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Train in French Cuisine: How to Choose a French Culinary School

French cooking classes train students in traditional culinary techniques which originated in France but now are staples of Western cooking. Some schools offer total immersion programs while others take a gradual, step-by-step approach to chef training.

Aspiring chefs may choose from single French cooking classes, certificate, pre-professional career training, or associate's degree programs. While some schools may not have explicit French cuisine programs, many other forms of general culinary education include French techniques and practices within their curriculum. Schools offering training in French cuisine include community colleges and international culinary institutes.

Schools With Culinary Arts Programs

These nine schools offer culinary arts programs, many of which include courses specifically in french cuisine:

College/University Location Institution Type Programs Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
Central New Mexico Community College Albuquerque, NM 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,448 for in-state, $6,704 for out-of-state
Central Oregon Community College Bend, OR 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $4,599 for in-state, $9,135 for out-of-state
Delaware Technical Community College-Stanton/Wilmington Dover, DE 2-year, Public Diploma, Certificate, Associate's $3,632 for in-state, $8,522 for out-of-state
Fayetteville Technical Community College Fayetteville, NC 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,394 for in-state, $8,538 for out-of-state
Grand Rapids Community College Grand Rapids, MI 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $6,027 for in-state, $8,715 for out-of-state
Horry-Georgetown Technical College Conway, SC 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $4,902 for in-state, $6,918 for out-of-state
Mohave Community College Kingman, AZ 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,112 for in-state, $6,972 for out-of-state
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Fennimore, WI 2-year, Public Associate's $4,164 for in-state, $6,114 for out-of-state
Scottsdale Community College Scottsdale, AZ 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,046 for in-state, $7,830 for out-of-state

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Some considerations for students looking to pursue a French culinary education include:

  • Some schools offer concentrations in specific areas of French culinary arts, such as cooking, pastry, and bread baking.
  • Another concern for some students may be whether schools focus on traditional techniques or if courses are evolving to keep up with cutting-edge culinary styles.
  • Potential students may want to look for culinary schools that are accredited by an independent body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Aspiring French chefs may want to evaluate the facilities at each potential school and the track-record of past student internship and job placement.

Culinary Arts Certificate and Career Programs

These pre-professional programs range in length from 30 weeks to nine months. Some schools offer transferable academic credits to associate degree programs. Students may enter the workforce as chefs upon completion. Common courses include food safety, gastronomy, and fundamental techniques of French cooking.

Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts

These 1-2-year academic programs combine classroom instruction with demonstrations and hands-on practice in the kitchen. Students may go on to work as chefs, food writers, consultants, or in the hospitality industry. Individuals often take classes in food and wine pairing, French classic cuisine, cooking theory, Mediterranean cooking, and advanced culinary techniques.

Students looking to become skilled chefs in French-style cuisine can pursue education from many different schools around the country. These programs can include single classes, certificates, diplomas, and associate's degrees and can qualify graduates for work in and out of the kitchen upon completion.


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