Who Should Join
Our students have a wide age range, they come from very 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.
Our programs are designed for beginners and accessible to all. You will start with basics such as knife skills and stocks and sauces, then progress to increasingly advanced techniques as the programs move forward. Are you concerned you will not be able to do it? You will not be on your own. Our classes are small (maximum 20 students), 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.
Whether you are a career-switcher aspiring to open your own restaurant, a culinary professional looking to broaden your skills in French cuisine, or a “food enthusiast” pursuing your personal interests and passions, the diversity of our student body contributes to the overall learning experience at ICDE.
We also offer dedicated intensive Youth Programs (typically on a full-time basis) for young students who are pursuing their first career opportunity in the culinary arts.
Upon completion of the program, some of our former students will go on to work for prestigious fine dining establishments, or create their own businesses in the Food & Beverage industry.
Requirements for the Professional Diploma in Culinary Arts:
Across our locations, classes and reading materials are in English, and a good command of that language is necessary. In China, however, the chef-instructor will be translating the class in mandarin, and the course materials will be available in mandarin as well.
Our Professional Diploma classes require a significant time commitment from students (at least 2 full days a week – schedules depend on the location). Classes cannot be skipped, unless under exceptional circumstances, and students will therefore have to make sure they can follow up on the time commitment.
Minimum age requirements vary across our locations.
Intensive Youth Programs
We offer dedicated “Intensive Youth Programs” for young students who are pursuing their first career opportunity. Such programs are particularly intensive in nature, and typically delivered over 5 full days per week. Students thus have the opportunity to complete the Professional Diploma in Culinary Arts in 3 months only, gaining two certifications and a solid foundation in French cuisine in the process.
Careers & Internships
Upon graduating from the Disciples Escoffier Diploma in Culinary Arts, students will follow their own path. Some will go on to work at fine dining restaurants and luxury hotels, while others will open their own culinary-related business.
The Disciples Escoffier Professional Diploma in Culinary arts, in addition to the Diploma in French Culinary Studies awarded by the French Ministry of Education, will provide excellent credentials for those who wish to pursue an international career in the culinary industry.
Beyond the Diplomas and government accreditations, the Disciples Escoffier name is well-known around the world, and closely associated with a century-old heritage of pioneering French gastronomy and the worlds of luxury hospitality and fine dining.
With 25’000 members in 26 countries, the Disciples Escoffier International association is akin to a tight-knit “big family” of highly talented chefs, bound together by their passion for the culinary arts and their aspiration to pass on their know-how to next generation of chefs. Graduates of the Diploma in Culinary Arts will be given the opportunity to keep in touch and network with the association members, and join various culinary events organized by Disciples Escoffier International.
Furthermore, ICDE will do its best to support former students in their culinary career endeavours. As such, students with high motivation and potential will be able to benefit from unparalleled internship opportunities at dine dining establishments and luxury hotels in their home country and abroad.
Examples of recent internships by ICDE students at top-rated restaurants in Hong Kong:
Caprice, Four Seasons Hotel (2* Michelin)
Amber, Mandarin Oriental Hotel (2* Michelin, San Pellegrino 50 Best)
Seasons by Olivier Elzer
Christine, Hong Kong:
I used to work in the import/export industry in Hong Kong, and was ready for a career change… Enrolling in the ICDE Diploma in Culinary Arts turned out to be an exciting experience, and a real turning point for me.
Beyond just teaching the cooking techniques and recipes, our Master Chef instructor also took the time to introduce us to the French culinary traditions and cultural heritage… I love discovering new cultures, so it was eye-opening.
Initially, I didn’t expect the program to be so intensive and challenging, and I put all my heart into it! In the end, being the recipient of the Outstanding Student award was completely unexpected, and felt so rewarding.
This program served as a catalyst for me in terms of re-focusing my career path. Ultimately I want to work at the crossroads of the culinary and hospitality industries, and I am now applying for a Masters degree in International Hospitality Management. The Disciples Escoffier diploma has given me a headstart to get there!
Lin, Hong Kong:
I am Singaporian and moved to Hong Kong many years ago. I was the chief finance controller for an events group, and decided to make a career switch towards the Food & Beverage industry. I had always cooked a lot at home, including French, Italian, and of course Singaporian cuisine, but had no formal training. I love French cuisine as it is delicate and has a lot of depth and intricacy, and can be shared with the whole family. Joining the Diploma program at ICDE and gave me an exposure to the world of the fine dining industry, and the chance to meet and train with Michelin-star chefs. It was a thrilling experience that challenged me and led me to push my limits.
All the students were enthusiastic; we had the same mindset and worked as a team in the kitchen. The Disciples Escoffier teachers were talented and happy to share their knowledge of french cuisine and culture – they introduced us to the variety of French regional cuisine and ingredients, such as beef from the Limousin, or dairy products and seafood from Brittany.
Having put a lot of hard work into the progam – and having been well prepared by our teachers – passing the independent final exam with the French Ministry of Education turned out to be fairly easy.
After graduating from the program, ICDE gave me the opportunity to intern at the French restaurant of the Ritz-Carlton in Macau, which was a real eye-opener. I am now looking for some further industry experience at a fine dining restaurant in France or Hong Kong. Ultimately, my dream is to move to New Zealand with my husband and open a Bed & Breakfast, where I will be the “chef de cuisine”.
How to Apply
Since classes and reading materials are in English, a good command of that language is necessary.
Students who wish to enrol into the Intermediate or Advanced Level must first have completed the previous level. However, some exceptions can be made for professional chefs or home cooks who can demonstrate a solid knowledge of fundamental techniques in French cuisine.
Our classes in Hong Kong are taught on a part-time basis, and require a significant time commitment from students (16 hours a week on average, over several months). Classes cannot be skipped, unless under exceptional circumstances.