Top 10 Best Culinary Schools in Europe 2023

Filed in Articles by on November 30, 2022 0 Comments

Do you want to start a career in the food industry or just want to take some cooking classes to perfect your cooking skills? Acquiring the best culinary education can help you get to your desired professional level a lot easier. In this article, we’ve rounded up the list of the top 10 best culinary schools in Europe 2023.

Culinary Schools in Europe

While there are many successful chefs that have attained success and fame without attending the best culinary schools, well-respected culinary schools can help you learn the skills, knowledge, artistry, and techniques that you need to rank high in the field.

10 Best Culinary Schools in Europe

1. Gastronomicom International Culinary Academy, Agde, France

Sitting on the coast in the south of France, one hour from Montpellier, is the beautiful resort town of Agde, home to the Gastronomicom International Culinary Academy.

Established in 2004, the school now hosts international students for courses in French cooking, pastry, and the French language. All courses are conducted in English.

The campus, with two 110m2 fully equipped professional kitchens and a classroom for learning French, provides the opportunity to learn gastronomic French cooking and patisserie to a 1 Michelin Star Level in fantastic conditions.

Another exciting feature that the school offers, which is unique among Europe’s top culinary schools, is the option to live in a beautiful seaside resort located just 10 minutes from the school.

The school offers a range of courses for professionals and beginners lasting from 1 month to a year and ending with certificates and diplomas in cooking, pastry, and the French language awarded by French government ministries.

The school offers paid internships at fine dining restaurants in France such as Relais-Chateaux and other prestigious establishments referenced in the French Michelin Guide.

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2. University College of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts of Sant Pol de Mar

Ranked first in Spain and in the top 30 worldwide in Hospitality and Leisure Management by World University Rankings, and sitting on the southern Spanish coast 50km from Barcelona, this University has much to offer students embarking on a career in food.

The school boasts a pioneer university model. It has a training hotel on premises and a learning methodology in which students gain experience working with real customers from their first day, providing students with a professional profile tailor-made for the industry.

As well as Hospitality Management and Events and Restaurant Service, this school offers a Bachelor degree, Masters, Diplomas and speciality courses in Gastronomy and Culinary Arts, some in taught in Spanish, some in English.

Students come here from more than 40 countries and the teaching staff includes doctors, professors and serving professionals.

Famous alumni include Xavier Pellicer, Benito Gómez, Ramon Freixa, and Jose Carlos Fuentes, among many other accomplished chefs.

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3. Ferrandi Paris: The French School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management, Paris, France

With three campuses in Paris, one right in the center, and another in the sumptuously beautiful wine region of Bordeaux, Ferrandi Paris offers the opportunity to take in the French lifestyle and culture while learning French cuisine.

The school is renowned for its high quality, prestigious teaching. Its philosophy is hard work and high standards are the only ways to achieve excellence. It expects mastery of each technique, provides practice in real-life situations, and encourages acquisition of managerial skills, and creativity. With a distinct entrepreneurial spirit and close links to the industry, the school trains students from France and 30 different countries, making it vibrantly international.

Its 100 years of history feeds into the unique range of courses it offers in both vocational (CAP Post-BAC) and a Bachelor’s in Culinary Arts and Entrepreneurship. This program teaches students to master excellent culinary techniques and develop managerial and entrepreneurial skills.

The Bachelor’s is taught at the Bordeaux campus, where students benefit from the expert knowledge in wines and spirits from the Worldsdom and IPC Wines & Spirits programs. With classes of between 12 to 14 students, 35 kitchens and four training restaurants, learning conditions are excellent.

Famous alumni include Chef Arnaud Donkele, voted as the Best Chef in the World in 2019, Chef Mathieu Viannay, winner of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France award, Nina Metayer, Pastry Chef of the Year in 2016 & 2017, or Carolina Bazan, Latin’s America Best Female Chef in 2019.

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4. Paul Bocuse Institute, Lyon, France

This leading international school prides itself on being modern, innovative, and working to the highest standards of excellence. It is one of an elite group of internationally-renowned higher education institutions, offering courses in hospitality, food service, and culinary arts management.

With a clear leadership, management, entrepreneurial focus gained through practical experience, the school empowers students with the skills they will need to face the challenges of tomorrow while encouraging them to develop their own creative identity.

The school offers a 3-year undergraduate bachelor’s degree, 4-year bachelor’s with honors degrees, and 5-year master’s degrees. And with a range of 30 different award-winning courses to choose from, students can shape their own unique learning experience.

A full 50% of the bachelor course are spent gaining professional practical experience at the school’s own restaurants and 5-star hotel, where students get to test their skills out in real-world situations and with demanding clientele.

With its very own Center for Food and Hospitality Research, the Institute keeps its eye on food management practices and the relationship between humanity and food in the changing and demanding challenges of our modern world. And with a new campus opening in 2022, the Institute is clearly going for growth.

Famous alumni include Korean Chef Lee Young-hoon, the first Korean chef to win a Michelin star in France, Chef Prakash Seetul, Executive Chef at the St. Regis in Doha, Qatar, or Chef Olivier Barre, Executive Chef at the Four Seasons, Seychelles.

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5. College of Food and Hospitality Management: University College Birmingham, UK

This is a school with a long history, reaching back to the 1800’s Victorian era. Today it is renowned for its professional standard kitchens, award-winning training restaurants, and state-of-the-art food development facilities.

The facilities are good enough to host an array of prestigious chef competitions and culinary contests, including Michel Roux Jr‘s annual scholarship contest, the British Culinary Federation’s Chef of the Year finals and Team England’s training for the Bocuse d’Or.

The school offers innovative apprenticeships, industry-led college courses, and degrees accredited by the University of Birmingham. With a strong practical focus, the school offers practical training at Michelin-starred restaurants and at companies like Mars working on product development, and hands-on experience in the campus restaurants.

And all that experience can be put to the test through a range of industry competitions – Nestle Professional Toque d’Or, Zest Quest Asia, BCF Young Chef of the Year, and others. Taught by award-winning staff and opportunities to participate in masterclasses by celebrated chefs and food industry experts.

The school offers a solid, professional start for those who want to be executive head chef at a 5-star hotel, manage a high-profile restaurant kitchen, or create new products as a development chef.

Successful alumni include Chef Brad Carter, chef owner of Carters of Moseley, a one Michelin-starred restaurant in Birmingham, Leo Kattou, Head Chef at the one Michelin-starred Simpsons Restaurant, or Claire Hutchings, winner of UK’s Masterchef Professional TV show.

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6. Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, France

One of the most famous cooking schools teaching the most famous cuisine, Le Cordon Bleu now has 20 locations worldwide where it teaches the techniques of French cooking, four of them in Europe: Paris, the world capital of gastronomy, fashion and luxury, guaranteeing an unforgettable cultural experience; London, the financial capital of the world with a rich variety of international cuisines and lifestyles; Madrid, a gastronomic center of Spain where traditional mingles with sophisticated avant-garde; and Istanbul, where Europe meets Asia and the two cuisines meet and mingle.

The school’s programs include a range of diplomas in Culinary Arts and Management, short courses for the beginner and the curious, and professional training for those taking their career one step higher.

Each of the four European schools offers Le Grand Diploma, the Diploma in Pastry, and the Diploma in Culinary Arts. Le Grand Diploma is an intensive program in classic French culinary techniques that combines both the Pastry and Culinary Arts Diplomas.

The Diploma in Cuisine covers basic to advanced techniques that apply to any type of cuisine and the Pastry Diploma opens up the world of Patisserie and the craft of pastry and confectionary making and decorating.

The Paris and London campuses offer a full range of courses, including management, wines, and nutrition, and in London you can study for a Diploma in Plant-based Culinary Arts. The Madrid and Istanbul campuses offer the main Diplomas, with Madrid also offering their exclusive Diploma in Spanish Cuisine.

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7. Culinary Arts Academy, Le Bouveret, Switzerland

If you like the idea of studying on the Lake Geneva shoreline and taking your meals on a balcony overlooking the water, this is the school to choose. With two campuses, Le Bouveret on Lake Geneva and Lucerne in that city’s center, it provides ideal locations.

But it’s not just the scenery that appeals. Culinary Arts Switzerland last year became the first Swiss culinary school to be awarded the coveted Recognition of Quality Culinary Education mark, a renowned international endorsement from the prestigious World Association of Chefs’ Societies and is the only culinary school in the QS World University Rankings, which befits a school with such an impeccable, world class reputation.

Thanks to numerous partnerships with the likes of Ritz Paris, the Ritz Escoffier, and Cesar Ritz School, students benefit from a very rich expertise and exceptional internship opportunities in some of the most renowned institutions in the world.

And with input and guidance from top chefs, including Chef Anton Mosimann (OBE) and the first Swiss female chef to be awarded a Michelin star, Irma Dütsch, both friends of Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland, students can expect first-class training to set them up for a life in food.

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8. Apicius, Florence, Italy

Founded in 1997, Apicius International School of Hospitality is now a thriving center of cuisine, wine, and hospitality – a respected leader in academic, professional, and career oriented education.

Set in the beautiful Italian city of Florence, the school has state-of-the art facilities including the Ganzo, Sorgiva, and Dimora learning labs that link students with the local community for experience in hospitality, catering, and management. It also has its very own pastry shop, Fedora, that showcases student work.

The School of Food and Wine Studies offers a full range of courses and two four-year bachelor’s degrees, one Hospitality Management and the other Food and Wine Studies. Being “The Amerian University in Florence”, students also have the opportunity to transfer their coursework to a US bachelor’s degree program. Their Certificate Career Programs, one or two years, are unique for their combination of in-classroom experiential learning and practice in the field within the dynamic local community.

The streamlined program features four areas of study with a common core for the first year. For the second year, each area of study offers a choice of four specialization areas. Options are available for direct access to second year specializations.

Successful alumni include Melissa Miranda, Chef and owner of the popular Seattle restaurant Musang, Sean Walklin, Assistant Professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, or Maximilian Zedelmaier, Chef and Culinary Instructor with Electrolux Professional.

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9. Basque Culinary Center, Spain

On a Spanish hillside near the coastal resort of Donostia-San Sebastian, in the city that host some of the most famous Michelin-starred restaurants in the world – stands the Basque Culinary Center.

A location to die for and yet here you can learn at a pioneering academic institution committed to research, innovation, and the promotion of gastronomy and nutrition.

Attached to Mondragon University, this relatively new establishment, created in 2011, promotes gastronomy as a lever of social-economic development through the Faculty of Gastronomic Sciences and its Center for Research and Innovation, a unique project in Europe.

The school is housed in an award-winning building surrounded by the Spanish hills and equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for effective and practical learning. It includes an Experimental Workshop where students design their own gastronomic project incorporating the three key areas: kitchen, front of house, and management.

The school offers a Bachelor’s Degree in Gastronomy and Culinary Arts and a range of Master’s degrees. All training is based on 5 pillars: culinary studies, service and front of house, business management, culture, and applied sciences.

Successful alumni include Chef Safe Cruz, Head Chef at the one Michelin starred Gofio, Maria Gomez, who won a Michelin star and two Repsols with Magoga, or Carolina Sanchez and Iñaki Murua, who head the one-starred Ikaro restaurant.

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10. Ecole de Cuisine Alain Ducasse, Paris, France

On the edge of Meudon Forest and just 10 km from the centre of Paris, stands the brand new, purpose-built flagship campus of École Ducasse. Set to open in autumn (2020), this 5,000 square meters of cooking school is set to become a global standard in culinary and pastry arts training.

In 2019, the school partnered with Sommet Education, a Swiss education group specializing in hospitality management, and rebranded as École Ducasse with the signature “Master more than cooking”.

The new campus offers a range of courses from basics to specialist. The 3-year Bachelor programs in Culinary and Pastry Arts involves practical, managerial, and entrepreneurial skills – more than cooking. Other programs are the “Essential” intensive short courses of two months; diploma programs of two, four and six months for the passionate and the career changer; and signature programs providing those all-important English skills for young professionals.

The school places importance on practical, hands-on training programs, offering career-changers and food enthusiasts the experience and training for becoming established in the food and beverage industry, giving them the competencies required for a chef, manager or entrepreneur in the international restaurant industry.

Successful alumni include the famous pastry chefs Cedric Grolet and Jerome de Oliveira, Chef Li Ji-Won, who won his first Michelin star in 2020, or Indian Chef Shaheen Peerbhai.

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