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Recommendations for Best Cooking Schools
Posted: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 11:36 PM
Joined: 16/03/2009
Posts: 6

I know the CIA are at the top, some of the Cordon Bleu schools and then there are heaps of short term courses around the world, although England seems to get the bounty. I am not interested in Rosie Davies, but looking at Ashburton, Ballymaloe...places like that...Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
Posted: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 12:08 PM
Joined: 30/06/2008
Posts: 85

My younger brother studied at Leiths Cooking school in London. It was a 12 month 40 hours per week trainig course. He said it was tough but good training. He was awarded their work placement at the BBC Good Food Guide Magazine where he is now, although he keeps saying he wants to use his coastal skipper cert. and come work on yachts with me, I dont think he can leave his dog for longer than a week of bare boat chartering.

Posted: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 2:54 PM
The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) is an excellent school. I received a diploma in both culinary arts and restaurant management in 7 months, allot extra time for an externship. They are both well rounded courses being taught by acclaimed international chefs and restaurateurs in a city surrounded by some of the world's best restaurants and all things food!! I have heard good things about the Ritz Escoffier Culinary School Paris as well. If you are thinking about England, there is a Le Cordon Bleu in London.
Posted: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 6:22 PM
Joined: 08/06/2008
Posts: 12

I know this is an old post, but it's worth me having my say. I teach a six day intensive basic marine cookery course for UKSA at Cowes on the Isle of Wight and we are planning to add some higher level courses over the next year. I have taught folk who have 'done' a Cordon Bleu course and to date, I have not been impressed. That maybe does not reflect badly on the school, as much as the learner. Leith's is very good. However, there is only one cookery school that I would recommned for their four week dimploma - ASHBURTON Cookery School in Deveon. To coin the phrase, it is "Simply the Best". Check out my wesbsite
Posted: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 11:41 PM
Joined: 16/03/2009
Posts: 6

Excellent responses and much appreciated! To Kapt. Mark...would be happy to watch your brothers dog when I get to England if he needs some time to go sailing. Cheers to all who responded!
Posted: Friday, April 15, 2011 9:26 PM
Joined: 14/01/2010
Posts: 1

Absolutely agree - having undertaken an Advanced course there, I can also agree that Ashburton Cookery School & their team of chefs & support staff are THE best. Wish I had the time to attend the Academy!
Posted: Saturday, April 16, 2011 3:48 AM
Rosie Davies is a great school for content, but it is ran like a disciplinary boarding school for 18 year olds and she is very rude. If you can get past the fact that it isn't actually 'fun' then it's a FANTASTIC course for learning cooking techniques and recipes.
Posted: Saturday, April 16, 2011 11:28 PM
I attended the 4 week intensive course with Rosie Davies and do NOT recommend it! Take your money somewhere else. She was rude, moody and should simply not be in the business anymore.
Posted: Sunday, April 17, 2011 2:56 AM
Joined: 24/05/2008
Posts: 2

Hi Mich, read your post and thought I'd add my thoughts. I graduated from the CIA back in '84, have worked in top restaurants, private clubs, yachts, estates, and corporate positions. I've mentored and encouraged many aspiring cooks over the years and have come to the conclusion that while the school's pedigree can be very important, what's equally vital is your commitment to your craft. There are a lot of great schools out there, but it really comes down to the individual and their passion for cooking. While the school I attended has a great reputation, I graduated with guys that could burn water, while some of the best cooks I've worked with have attended community colleges. It all comes down to how you apply yourself and what you choose to get out of the instruction that's being offered. And in closing, just two final thoughts: a very famous chef once told me when I was a young cook "don't let the food be smarter than you are", and "no matter how good you think you are, you're only as good as your last meal. Humility goes a long way." Best of luck to you!!!!!
Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 4:42 PM
has anyone attended Penny Roberts School of Cookery in palma? specifically targeted to yachties, the reviews on their website are very complimentary but I guess that is what is to be expected... I would be interested to hear from anyone who has completed the course - is it worth it if you already have experience on the yachts albeit as as crew cook ?
Posted: Sunday, November 13, 2011 9:27 PM
the ashburton 4 week course looks amazing, i have been cooking for crew and really want to do a course that will give me the confidence and skills to apply for chef position. is the ashburton 4 week course sufficient? the 6 month course looks great but very costly and not too sure if i want to take 6 months out of working..if anyone has completed the 4 week course i would love to hear more. thanks
Posted: Monday, November 14, 2011 8:37 AM
Joined: 31/10/2011
Posts: 7

@Mich, (original poster). If you are looking for absolute "top end" course I would definitely consider the Leiths Professional courses, especially the full Diploma. I will not lie to you; this is not the cheapest place to train. My brother-in-law has recently completed the full diploma (he also has a degree in event management) and he has been actively sent letters by top end hotels across the asking him to come to them! Have a read over the courses, see what appeals to you. If you would like further info I am more thank happy to ply him with any questions you may have.


Link here


A lot of big name chef's have trained here and I would be very surprised if you didn’t amaze on a yacht with these skills.


EDIT: @kaptmark, sorry didn't see your post before jumping in here.






Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2011 10:36 PM
I wish I had seen this post before I booked my cookery course. I completely agree with you - she is a bully, and does not inspire confidence - the total opposite in fact.
Posted: Thursday, December 29, 2011 1:35 AM
Hi, website, I know this is not to do with Cooking Schools, but there is a few courses on here for your STCW 95 which you will be needing after your cooking course if wishing to work on yachts. Great website for tips and tricks of cheffing in the superyacht world, plus a few crew agencies to check out what you might be aiming for. Enjoy your exciting adventure ahead.