The Professional Diploma in Culinary Arts:

An intensive program, open to beginners, covering over 230 recipes and 150 techniques

ICDE’s flagship culinary program is the Professional Diploma in Culinary Arts. This is an intensive training program, covering around 230 recipes and 150 culinary techniques, designed to set students on a path to become junior chefs or rising culinary professionals.

Each class begins with a short lesson from your Master Teacher, who will outline terminology, relevant food history, the reasons behind various cooking techniques, and the rationale behind following procedures in a specific order. Before you make anything for the first time, your Master Teacher will demonstrate, providing instruction and showcasing the correct techniques, before you set out to make it yourself.

The program has been thoughtfully designed to teach you the core elements of culinary arts. You will learn new skills in each class, and step by step, you will progressively build upon them. The pace accelerates as you progress through each level, and learning is cumulative and fast.

Beginning with fundamentals such as hygiene, safety and knife skills, your evolution will continue through the development of culinary techniques such as dry and moist heat cooking methods, sauce making, restaurant service simulations and pastry, for instance. Your Master Teacher will help you indentify products and train your senses, guiding you through an incredible range of tastes and flavors, from herbs and condiments to vegetables and meats.

Since the ICDE curriculum covers a vast amount of material in a short period of time, this program is intensive in nature, and your Master Teacher will guide you to work quickly and efficiently from day one.  Your instructors are passionate, accomplished professionals eager to share their expertise, and you will appreciate the kind of hands-on experience, personal attention, and support that can build your confidence and skills.

Our objective is to prepare you to meet the demands of working in a professional kitchen, with the proper techniques and work habits necessary to succeed in the industry. We aim to equip you not only with the skillsets and practical know-how that are in high demand among employers, but also with the disciplined and rigorous mindset that in the long run will allow you to climb up the ladder as a rising culinary professional.

Our ultimate goal is to give you the essential tools and building blocks from which you can improvise, explore your own creativity, and contribute to the evolution of gastronomy.


Our curriculum is firmly rooted in the traditions and fundamentals of French gastronomy, while integrating some of the latest techniques, equipment, and plating trends. More specifically, the core culinary program is based on:

  • French traditional cuisine and the classic foundations of Auguste Escoffier’s “Guide Culinaire” (originally published in 1903, it is still widely held, a century later, as the “Bible” of French modern cooking),
  • The French Ministry of Education’s official curriculum for young professional cooks, and
  • International cuisine classics, original recipes from ICDE Master Teachers (revisited classics with a modern “twist”), and contemporary trends set by celebrated international chefs

While the recipes you will learn are firmly rooted in the classics of French gastronomy, the techniques covered are very broad in scope, and provide the foundations of western cuisine as a whole. Upon graduation, you will be able to apply your newly acquired know-how for a broad range of employers across the culinary industry.

A program open to all passionate and motivated students!

Do you dream to launch one day your own restaurant? Are you aiming to begin a career as a cook in the Hospitality & Restaurant industry? Do you simply aspire to improve your talents in French cuisine and entertain your friends and family? If so, this program will provide you with a strong foundation.

The Professional Diploma in Culinary Arts has been designed for beginners. It is aimed at all those who are passionate about cooking, from food enthusiasts and young professionals, to career shifters wishing to venture in the field of culinary arts, or experienced chefs looking to hone their skills in French cuisine. Our students have a wide age range, they come from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds, yet they all have a common goal: learning from highly qualified instructors the skills and techniques required to become a professional chef.

Since our Diploma is intensive in nature, an essential requirement to attend and successfully complete this program is a high degree of motivation! Are you concerned you will not be able to do it? You will not be on your own. Our classes are small, and our chef-instructors and chef assistants will be there to help you every step of the way, to provide direction and guidance as you practice.

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.

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).


Duration Level 1:  270 hours/ level – 1.5months

Duration Level 2:  270 hours/ level – 1.5months

Diploma Level 1 – Advanced culinary art (delivered by ICDE)

Diploma Level 2: 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


Campus: price 30euro/night


High school diploma or equivalent

18 years or older

No prior culinary experience is required

     Level 1: Culinary Arts Fundamentals
Price 4000euro

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.


Recipes covered in Level 1 “Culinary Fundamentals” include:

  • Beef Consommé with vegetables brunoise
  • Velouté Dubarry
  • Eggs mollet Florentine
  • Asparagus with mousseline sauce
  • Beef Tournedos Henry IV, béarnaise sauce
  • Poached chicken, Supreme sauce and Madras rice
  • Green crust lamb rack, pesto, tapenade and vegetables “tian”
  • Duck breast orange style, curved baby artichokes and potatoes
  • Veal loin stuffing and wrap in cabbage leave, polenta with reblochon heart.
  • Seabream filet with vegetables scales, duxelle mushrooms stuffed lettuce, “Beurre blanc”
  • Dover sole “Colbert” style, cauliflower gratin
  • Lemon Meringue tartlets
  • Raspberry charlotte cake
  • Apple tart Tatin upside down, vanilla ice cream

Level 2: Advanced Culinary Certificate
Price 5500euro

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.


Recipes covered in level 2 “Advanced Culinary Arts” include:

  • Salmon terrine – Preparing a forcemeat
  • Snails raviolis with garlic foam and tomato confit
  • Chicken crawfish ballotine, parsnips mash, vanilla sauce
  • Veal Marengo
  • Grilled rib eye, choron sauce, mini ratatouille, potato chips
  • Beef Tournedos Rossini (with foie gras), amandine potatoes, marchand de vin sauce
  • Parmentiere, duck gizzard confit, Truffle jelly, Duckette sauce
  • Braised lamb shank, Anna potatoes
  • Tuna tartare with green pepper and cucumber, balsamique cream
  • Scallops carpaccio lemon vanilla, avocado royale and sesame tuiles
  • Dover soles Colbert, Maitre d’Hotel butter, cauliflower gratin
  • Trout with citrus crust, Maltaise sauce, vegetables julienne
  • Chocolate and coffee éclairs
  • Sabaglione with orange and grapefruit Grand Marnier
  • Caramelized banana with caramel mousse
  • Macarons
  • Saint Honoré cake
  • Chocolate soufflé and custard sauce