The ICDE Experience
“A menu is, first and foremost, a poem”
– Auguste Escoffier, 1846-1935
Teaching with passion, inspiring new careers
We seek to inspire new careers, and are eager to share with students our know-how and passion for fine cuisine and French gastronomy. By teaching the building blocks of western cuisine, our long-term goal is to give aspiring chefs the fundamental techniques and skillset from which they can improvise and explore their own culinary creativity.
Small classes and individualised support from our Master Chef-Instructors
We are known for putting human beings right at the centre of our approach to education. We believe in providing an individualized learning experience for all students, so they can build progressively the skillset, talent and confidence that will guide them through their culinary career. Our small class size (maximum 20) and high teacher-to-student ratio (1-to-6), a hallmark of ICDE, enable to enhance the learning experience through quasi-personal coaching. Our teaching approach is team-based, and the Master-Chef Instructor or Chef Instructor is supported by at least one Assistant Chef.
Teaching is done in English (with an additional Mandarin translator in China).
High professional standards and world-renowned guest chefs
We strive to uphold the highest professional and academic standards. Our comprehensive curriculum is designed to teach students the actual practice and art of cooking through theory, technique, palate training, speed and teamwork. These will be the essentials for success in a culinary career.
To keep up-to-date with the latest culinary trends and techniques, ICDE collaborates on a regular basis with world-renowned chefs, including numerous Michelin-star culinary leaders.
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 French National Certificate in culinary studies, further enhancing their prospects to pursue an international career in the culinary arts. ICDE is fully accredited by the French Ministry of Education.
Hands-on training in premium facilities
We conduct classes in modern and pristine facilities, in collaboration with our local partners. To ensure a premium learning environment, our students benefit from individual workstations.
We aim to provide students with practical, applicable skills that are in high demand within the fine dining and luxury hospitality industry. For the 600-hour Diploma in Culinary Arts, 90% of the work is conducted in the kitchen-classroom, and the balance is dedicated to home reading to gain a cultural and technical background and understanding of French cuisine. From the first class onwards, students work with high-quality equipment, learning and developing essential techniques through cumulative practice. Tastings and instructor feedback sessions are integrated into the curriculum to anchor the skills and techniques learned.
An immersive, step-by-step learning experience
Each class begins with a short explanation from our instructors, describing the relevant vocabulary and the French culinary traditions behind each dish and recipe.
Our chef-instructors then proceed to demonstrate the recipes that will later be carried out by the students. Every class will teach students specific skills, and the rationale behind various cooking techniques is discussed. In cooking, timing is always a critical element, and thus the logic behind following recipe instructions in a specific order is also discussed.
Starting with essential ingredient identification, we will help train our students’ senses. Using high-quality and rare produce, from fresh herbs and seasonings to foie gras, our culinary arts chef-instructors will be guiding through a wide range of tastes and flavours. Students will progress from the development of culinary techniques such as essential knife skills and sauce-making (such as Escoffier’s five “mother sauces”) to modern methods such as “sous-vide” and slow-cooking.
Furthermore, those enrolled in our flagship Diploma in Culinary Arts program will be introduced to advanced themes such as menu planning as well as plating design (how composition, garnishes, sauces and color add to a dish). Development of personal creativity will be also explored.
Core foundation: classic French cuisine
The curriculum is entirely 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 Escoffier’s “Guide Culinaire”. The cooking manual, originally published in 1903 and including over 5’000 recipes, is widely held as the “Bible” of French modern cooking, and still used every day by chefs around the world.
Escoffier’s techniques and recipes, the stocks and sauces, the menu composition, all provide the building blocks for exploring further all types of Western cuisines.