15 Best Culinary Schools in France & their websites

culinary schools in paris
culinary schools in paris

In the various culinary schools in France, so many cooking techniques are taught-not just the French cuisine.

French cuisine consists of the various cooking traditions and practices from France.

It has developed throughout the centuries and is influenced by the many surrounding cultures of its neighbouring countries.

French cuisine is renowned both for its finesse and simplicity. In this article, we will be discussing a lot of things and I will advise you to be patient enough to pick every detail before we list the top culinary schools in France.

What is French cuisine?

French cuisine consists of traditional meals and methods of cooking that is unique to France.

French cuisine is unique because it has signature ingredients used across the country as well as meals that have become synonymous with the gastronomy of France, like coq au vin and ratatouille.

Furthermore, many French techniques are now an indispensable and naturally understood way of cooking.

You don’t need to live near a bistro in Paris to enjoy French cooking.

With a little practice, any home cook can utilize French cooking methods.

Now since you are interested in the culinary schools in France, it will be a good idea to talk about the different french cooking techniques that you will likely come across.

Cooking in France: the French cooking techniques

There are a lot of french cooking techniques but we will be discussing just a few of them. The first is the mise en place.

Mise en place

There is nothing more integral to classic French cooking than the concept of mise en place, or “everything in its place”

Mise en place refers to the organizational preparation and set-up of a kitchen prior to cooking: spices close at hand, ingredients well cut and portioned, and necessary tools for the entire process ahead within easy reach.

Knife cuts:

Most basic french recipes require specific knife work.

Sautéing:

Sautéing is the french word for jump and it is a cooking method where ingredients such as vegetables are quickly pan-fried over medium to high heat.

Braising:

Braising is a cooking method where food is cooked on low heat in a covered pot to unlock flavour. 

Others

Other french cooking techniques to look out for while in any of those culinary schools in France include Poaching, Confit, Broiling, En papillote, Flambéing etc.

The list of culinary schools in France

This list of culinary schools in France is not arranged in order, they are simply the top culinary schools in France that can give you the training you desire.

The list comprises of both French culinary schools in France and English speaking culinary schools in France.

  • Le Cordon Bleu
  • La Cuisine Paris
  • École Lenôtre
  • Gastronomicom
  • Le Gargantua cooking School
  • ChefsSquare (formerly L’Atelier des Sens)
  • La source Food School
  • Farrandi Paris
  • École de Cuisine Alain Ducasse
  • Les Coulisses du Chef
  • Atelier Guy Martin
  • At Home with Patricia Wells
  • Ritz-Escoffier Cookery School 
  • Alain Cirelli
  • Chef Martial

Now, let’s review some of these culinary schools in France.

Le Cordon Bleu

Every year, this is one of the culinary schools in France that welcomes over 1000 students every year and has been awarded the title of the World’s best culinary training institution by the World Culinary Awards.

For over 125 years Le Cordon Bleu network, which encompasses 35 institutes in 20 countries, has been a pioneer in training for the restaurant, hospitality, and tourism industries.

Every year, the network trains 20 000 students around the globe.  They offer the following programs:

  • Cuisine
  • Pastry & Confectionery
  • Bakery, Danish Pastries & Artisan Breads
  • Hospitality Management & Gastronomy
  • Wine & Spirits
  • Cuisines of the world
  • Gastronomy & Nutrition
  • Culinary Arts & Business
  • Gourmet & Short Courses etc

Visit Website

La Cuisine Paris

This is one of the culinary schools in Paris that offers a variety of cooking classes in English.

They offer so many French cuisine classes, traditional French pastry classes, Macaron classes, traditional French pastry classes, technical skill classes and French cheese workshops.

Each class in this culinary school has a different format and they have numerous online resources for those who want an online class. There are:

  • Paris Cooking Classes
  • Paris Baking & Patisserie Classes
  • Paris Food Walking Tours

Visit Website

École Lenôtre

As the inventor of modern-day pastry-making, Gaston Lenôtre was a creative, bold chef with a vision.

Chef Lenôtre was “born wearing a chef’s toque”. Through his premium selection of ingredients, rigorous skill and technical precision, Gaston Lenôtre always pursued excellence driven by a love for great tastes and pleasure.

Sharing his superior skill and know-how with fellow chefs led him to create the leading French culinary school in 1971.

As a result of overwhelming success Ecole Lenôtre quickly opened to professionals worldwide looking to develop their own culinary methods and learn famous Maison Lenôtre recipes.

Imparting knowledge is a Gaston Lenôtre legacy and forms part of the brand’s founding values.

With deep respect, succeeding generations of chefs share a common aspiration to uphold, promote and pass on the Lenôtre craftsmen skill.

Certification courses in cooking and pastry-making, an advanced training course in bakery and advanced workshops for professionals looking to broaden their skills

and tailored support to create value and ensure long-term food service projects: the Ecole Lenôtre, a professional culinary arts school, offers its instruction and values to further your goals.

They boast of the following:

  • A school on a human scale
  • Maximum of 12 participants per course
  • Rooms equipped with professional equipment
  • Carefully selected raw materials
  • Experienced and educational trainers

Visit Website

Gastronomicom

Gastronomicom is an international culinary school founded in 2004.

Their campus hosts students from all over the world and offers cooking and pastry classes and also French lessons in a charming town in the south of France.

Their programs are intended for both professionals and beginners who want to improve their skills in French cooking or pastry.

Their highly experienced chefs/teachers provide hands-on classes to a one Michelin Star level.

All of their cooking and pastry courses are conducted in English.

Gastronomicom provides lodging in the beautiful Odalys Resort near the beach, just 10 minutes from the school by bus.

A superb swimming pool is at your disposal from the end of April to the end of October.

Visit Website

Le Gargantua cooking School

They offer the only cooking courses where you make every single dish from scratch.

No Demonstration watching.

Just hands-on preparing pastries, desserts, de-boning meat & poultry, filleting fish, sauce making, vegetable and sides prepping and the final cooking/baking and plating of every single one of your dishes.

They also cover all kinds of traditional dishes and techniques on their cooking courses, from bread to pâtés, mousses, quiches, stews and sauces.

You can also choose to learn to make classic pastry like eclairs, macarons, millefeuilles or croissants, on our patisserie courses, and they even offer to show you the ropes on how to prepare foie gras, confit and rillettes on our fat duck course.

Visit Website

ChefsSquare (formerly L’Atelier des Sens)

This school is for you if you are looking for French cooking and pastry classes in Lyon (in French and in English).

Since 2004, their chefs share with their students their culinary savoir-faire.

Join them for their cooking classes in English (12 participants maximum) so that everyone can get hands-on how to make from scratch a variety of French recipes.

La source Food School

This is one of the culinary schools in France where you can learn at your own pace. You can choose between online training and practical internships depending on the maturity of your project.

Visit Website

Farrandi Paris

Recognised for its level of excellence in all places and at all times, the school offers training courses (link to training) focused on:

  • Mastering the fundamentals 
  • The ability to innovate
  • Acquiring managerial and entrepreneurial skills
  • Practice in real life situations.

More than a school, FERRANDI Paris is a space of discoveryinspiration and exchange that blends cuisine, management, art, science, technology and innovation.

It unites the greatest names in the sector around the challenges of renewal in the hospitality industry and culinary creativity.

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École de Cuisine Alain Ducasse

The Alain Ducasse Cooking School is a contemporary space of 500 m² located rue du Ranelagh in the heart of the 16th arrondissement of Paris and opens its doors to you like a house. 

Thought as a real place of life, each room has been imagined so that everyone feels at home. 

The School combines elegant and warm common areas with kitchens, real concentrates of efficiency and conviviality. 

It is made up of 4 kitchen-workshops equipped by Miele and Perene, a wine cellar, a meeting room, a free access shop, all built around a patio which offers natural light. unique.

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Les Coulisses du Chef

This is one of the culinary schools in France that propose to support their students or your employees by offering them training tailored to suit their needs and which will be immediately applicable.

For companies, they can come to your premises or they are at your disposal via their Paris-exchange workshop.

Their team of professionals uses its expertise, experience and educational tools to help you realize your projects.

They will assist you and train you with skilled and recognized people in their field of intervention experience.

With a registration number, their training company is authorized to provide professional culinary training that can be supported by the organism called “DIF Fongecif”.

Visit Website

Ritz-Escoffier Cookery School 

At the Ritz Paris, a school lives in the heart of their kitchens.

Their Ecole is unique in the world, a place where French know-how is taught to aspiring professionals until they achieve excellence and to culinary enthusiasts, novices, experienced Chefs, or budding young cooks.

All their classes are conducted in French and consecutively translated into English.

Their classes and tastings can accommodate up to 40 people and can be adapted to any request.

Visit Website

Culinary schools in Paris

  • École de Cuisine Alain Ducasse
  • Le Cordon Bleu
  • École Lenôtre
  • La Cuisine Paris
  • Les Coulisses du Chef
  • At Home with Patricia Wells
  • Ritz-Escoffier Cookery School 
  • Chef Martial
  • ChefsSquare (formerly L’Atelier des Sens)
  • Alain Cirelli
  • Chef Guy Martin

Culinary schools in France for international students

There are affordable culinary schools in France for international students. However, as an international student, you likely need a visa to be able to attend the culinary schools in France.

NO VISA is required If you are a citizen of the EU, EEE or Switzerland, regardless of the length of the program you choose at Gastronomicom.

The Short Stay Visa type”C”(less than 90 days)

If you are not a citizen of the EU, EEE or Switzerland, depending on your nationality, you may need to obtain a visa to study in France even if your stay is less than 3 months. 

Note that nationals from certain non-European countries are not required to have a visa if their stay does not exceed 90 days in 6 months, for example:

Australia
Brazil
Canada
Hong Kong
Japan
Mexico
Taiwan
USA…

For more information on this, refer to campusfrance.org

The long-stay student visa type “D” (more than 90 days)

If you are not a citizen of the EU, EEE or Switzerland, you must request a student long-stay visa to study and do an internship in France for more than 3 months.

This visa allows you to remain in France for one year without needing to request a residency permit.

You will still have to have your visa approved on arrival. Make sure to apply for a long LONG STAY STUDENT VISA type “D”. Visit  www.campusfrance.org/en for more details.

Category 1:

If you are from the following countries, you don’t need a visa to study in any of the culinary schools in France:

Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
Czech Republic
Croatia
Cyprus
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Swiss
United Kingdom

Category 2:

If you are from the following countries, you do not need a visa for your short stay but will need a visa if you plan to spend more than 90 days during your time of study.

Albania
Andorra
Antigua
Argentina
Australia
Bahamas
Barbados
Barbuda
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazil
Brunei Darussalam
Canada
Chile
Colombia
Costa Rica
Croatia
El Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras
Hong Kong
Israel
Japan
Macau
Malaysia
Mauritius
Mexico
Monaco
Montenegro
Nicaragua
New Zealand
Panama
Paraguay
South Korea
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint-Martin
Saint Siège
Serbia
Seychelles
Seychelles
Singapore
Taiwan
Uruguay
USA
Venezuela

Category 3:

All other countries that are not under category 1 and category 2 will require a visa either for a stay less than or more than 90 days.

How to move to France as an international student

After the payment of the enrolment fees + 40% of the tuition fees to any of the schools you have chosen.

Such school is meant to provide you with some letters necessary to apply for a student visa at the French Embassy.

First, you will have to register with Campus France, completing the first interview for the Embassy or Consulate.

This procedure takes around 2 months.

They will likely check your level of English comprehension (because lessons might be conducted in English in any of the culinary schools in France you choose).

They will check your goal, why you want to come to France to study and your financial option for staying in France.

If all this is ok, your visa should be approved without issue. A strong interest in gastronomy is important for them.

Your application must include all required documents.

The documentation requirements often vary from one country to another; there is no predefined international list.

You can usually download the list from the embassy or consulate website.

You will also be required to pay for the administration costs in some cases.

It is important to note that a file with missing documents will be systematically rejected, so remember to provide all the requested documentation.

For long-term visas, waiting times vary from one country to another.

It is therefore essential to make the application at least 2 months before the departure date to anticipate delays and other problems you may encounter.

Once your application is accepted, a sticker will be placed in your passport to prove possession of a visa.

In case of refusal, you can challenge the decision (refusal of visa) to the Board of appeal, but you must also present a new visa application: 

Commission des Recours contre les décisions de Refus de visa BP 83609 44036 Nantes Cedex 01

Within 3 months of your arrival in France, you must validate your long-stay visa (student visa). 


The process is now completely online. To start the validation procedure for your visa, go to the following website: https://administration-etrangers-en-france.interieur.gouv.fr/particuliers/#/

Culinary Schools in France FAQs

What is the best cooking school in France?

Le Cordon Bleu, which in French means ‘The Blue Ribbon’, is arguably the most prominent French culinary school of all.

Founded in 1895, this world-famous Paris-based institution has grown to become an international chain of hospitality and culinary schools teaching French cuisine.

How long are culinary schools in France?

Most culinary schools in France take 14 to 18 months for their programs to be completed. However, it can take a lesser time or go beyond 18 months. It all depends on the program you choose and what school you are attending.

These programmes, of 14 to 18 months, focus on the apprenticeship of culinary techniques with practical experiences in the professional world.

How do I become a cook in France?

Becoming a chef in France requires some level of hard work, several years of cooking experience and enough dedication.

While most people think you can become a chef even without attending any of the culinary schools in France, these culinary schools can help attain a professional level faster.

Is it hard to get into Le Cordon Bleu?

Getting into Le Cordon Bleu is not hard. Their acceptance rate is quite high.

All students who meet their eligibility requirements are usually accepted.

Why do chefs wear white?

Chefs wear white because white is the most noticeable colour. A quick change in colour can be easily noticed and that reduces the risk of health hazards such as contamination and allergens.

Also, white is reflective and repelling, thereby repelling heat properly instead of absorbing it.

Do chefs get paid well? And how much do chefs make in France?

The average pay for a Kitchen Chef is €38,920 a year and €19 an hour in France. The average salary range for a Kitchen Chef is between €28,412 and €47,644.

On average, a High School Degree is the highest level of education for a Kitchen Chef.

This compensation analysis is based on salary survey data collected directly from employers and anonymous employees in France.

How do I become a chef without culinary school?

it is very easy. If you want to become a chef without having to attend any of the culinary schools in France, joining an apprenticeship at a local restaurant or kitchen is a great way to gain practical experience.

An apprenticeship could give you real-world knowledge and also help you decide which specialties or areas are right for you.

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