Cooking-school basics

It's not necessary to take out a second mortgage to attend cooking school. Financial aid and scholarships are often available, and one- or two-day classes are frequently offered. Also keep an eye out for special deals.

Start by looking at "Guide to Cooking Schools 2000," by Dorlene Kaplan (its listings are also on the Web at It contains a comprehensive list of cooking schools and culinary-travel programs. Have your prospective school provide names of former students as references.

Before you make the final decision, consider:

*Type of cooking taught

*Skill level expected

*Teacher-student ratio



*Reputation of the school and its teachers

*Time spent in the kitchen versus sightseeing

*Proximity to interesting cultural attractions

These are some of the most popular

cooking schools:


At Home With Patricia Wells:

Hands-on French cooking taught at the cookbook author's home in Provence.

Fax: (214) 343-1227.

Badia a Coltibuono: Television chef and cookbook author Lorenza d Medici teaches Italian cooking at her 11th-century villa on a 2,000-acre estate in Tuscany.

Phone: (214) 373-1161 or send a fax to Italy: (39) 577-749235.

Giuliano Bugialli's Cooking in Florence: The award-winning cookbook author teaches Italian cuisine in both Florence and New York.

Phone: (212) 966-5325

Le Cordon Bleu: In France, London, or Tokyo, this school offers courses in classic French cuisine and pastry.

Phone in France: (33) 1-48-56-06-06.

La Varenne: Courses taught by cookbook author Anne Willan at her 17th-century chateau in Burgundy. Focus is on classic French cuisine and pastry.

Phone: (800)537-6484 or (202) 337-0073.

In the US

The Culinary Institute of America: Courses are taught in spring and fall for home cooks and youngsters. Faculty includes more than 100 chefs from 20 countries. Main campus is in Hyde Park, N.Y., the other is in St. Helena, Calif. Phone: (800) 888-7850.

The French Culinary Institute: Courses taught in SoHo section of New York City. Dean of special programs is Jacques Pepin.

Phone: (212) 219-8890.

Johnson & Wales U. College of Culinary Arts: In Providence, R.I., where nonvocational courses are taught in summer.

Phone: (800) 343-2565.

New England Culinary Institute: Workshops for home cooks are taught in Essex, Vt.

Phone: (802) 223-6324.

Tante Marie's Cooking School: Classes in San Francisco, on a variety of cuisines. Founder Mary Risley studied at the Cordon Bleu and La Varenne. Guest faculty includes well-known chefs. Phone: (415) 788-6699.

La Varenne at the Greenbrier: At this elegant resort in West Virginia, Anne Willan offers five-day programs featuring a variety of cuisines. Phone: (800) 624-6070.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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