Professional Training in French Cuisine

Learn from the Guide Culinaire

The curriculum is based on the tradition and fundamentals of French gastronomy. While integrating some of the latest techniques, equipment, and plating trends, the core program is firmly rooted in the classic foundations of Auguste Escoffier’s “Guide Culinaire”, the “Bible” of French cuisine

Earn a French National Diploma

with worldwide recognition

ICDE fully accredited by the French Ministry of Education, and students can earn a French National Diploma in culinary studies, with worldwide recognition. In addition, our students are awarded the Disciples Escoffier Grand Diploma in Culinary Arts, benefiting from the prestige of the Disciples Escoffier International network

Teaching with Passion

We seek to inspire new careers, and strive to share with students our know-how and passion for fine cuisine and French gastronomy.

Our curriculum is based on Escoffier’s Guide Culinaire, thus firmly rooted on the classic foundations of French cuisine.

Program structure:

Focus on hands-on practical training

The program is taught over 540 hours, more than 75% of which is hands-on practical training in the kitchen lab. Background reading materials are also regularly handed out to students, who study at home for the theoretical components of the course.

The course is organized into two levels, the Fundamentals Level and Advanced Level, each lasting 270 hours. Students need to have completed the Level 1 Culinary Arts Fundamentals in order to enrol into Level 2 Advanced Culinary Arts.

Upon successfully passing the final exam, students will be awarded two Diplomas: the Professional Diploma in Culinary Arts (delivered by ICDE), and the Level 5 Certificate in French Cuisine (delivered by the French Ministry of Education).




Language of Instruction: English language.

It is important, therefore, to have a reasonably good level of English in order to successfully complete the program. Some French pastry terminology is covered.


Duration: 540 hours
Certifications: Double Diploma
Diploma I: Professional Diploma in Culinary Arts (delivered by ICDE)
Diploma II: Level 5 Certificate in French Cuisine (delivered by the French Ministry of Education)
Teaching method: Demonstration, practical class, theory class
Language of instruction: English
Start dates: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall


• High school diploma or equivalent
• 18 years or older
• Competency in English language
• Interview
• No prior culinary experience is required



Earn two Diplomas with worldwide recognition

ICDE is a private education provider, specializing in Culinary and Pastry Arts training programs. Upon passing final exams, you will be awarded with ICDE’s Professional Diploma in Culinary Arts. Since ICDE is affiliated with Disciples Escoffier International, an industry network of around 25’000 Disciples Escoffier chefs around the world, this certification benefits from a wide recognition. Most importantly, in each one of our geographical locations, ICDE has been developing ties with local hospitality and restaurant groups to facilitate employment opportunities for alumni.

Furthermore, ICDE is accredited by the French Ministry of Education. Students will thus obtain an additional recognition, a National Certificate in Culinary Arts (level 5) delivered by the French Ministry of Education, further enhancing their prospects to pursue an international career in the culinary arts.










Culinary Arts Fundamentals


The Level 1 “Culinary Arts Fundamentals” welcomes all beginners, without any pre-requisites or prior cooking experience. You will cover a vast amount of material in a short period of time, including the basic concepts, properties and applications that are the essential “toolkit” of a chef.

You will start with essentials such as professional knife-handling, safety & hygiene, then as the program moves forward, you will progress with cooking techniques that are constitute the core elements of French cuisine, such as stocks and sauces, cooking methods, or pastry doughs. Through practical sessions and demonstrations, you will begin to explore the classics of French culinary traditions, and learn to create a wide range of recipes.


Skills & techniques covered in “Fundamentals of Culinary Arts” include:

  • Introduction to the professional kitchen: Understand professional kitchen organization (Brigade system, cold and hot workstations), become familiar with professional equipment tools, learn about technical recipe sheets, order management systems, and the essential hygiene, sanitation and food safety practices used in the kitchen on a daily basis. Various food storage and preservation methods are explored (including brining, confit and dehydration).
  • Knife skills: Professional knife handling and introduction to diverse cuts for raw ingredients, for instance the various “taillage” cutting techniques for vegetables, such as potato curving, émincer (thin slice), batonnet (small sticks), brunoise (small dice) and paysanne (tile-shaped).
  • Stocks, sauces and soups: Learn the Saucier’s art, combining ingredients such as meat bones with aromatic vegetables to create various stocks (brown stocks and white stocks), and mixing stocks with binding to create Escoffier’s five mother sauces and their numerous variations (Velouté, Espangole, Hollandaise, Béchamel and Tomato). In turn, these sauces form the basis for an exploration of a full range of soups.
  • Fruit and vegetable-based side dishes: Side dishes are a fundamental element to a successful successful recipe, alongside meats or fish, allowing for a balanced and healthy dish. Learn to identify and classify a wide range of vegetables, starches, grains, herbs and spices, and become familiar with seasonal produce calendar. Prepare a vegetarian menu, and adapt the composition of side dishes to the nature of the item or piece that they will accompany.
  • Cooking methods: The use and adaptation of cooking methods plays a critical role in revealing and expressing the subtelty of ingredients (meat, fish, vegetables). The three main categories of cooking techniques are explored: “concentration” (frying, grilling, poaching in hot liquid, pot-roasting, roasting, sautéing, sous-vide, glazing, steaming), “expansion” (braising without browning, poaching in cold liquid) and “combined” (braising with browning, stewing).
  • Eggs: An unassuming ingredient, eggs are in fact a cornerstone of French cuisine and pastry. The omelet – a dish that was first recorded in France in the 17th century – represents the perfect intersection of a precise technique and a pristine ingredient. They can also be poached, used in sauces, or whipped into soufflés, for instance. You will explore various eggs cooking techniques and recipes, from eggs Cocotte to eggs Mollet Florentine.
  • Fish and shellfish: From learning about categories of freshwater, seawater fish, and shellfish, to fileting a flat fish or cooking a seabass in a sea salt crust, you will explore various cutting techniques, cooking methods and classic recipes for fish and shellfish.
  • Meat and poultry: The richness of French culinary heritage takes on its full meaning and expression with the use of ”noble ingredients” such as prime red meat cuts. From deboning a chicken to understanding beef labels, or reviewing meat colour, muscle and fat content, you will learn numerous cutting techniques, cooking methods and classic recipes for beef, pork, lamb, veal, chicken and duck.
  • Introduction to pastry: Basic pastry ingredients include various categories of flours, sugars, chemical and natural yeast, butters, eggs, fruits, chocolate and dairy. Discover classic techniques such as making choux dough and shortcrust pastry, as well as savoury creams, ice cream and fillings.



Advanced Culinary Certificate


In the Level 2 Advanced Culinary Certificate (240 hours), through cumulative practice, you will begin to build upon and master the fundamental techniques covered in Level 1. Your proficiency will allow you to explore more advanced and modern methods, such as a sous-vide and low-temperature cooking. You will learn to prepare complex traditional recipes, based on the diversity of France’s culinary heritage, as well as more contemporary dishes inspired by Michelin-star chefs.

With a focus on precision and efficiency, the course aims to prepare students for the workforce, but also enhance individual creativity and artistic skills.Your will delve into menu composition and personal creativity themes, focusing increasingly on plating skills that are essential to succeed in the fine dining industry.


Skills & techniques covered in “Advanced Culinary Arts” include:

  • Auguste Escoffier recipes and French classic cuisine: Escoffier recipes such as soufflés, garnishes, and stuffings from his Guide Culinaire book, are considered by chefs worldwide to be the “Bible” for French classic recipes.
  • French regional “terroir” specialties: France’s regional culinary traditions and heritage, from Alsace to Provence and Bretagne, offer countless local specialties.
  • International cuisine From Spain and Greece to Great Britain and Morrocco, explore traditions of world cuisine.
  • French Pastry classics Building upon French pastry essentials covered in Level 1.
  • Advanced knife skills: Build on butchery, filleting and boning cutting techniques for meats and fish.
  • Herbs and spices; high-quality and rare produce Recipe production with high-quality, seasonal and rare ingredients, such as foie gras. Discussions with guest suppliers, culinary products tastings (for example: cheese or truffle). Amplify taste by using seasoning, flavourings and spices.
  • Organizational skills: Manage the ingredients, equipment and workstation in a time-constrained environment. Balanced menu composition and planning for classic French gastronomy.
  • Advanced culinary techniques: Introduction to molecular cuisine and other advanced techiques, such as sous-vide and low-temperature cooking
  • The art of plating and personal creativity: Learn how colour, composition and texture combinations add to a dish, using garnishes and sauces. Development of personal creativity through recipe improvisation.


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