The 10 Best Culinary Schools in France

What comes to mind first when you think of France? For me and most people, it is the country’s mouth-watering food and amazing chefs. Now here is why France’s culinary techniques are so popular and highly rated: French cuisine consists of a lot of cooking techniques and flavor blends that now form the foundation on which modern cuisine techniques are made.

The French understand food preparation as an art and so take great care in preparing food using fresh ingredients and simple flavor. If you are looking to be an outstanding chef, learning about French cuisine and applying these techniques will make you stand out as the best. And of course, the best place to learn about French cuisine is in culinary schools in France. 

The country is said to have drawn its remarkable cooking technique from the medieval period. Movies like Merlin could help you relate to it. The insistence of the elite on an extravagance display or presentation of food during feasts is something you would have observed. The French draw this intentionality in food presentation from them but instead of quantity and abundance, French cuisine now emphasizes moderation and quality. The Culinary schools in France will train you on how to ensure high quality in your food and exquisite flavors that make eating your food a memorable experience.

A good number of the world-best culinary schools are found in France, graduating consistently professional chefs with the skills to show for it. In this article, we have curated a list of the top 10 of the best culinary schools in France, all of which fall among the top 20 culinary schools in Europe. 

Let’s get to it.

What are the Top Culinary Schools in France?

As we said before, France is home to many culinary schools that are good at what they are called to do: groom persons to be masters in the culinary arts! But while you have a wide range of options, not all of these schools will suit your needs perfectly. We have streamlined your options to these 10 and we have gathered relevant information about them that we think will be helpful to you.

The following are the top 10 culinary schools in France for both international and domestic students:

  • Le Cordon Bleu
  • École Ducasse
  • Les Coulisses du Chef
  • Ecole Bellouet Conseil
  • Paul Bocuse Institute
  • École Lenôtre
  • Ferrandi
  • La Varenne Cooking School
  • The University of Bordeaux – Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences
  • Gastronomicom

#1. Le Cordon Bleu

Le Cordon Bleu is an internationally recognized culinary school in France known to offer invaluable training to both home cook enthusiasts, aspiring chefs, and professional chefs seeking to upskill themselves. The school was founded in Paris in the year 1895 but currently, the school has 35 campuses spread across 20 countries. With over 20,000 students from 100 different countries, Le Cordon Bleu is seen to be the largest community for culinary arts and hospitality schools in the world.

The school is considered to be the guardian of the French Culinary Technique, thanks to its renowned culinary program that retains the core of French gastronomy and passes this on to the students. This culinary school in France has professional chefs and industry experts, the students get to receive not just theoretical knowledge but also practical experience of the industry’s current trends and techniques.

Some specialized programs offered in Le Cordon Bleu include Wine and Management, Hospitality and Restaurant Management, and Food Entrepreneurship, focusing on the business aspects of the industry. The course fee ranges from €30000-50000.

For more information on one of the best culinary schools in France, click here.

#2. École Ducasse

École Ducasse is a network of culinary schools; three of the schools are situated in France while the others are located in Thailand, India, and the Philippines. These various schools are connected by the desire to share the Alain Ducasse passion between food enthusiasts and persons seeking to build a career in the culinary arts. The school was founded in 1999 by a well-recognized chef, Alain Ducasse, and the school’s Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts is recognized by the European Qualifications Framework. The course fee ranges from €30000-50000

Some of the courses offered at this culinary school in France include:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Viticulture and Enology
  • Masters in Vine and Wine Science
  • Masters in Wine Management 
  • Professional Certification in Wine Tasting & Sensory Analysis 

For more information on one of the best culinary schools in France, click here.

#3. Les Coulisses du Chef

This culinary school in France is an excellent place to learn culinary arts under the watchful eyes of Chef Olivier Berte, himself. Like some other culinary schools in France, Les Coulisses du Chef offers programs that teach the basics of French cuisine and a fusion of modern cuisine. The school teaches its students through seminars on specific topics. This way, a lot of knowledge on the topic of focus is covered quickly. After a course at Les Coulisses du Chef, you would be awarded a certificate that you would find useful in your culinary profession path.

These programs have varying fees. You can find out the programs the school offers and their fees by contacting their website.

#4. Ecole Bellouet Conseil

Ecole Bellouet Conseil is one of the culinary school in France that focus on baking and making pastries. It was founded by Jean Luc Bellouet, a well-renowned pastry chef, in Paris, the sweet haven on earth. This school has been marked out for consistently graduating pastry chefs who have the knowledge, experience and burning passion required to thrive in the culinary field. Thanks to their facilities like the Pastry laboratories, research development centers, sensory laboratories, etc, they offer students the opportunity to not only gain theoretical knowledge but acquire practical experiences too. 

The institute has various courses like the Professional Pastry Arts Program, Bakery & Bread Making Program, Chocolate & Confectionery Program, and so on. The fees for programs in Ecole Bellouet Conseil range between € 10,000 and 12,000. Some of the programs offered in this culinary school in France include:

  • Plated Dessert Program 
  • Chocolate and Confectionery Program 
  • Advanced Pastry Technique Program 

For more information on one of the top-rated culinary schools in France, click here.

#5. Paul Bocuse Institute

Paul Bocuse Institute was founded by Paul Bocuse, one of France’s most celebrated culinary experts who started the “culinary” French Revolution. The institute attempts to achieve two main goals for its students. 

  1. To fan the passion for the culinary arts in their students into flames and equip them with the necessary knowledge that helps them perfect their culinary skills.
  2. To encourage and guide the students on how to build their unique professional identity hence setting them apart from every other culinary professional or entrepreneur.

Paul Bocuse Institute uses a teaching strategy recognized by the Worldwide Hospitality Awards. In other words, you can be sure of properly learning and comprehending the principles of visual food presentations and the various meticulous culinary techniques that Paul Bocuse was popularly known for. 

This culinary school can ground its students on the theoretical and practical aspects of the culinary arts through the institute’s training restaurants (Saisons 1 Michelin star, L’Institut, and Expérience F&B) and its 5-star training hotel (Le Royal). These two training centers provide students with an opportunity to put their knowledge to the test in an actual work setting while dealing with extremely picky customers. The tuition fee for Paul Bocuse Institute, one of the prestigious culinary schools in France ranges between €12,600 to 19,000

For more information on one of the top-rated culinary schools in France, click here.



#6. École Lenôtre

École Lenôtre is one of the best culinary schools in France founded by Gaston Lenôtre, inventor of modern-day pastry-making. This culinary school seeks to attract professionals from all over the world who desire to learn the well-known Maison Lenôtre dishes and create cooking techniques unique to them.

The advanced courses offered at the École Lenôtre include a Cooking Diploma and a Pastry Chef Diploma, both of which have different time duration and fees. To be considered for these courses you must be at least 18 years old with a B1 level understanding of the French language. 

For more information on one of the top-rated culinary schools in France, click here.

#7. Ferrandi 

Ferrandi is a renowned culinary school in France founded in 1920. The school operates with the principle that one can only attain perfection when he/she puts in the effort and adheres to proven standards. Ferrandi makes sure that its students are completely groomed having not just the theoretical knowledge but also the practical knowledge that sets them apart in the culinary field. Some facilities that can be found in the school include specialized laboratories, a professional pastry workshop, and a modern kitchen.

Thanks to the Ferrandi culinary school’s strong connections, students in the Bachelor’s program at the Bordeaux campus get to be involved in the programs offered by Worldsdom and IPC Wines & Spirits, which are renowned for their extensive understanding of wines and spirits. Ferrandi is a renowned culinary school in France that seeks not only to perfect its students’ culinary skills but to also develop them as professionals in the culinary industry through internship and career placement opportunities.

Some popular courses Ferrandi is known for include:

  • Art of Wine and Food Pairing
  • Farm- to table Cooking
  • Pastry and Baking 
  • French Culinary Essentials

The tuition fee for this culinary school ranges between €30000-50000 depending on your chosen course.

For more information on one of the top-rated culinary schools in France, click here.

#8. La Varenne Cooking School

La Varenne Cooking School is one of the oldest culinary schools in France founded in 1975 to spread the passion for French cuisine by teaching young students about it. This school does not only aim at teaching students different culinary techniques, but they also help students understand the depth of French taste/cooking and the best way to let their unique creativity flow in the kitchen. The school is open to both newbies in the field and professionals who want to enhance their skills. People like Mashama Bailey, Roscoe Betsill, & Nathalie Dupree, & many more are people who have passed through this cooking school and their current success in the culinary industry could be your story too.

Courses offered in La Varenne Cooking School include:

  • Art of Wine and Food Pairing
  • Pastry and Baking 
  • French Culinary Essentials
  • Farm- to table Cooking

The tuition fee for this culinary school ranges between  €9000-10000 depending on your chosen course.

For more information on one of the top-rated culinary schools in France, click here.

#9. University of Bordeaux – Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences (ISVV)

If you are a wine enthusiast, the University of Bordeaux offers you an opportunity to turn your passion into a career through its Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences. The University of Bordeaux – Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences offers its students the A-Z of wine knowledge that sets you in motion for a successful career as a wine expert. The school also has a partnership with other universities, research organizations, and wine tycoons that exposes students to the reality of running a business as a wine consultant or wine business owner.

For more information on one of the top-rated culinary schools in France, click here.

#10. Gastronomicom

Gastronomicom is an international culinary institute founded in 2004 and ranked the 10th best culinary school worldwide. The courses offered in the school range from a month course to a year course; each tailored to suit the needs of a newbie chef or a professional in the field.

The school offers both pastry and cooking classes that award certificates and diplomas from the French government to the students upon completion. To ensure that the students are exposed to the practical knowledge of culinary arts, the school makes paid internships possible at upscale French eateries like Relais-Chateaux and other illustrious places recognized by the French Michelin Guide.

For more information on one of the top-rated culinary schools in France, click here.


What employment opportunities can be explored after attending any of the culinary schools in France?

Depending on your career objectives, level of experience, and prior work history, you may be able to apply for jobs as a sous chef, pastry chef, catering chef, food writer, food beverage manager, etc. after completing your culinary training in France.

How long are culinary schools in France?

The most prevalent degree among culinary professionals is a two-year program. You will obtain a well-rounded education that includes everything from the fundamentals to real-world experience whether you decide to pursue general culinary arts or focus on baking or pastry.


I think it is a beautiful thing to spend your life doing what you enjoy and earning from it. These 10 recommended culinary schools in France will shape your hobby and help you turn it into a career and future you can be proud of. But it all begins with a step! Carefully consider these culinary schools in France and apply to one today.


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