10 Best Culinary Schools in Australia
Commercial kitchens can be fast-paced, loud, complex, and even stressful. You can see chefs cooking large quantities of finely produced foods, using deep-fryers, Rational ovens, large gas stoves, industrial dishwashers, and under-bench fridges – equipment that you will probably never have used in your kitchen at home.
Dishes are cooked and plated up in minutes. Chefs work together to synchronously feed couples, families, and large parties of guests. A well-run kitchen is like a finely tuned orchestra playing a beautiful melody.
The road to becoming a successful chef can only be achieved though grit, passion, and determination. Attending a good culinary school can provide a strong leg-up at the beginning of your journey and put you on your feet running.
Australia boasts scores of culinary schools that are worth considering once you have decided a career in the kitchen is for you. They will all teach you the basics of working in a commercial kitchen – everything from cooking and baking skills to organization, communication, and kitchen etiquette.
In Australia, culinary schools offer certificates III and IV for prospective chefs, and these can be completed in anywhere from six months to up to two and a half years as a full time student. Some schools also offer other foodie courses such as patisserie, bakery, Asian cookery, and culinary management.
So, which schools are the best choice when it comes to choosing where to study?
We list some of the best schools in Australia below.
1. Cordon Bleu
The Cordon Bleu School is probably the most internationally recognizable and distinguished name when it comes to culinary schools. The school currently has over 2,000 students studying at one of its four campuses: Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney.
They offer high standards of hands-on education and top notch teachers. Here you will learn all the basics of traditional French culinary techniques, terms, and cuisines.
You have the choice of completing either Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, which can be completed in 12 months, full time (5 days per week), or Certificate IV, which will take you a further 18 months of full time study, including a 6-month work placement. Their Grand Diplôme will take you 24 months to complete, after which you will receive Certificate III in Commercial Cookery and Certificate III in Patisserie.
However, attending the top culinary school in the country does come at a price, Certificate III for AU$33,930 for Australian students and AU$37,609 for international students. If you choose to continue your studies further, Certificate IV will set you back an extra AU$11,950 for Australian students and AU$12,428 for international students.
2. Le’ Culinare
Le’ Culinare prides itself on education excellence and being at the forefront of culinary innovation. They boast state of the art kitchens and classrooms as well as current industry trainers. The school is dedicated to innovative, culturally diverse training, and a positive learning environment within which to bring students to confidently enter the fast-paced hospitality industry.
Domestic students can complete Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at Le’ Culinary in only 3 terms for $7,000 if they choose to study full time. International students will complete it in 4 terms (1 year), and this will cost $9,600. The school also offers some online study options.
To go on to complete Certificate IV, domestic students will only need to pay an extra $2,000 in fees and study for one more term, making Le’ Culinare a great option for those wanting to quickly complete their studies at a quality institution. International students, however, will need to study for an extra two terms at a cost of $4,800. You can also pursue the Patisserie path at Le’ Culinare.
3. Institute of Culinary Excellence
Since 2014, ICE has trained over 1,500 chefs. The family-owned school has gone from strength to strength, placing high value on personalized student encouragement, support, and inspiration. In 2018 ICE won the “Small Training Provider of the Year’ award in Queensland. They were also named “Best Culinary School in Australia” by the Minister for Training.
As well as on-site, hands-on training, the school also hosts many off-site excursions to farms, markets, and factories. Students are given the opportunity to work in some of the best Brisbane restaurants and the school regularly hosts some of the top Australian and celebrity chefs.
The school is only open for two intakes per year, and are currently offering a 20% discount for the February intake. Tuition fees for the Certificate III course is $12,000 for one year full time (3 days per week) for both international and domestic students. Certificate IV is offered for a flat fee of $6,000 for both international and domestic students.
4. William Angliss
Based in both Melbourne and Sydney, William Angliss provides a community focused environment for its students. With ample social and support facilities, William Angliss offers 80 years of education and training experience in the hospitality industry.
They have around 23,000 students enrolling in their hospitality courses each year. They not only offer commercial cookery and patisserie courses but also bakery, food science, meat processing, culinary management, and food studies.
Their Certificate III in Commercial Cookery will take you 12 months to complete at a cost of $9,790 for a full course fee, $5,963 for a government supported place, and $1,620 for a concession holder. You could even follow this course for free if you are an Australian citizen under 20 years of age. Certificate IV will take you an additional 6 months on top of Certificate III and cost an additional $3,827, unless you are eligible for a CSP or other concession.
5. Australian Professional Skills Institute
Located on the west coast is one of Perth’s best schools for the culinary arts. They aim to be modern in their teaching approaches, offering small class sizes, up-to date techniques, quality ingredients, and chef teachers with industry knowledge.
Their combination of theory and hands-on teaching offers students the know-how and practical experience to prepare them for the real world of cheffing.
The APSI offers Certificate III in Commercial Cookery and also Certificate III in Patisserie, which can both be completed in 12 months full-time study. Certificate IV in both commercial cookery and patisserie will only prolong your studies for a further 6 months each. Certificate III will cost you $11,200 plus a $1,800 resources fee, and Certificate IV is $5,600 plus a $350 resources fee. Great news for international students as the fee is the same for them as for domestic students.
However, if you are an Australian citizen or resident you may also want to check out whether you are eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Placement (CSP) to help pay for your fees.
6. Front Cooking School
With campuses in Brunswick, Brisbane, and Melbourne, Front Cooking School is a great option for your culinary studies. Front is an affiliate of the larger school Acknowledge Education, which has a history of education in Australia of over 138 years. Industry-trained chefs guide students through the fundamental kitchen and cookery skills they need to become job-ready.
Facilities are first-class and the school provides students with fully-equipped commercial kitchens. They also offer some top-notch placement programs for aspiring chef students.
Front Cooking School offers both cookery and patisserie courses. Certificate III costs $10,000 plus equipment for both domestic and international students. Cert IV, however, will only put domestic students $800 out of pocket, while international students will be looking at an extra $4,200.
7. Meridian Vocational College
Based in Adelaide, MVC offer flexible hands-on learning combined with theory to prepare students for the real world. Industry experienced teachers guide students though simulated work environments and workplace-based projects. Meridian offers holistic, flexible, and customized programs to accommodate students with varying lifestyle and study needs.
MVC offer Certificate III over a 12 month period, full time (20 hour week), which will set you back $13,500 for a domestic and $14,250 for an international student. Certificate IV costs a further $7,250 and $8,250 respectively for domestic and international students. They also offer patisserie courses.
8. International College of Advanced Education
ICAE is a not-for-profit school that has been established in the Northern Territory since 1997. Located in tropical Darwin, the school has a strong focus on employment outcomes for its diverse student body. ICAE has won many awards, including the ACPET Awards for Excellence – International Provider of the Year Finalist (2012).
ICAE offers Certificate III and IV in Commercial Cookery as well as Baking. The course tuition is $14,000 plus a $2,520 materials fee for international students for Certificate III, and a further $14,000 and $1,220 materials fee for Certificate IV. Both certificates will take 12 months each to complete. However, international students are eligible for work rights during the course for up to 45 hours per week.
Domestic students may be eligible for tuition free government funding so it could be worth checking that out if you are a local.
9. Sheldon School of Hospitality
The Sheldon School of Hospitality is a subset of the AIBT (Australian Institute of Business and Technology). Established in 2015, AIBT now enjoy over 10,000 international students, making them a proudly multicultural school. They even offer Certificates III & IV in Asian Cookery.
They have three campuses, based in Brisbane, Sydney, and Hobart. The Sheldon School of Hospitality offer simulated environments and training restaurants to ensure students are as job-ready as possible.
Certificate III in Commercial Cookery costs $16,000 for an off-shore international student and $14,000 for an onshore visa-holder. Certificate IV will cost an extra $2,000 for international and an extra $3,000 for domestic students. Qualifying for the full Certificate III and Certificate IV in commercial cookery will take you 18 months. The school also offers patisserie courses.
TAFE have hundreds of campuses all over the country, including many regional locations, so this is a great option for those looking for a local and cost-effective option. Many state TAFE institutions are currently offering half price fees for eligible students so this course is definitely worth considering. The TAFE model offers a combination of on-campus study and apprenticeship-style training.
TAFE offers Certificate III and IV in both Commercial Cookery and Patisserie. Cert III will take 12 months to complete and Cert IV will take 6-12 months, depending on your campus and course requirements.
Tuition fees range dramatically between the campuses – from as low as $370 per semester for a concession fee to $16,628 for an international student, depending on your eligibility and campus of choice. However, you can expect to pay on average $4,460 per semester at most campuses for general admission.
Many TAFE schools also offer Certificate II in Commercial Cookery. This course has no entry requirements so is a great option for students who have not completed high school. Most Certificate III courses have a minimum entry requirement of a Year 12 or equivalent achievement.
The schools mentioned here are a delicious taste of the culinary school delights that Australia has to offer. There is a variety of flavors for all different kinds of student demographics.
Each of these schools is a great option for aspiring chefs and will train you up with the skills and knowledge you need to confidently enter a working commercial kitchen. The road to becoming a successful chef can be achieved only though grit, passion, and determination, and giving yourself a solid foundation at any one of these culinary schools you will find invaluable.
Be open to learning, feed your passion, and work hard, and you will succeed in any kitchen.
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