Cooking with your own hands is a fun and fulfilling experience for all human beings, whether you are having a quick meal by yourself or a full meal with friends and family.
ABC Cooking Studio offers cooking, bread, cake, washoku and wagashi lessons for all ages, gender, and skill levels that allow you to experience the joys of cooking in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere.
They aim to bring happiness to dining tables with smiles all over the world.
Classes are conducted in small groups (max 4 students to 1 teacher), ensuring there is maximum support provided to all students.
Lessons are held multiple times a day (including Bread, Cake, Cooking, Wagashi and Kids). Check out their courses.
Kids’ Cooking Hub
Kids’ Cooking Hub provides children with culinary knowledge and practical skills in the kitchen in order to prepare them for independent living in the future.
It is their belief that other essential skills will radiate from this lifelong activity, cooking.
Their chef together with the passionate and supportive team strives to educate, inspire and nurture young chefs in a safe environment.
- Address: Unit 607 · Welland Bldg · 368 Queen’s Road Central · Sheung Wan · HK
- Phone: +852 5548 0180
- Email: [email protected]