About the Disciples Escoffier Professional Diploma in Culinary Arts:

ICDE’s flagship program is the Disciples Escoffier Professional Diploma in Culinary Arts, an intensive training designed to prepare students for the demanding pace and standards of the western fine dining industry.

Core curriculum: classic French cuisine

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 both:

  1. the classic foundations of Escoffier’s “Guide Culinaire” (originally published in 1903 and still widely held as the “Bible” of French modern cooking), and
  1. the French official curriculum for the CAP program in culinary arts (the training undertaken by the vast majority of professional chefs in France).

Classic French cuisine techniques and recipes provide students with the building blocks for exploring further all types of Western cuisines.

Coursework will include knife skills, stocks and sauces, vegetables and grains, meats, fish and shellfish, eggs, pastry and desserts, plating and menu design.

Program structure: focus on practical training

The program is taught over 600 hours, 90% of which is practical training in the kitchen classroom. 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 three levels, structured into Level 1 (Basic French cuisine), Level 2 (Intermediate French cuisine), and Level 3  (Advanced French cuisine), each lasting 200 hours. Each level of the program has been organized to teach the essentials of French culinary arts. The pace of the program accelerates as students progress through each level, and learning is cumulative and fast.

We aim to provide students with practical, applicable skills that are in high demand within the fine dining and luxury hospitality industry. Our long-term goal is to give aspiring chefs the fundamental techniques and skillsets from which they can improvise and explore their own culinary creativity.

The ICDE experience: small classes and premium facilities

We ensure that class size remains small (maximum 20) and benefit from the support of one Master Chef-instructor and at least one Assistant Chef. The low student-to-teacher ratio, a hallmark of ICDE, enhances the learning experience through individualized coaching, a rarity among professional culinary schools.

Students also benefit form the premium kitchens and individual working stations offered throughout our locations. From the first class onwards, students work with quality equipment, learning and developing essential techniques through cumulative practice.

Certifications: Double Diploma with worldwide recognition

Our Disciples Escoffier Professional Diploma in Culinary Arts benefits from a solid recognition in the culinary industry thanks to the worldwide Disciples Escoffier network. Additionally, students will obtain a Certificate in culinary studies delivered by the French Ministry of Education, further enhancing their prospects to pursue an international career in the culinary arts.

Disciples Escoffier Level 1 – Basic French Cuisine

Level 1 overview:

The first level of the Diploma in Culinary Arts welcomes all beginners, without any pre-requisites or prior cooking experience. Troughout this intensive course, students will be introduced to the world of the professional kitchen (ie knife-handling, safety & hygiene, storage…) and begin to explore the classics of French cuisine and pastry while learning essential techniques (ie stocks & sauces, cooking techniques, pastry doughs, etc).

Structure:

  • Practical lessons lasting 4 hours, each covering at least one recipe
  • 2 lessons per day (8 hours in the kitchen per day)
  • Total 200 hours (180 hours of practical work in the kitchen-classroom; 20 hours of home reading)
  • Obtain the ICDE Certificate in Basic French Cuisine (subject to exam)

Learning outcomes:

  • French culinary terms and definition
  • Understanding a technical recipe sheet
  • Professional knife handling and introduction to diverse cuts (for instance the various “taillage” cutting techniques for vegetables).
  • Hygiene, sanitation and food safety practices used in the kitchen on a daily basis
  • Professional kitchen organization and equipment
  • Storage methods (including brining, confit and dehydration)
  • Ingredient identification and classification (ie wide range of meats and fish, vegetables, starches, grains, herbs and seasonings)
  • Introduction to cooking methods (the three main categories of cooking techniques are Concentration, Expansion and Combined, including for instance frying, grilling, poaching, roasting, sautéing and steaming)
  • Stocks, sauces and soups: learning the saucier’s art, combining ingredients such as meat bones with aromatic vegetables to create various stocks, and mixing stocks with binding to create Escoffier’s five mother sauces (Velouté, Espangole, Hollandaise, Béchamel and Tomato) and their numerous variations.
  • Introduction to French cuisine classics: eggs, fish and shellfish, meat and poultry
  • Introduction to doughs and French pastry

Examples of 10 recipes learned in class: Examples of 10 culinary techniques learned in class:

– Beef Consommé with vegetables brunoise – Making a cold stable emulsified sauce

– Velouté Dubarry – Preparing an aromatic garnish

– Eggs mollet Florentine – Making a sabayon

– Poached chicken, Supreme sauce and Madras rice – Fileting a flat fish

– Asparagus with mousseline sauce  – Poaching cooking technique

– Dover sole filet Bonne Femme – Frying cooking techniques

– Beef Tournedos Henry IV, béarnaise – Preparing a whole chicken (trussing)

– Lamb spring navarin – Making a brioche dough

– Lemon Meringue tartlets – Clarifying a Consommé

– Raspberry charlotte cake – Cooking techniques for eggs

Disciples Escoffier Level 2 – Intermediate French Cuisine

Level 2 overview:

Having completed Level 1 of the ICDE Diploma in Culinary Arts is a pre-requisite for Level 2. Building upon the essential techniques acquired at Level 1, students will be introduced to the diversity of France’s culinary heritage, through recipes from Auguste Escoffier’s classic Guide Culinaire as well as numerous regional recipes. They will further their knowledge of professional kitchen skills, and explore themes such as plating decoration.

Structure:

  • Practical lessons lasting 4 hours, each covering at least one or more recipes
  • 2 lessons per day (8 hours in the kitchen per day)
  • Total 200 hours (180 hours of practical work in the kitchen-classroom; 20 hours of home reading)
  • Obtain the ICDE Certificate in Intermediate French Cuisine (subject to exam)

Learning outcomes:

  • Study of Auguste Escoffier’s recipes (such as soufflés, garnishes, stuffings etc.) from his Guide Culinaire, considered by chefs worldwide to be the go-to reference for French classic recipes.
  • Exploring French regional cuisine: Aquitaine, Rhones-Alpes, PACA, Alsace, Nord pas de Calais, Normandy-Britanny, and Ile de France
  • Development of technical cutting styles and professional kitchen skills
  • Plating decoration (exploring how colour, composition and texture combinations add to a dish, using garnishes and sauces)
  • More in-depth discovery of French classic cuisine (ie veal, beef, lamb, poultry, fish, vegetables, etc)
  • Building upon French pastry essentials 
  • Amplifying taste by using seasoning, flavourings and spices
  • Recipe production with high-quality, seasonal and rare ingredients

Examples of 10 recipes learned in class: Examples of 10 culinary techniques learned in class:

– Salmon terrine – Preparing a forcemeat

– Pike quenelle Nantua sauce, vegetables spaghetti – Preparing a “mousseline” for stuffing

– Dover soles Colbert, Maitre d’Hotel butter, cauliflower gratin – Preparing a mother sauce variation

– Scallops Nantaise style – Preparing scallops

– Chicken crawfish ballotine, parsnips mash, vanilla sauce – Making a semi-coagulated emulsified stable sauce

– Veal Marengo – Preparing shellfish sauce

– Grilled rib eye, choron sauce, mini ratatouille, potato chips – Making a pastry cream variation

– Macarons – Preparing a hot Soufflé mixture

– Saint Honoré cake – Preparing a chicken breast stuffing

– Chocolate soufflé and custard sauce – Deboning a lamb shoulder

Disciples Escoffier Level 3 – Advanced French Cuisine

Level 3 overview:

Having completed Level 2 of the ICDE Diploma in Culinary Arts is a pre-requisite for Level 3. Building upon the techniques learned at Level 1 and 2, students will delve into more advanced and modern methods, such as a sous-vide and low-temperature cooking. They will learn to prepare complex traditional recipes, as well as more contemporary recipes by Michelin-star chefs. Students will also delve into menu composition and personal creativity themes.

Structure:

  • Practical lessons lasting 4 hours, each covering at least one or more recipes
  • 2 lessons per day (8 hours in the kitchen per day)
  • Total 200 hours (180 hours of practical work in the kitchen-classroom; 20 hours of home reading)
  • Obtain the Disciples Escoffier Professional Diploma in Culinary Arts (subject to exam)
  • Obtain the French National Certificate in Culinary Studies (subject to independent examination supervised by a teacher from the French Ministry of Education)

Learning outcomes:

  • More advanced recipes from Escoffier’s Guide Culinaire book
  • Innovative cuisine with rare, high quality produce
  • More advanced French regional recipes
  • Perfecting technical knowledge (build on butchery, filleting and boning)
  • Art of plating: towards simplicity and elegance
  • Guest chef demonstrations
  • Discussions with guest suppliers, culinary products tastings (for example: cheese, truffle)
  • Balanced menu composition and planning for classic French gastronomy
  • Development of personal creativity through recipe improvisation
  • Advanced cooking methods (for instance introduction to sous-vide and low-temperature cooking)

Examples of 10 recipes made in class: Examples of 10 culinary techniques learned in class:

– Beef Tournedos rossini, amandine potatoes, marchand de vin sauce – Making a golden salmon mousse

– Parmentiere, duck gizzard confit, Truffle jelly, Duckette sauce – Crust technique

– Braised lamb shank, Anna potatoes – Royale techniques

– Tuna tartare with green pepper and cucumber, balsamique cream – Stuffed pasta dough

– Scallops carpaccio lemon vanilla, avocado royale and sesame tuiles – Slow-cooking

– Trout with citrus crust, Maltaise sauce, vegetables julienne – Braised cooking

– Snails raviolis with garlic foam and tomato confit – Making a quenelle shape with 2 tablespoons

– Chocolate and coffee éclairs – Stuffing a choux with an aromatic cream

– Sabaglione with orange and grapefruit Grand Marnier – Preparing a cold soufflé mixture

– Caramelized banana with caramel mousse – Using a foam gun

Earn a double Diploma in Culinary Arts, with worldwide recognition

Students will obtain ICDE Certificates upon passing exams for Levels 1 and 2 of the Diploma program. Upon passing the final level (level 3), students will be awarded with our flagship Disciples Escoffier Professional Diploma in Culinary Arts. The Professional Diploma benefits from a solid recognition in the culinary industry, thanks to the worldwide Disciples Escoffier network.

Additionally, students will obtain a French National Certificate in Culinary Arts, further enhancing their prospects to pursue an international career in the culinary arts. ICDE is accredited by the French Ministry of Education, and the Diploma’s final examination is independently supervised by a representative from the Ministry.

ICDE students gain a double Diploma:

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