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Professional Cooking Schools Outside the United States

by Nancy Freeman


Stratford Chefs School
68 Nile Street
Stratford, Ontario N5A, 4C5
(519) 271-5679

The city of Stratford, Ontario has produced some of Canada's outstanding chefs along with that country's finest interpretations of Shakespeare. One hundred percent of Stratford Chefs School graduates find jobs. This non-profit school is based on an apprenticeship model and its tuition is quite reasonable for Canadian citizens. For non-citizens, it is competitive with US schools like the CIA and CCA. A small school with just 65 students at any one time, Stratford might be just the ticket for students who prefer an intimate setting.


Le Cordon Bleu
(see listing under France)

Leith's School of Food and Wine, Ltd.
21, St. Alban's Grove
London W8 5BP
0171 229 0177
Fax 0171 937 5257

Founded in 1975 in connection with Leith's Good Food Catering and Leith's Restaurant, Leith's School of Food and Wine offers a diploma available in two or three 10-week terms and an advanced wine certificate. Beginning, intermediate and advanced certificates are offered for those interested in culinary careers and all cover food, wine, baking and pastry at the appropriate level. Those who already have sufficient skills are allowed to skip the beginning classes. Also available are a 10-session class on opening a restaurant and a basic certificate in practical cookery available twice a year, either full-time for four weeks in September or part-time for eight weeks in spring.


Le Cordon Bleu
Paris - London - Tokyo
US Information Office (800) 457-CHEF

Founded 100 years ago in Paris, the venerable Cordon Bleu literally defined the method of teaching classic French cuisine and it continues the mix of demonstration and hands-on practice today. The London school opened 30 years later. Today the two campuses, together with the new one in Tokyo, teach professionals and amateurs from over 50 countries. The "classic cycle" involves beginning, intermediate and superior courses, each 10 weeks long, in cuisine and pastry. At the end of each course, students receive a certificate. Upon completion of all three they earn the Diplome de Cuisine or the Diplome de Patisserie. Courses are scheduled so that cuisine and pastry classes can be taken simultaneously. Completion of all six leads to the Grand Diplome Le Cordon Bleu. All instruction is in French.

Ritz-Escoffier Ecole de Gastronomie Francaise
15 Place Vendome
75041 Paris Cedex 01
(800) 966-5758
Fax (+33) 43 16 31 50

Study French cooking in the historic Ritz Hotel across the hall from the kitchen once ruled by Auguste Escoffier himself. Ritz-Escoffier offers an assortment of week-long certificate and longer diploma courses. The six-week Cesar Ritz Diploma Course is a prerequisite to the 12-week Ritz-Escoffier Diploma Course. Also available is a six-week diploma pastry course along with one-week sessions in seasonal, holiday and French regional classes. Classes are taught in French with translation into English.

The Walnut Grove Cookery School
Livré la Touche
Mayenne, France
Ph/fax +33 (0)2 43 98 50 02
Founded in 2002 the Walnut Grove offers 5-day cookery courses teaching modern gourmet cusine in a relaxed holiday atmosphere. Each day has both demonstrations and hands-on tuition, with 2 afternoon excursions to local food related places of interest. With a maximum of eight guests to two chefs these courses offer exceptional value for money. There is an intermediate and an advanced course, covering starters, main courses and desserts, and each night you enjoy a six-course gourmet meal which you have learnt to prepare. For full details please visit www.walnutgrovecookery.com.

Hong Kong

Chopsticks Cooking Centre
8A Soares Avenue, Ground Floor
Kowloon, Hong Kong
(852) 2336-8433
Fax (852) 2338-1462
Email:  chopsticks1971@netvigator.com
Founded in 1971 by Cecilia Au-Yang to train caterers in the art of Chinese cooking, Chopsticks now offers classes that last one, four, eight and 13 weeks as well as a 17-week teacher training course. Subject matter covers all sorts of dishes including roasts, dim sums, breads and cakes. Tourists are allowed to drop in and join a half day class at the school.              


Le Cordon Bleu
(see France)

Nancy Freeman is a San Francisco-based freelance writer whose food stories have appeared in the San Francisco Magazine, The Contra Costa Times, Filipinas and Morsels, a publication of the American Institute of Wine and Food.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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