Top Culinary Schools in Asia

Sep 29, 2019 | Asia, China, Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan, TASTE, Thailand

Photo Courtesy: ©Hong Kong Culinary Academy

If you want to bring your Asian cooking skills to the next level, here are some of the best culinary schools in Asia

Have you ever tasted a dish and immediately felt like you were home? Something rooted in its aromatic taste and homespun features that bring you to a simpler time? This sensation just happens to be Asia’s bread and butter. Asian food is greatly linked to historical values and cultural essences. 

The process of creating delectable dishes takes more than just advanced techniques and persistency. It’s a bit cliché, but food almost always tastes better with doses of passion and nostalgia cooked in. And what’s a better way of encompassing yourself in this artistry than stepping into Asia’s borders and learning how? Dive into a world of vigor and spirit with these top-notch Asian cooking schools:

1. Dubai: The International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA):

ICCA is renowned for being a part of the top 10 best culinary institutes in the world. It’s been given the Recognition of Quality Culinary Education award by world chefs everywhere. With experience in this institution, there’s no doubt one would get amazing opportunities in four-star and five-star restaurants all over the globe. The programs are vast and extensive, providing programs in the field of creating exemplary cakes, pastries, pizza, bread, chocolates, gelato and many more. There is a separate program for decoration classes and sugar crafting. If you want to specialize in the structuration of menus and team building, no problem. It’s all here.

So far, ICCA may seem a bit daunting with its array of features and specialties, but the best part of this institution is that it requires no prior background in cooking and baking. If you’re dedicated and desire to immerse yourself in the journey of it all, well, that’s all you need. 

To enroll in the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA), tuition costs $14,000 inclusive of visa and accommodation. 

2. China: The Sichuan Higher Institute of Cuisine (SHIC)

SHIC is the only place in China that allows culinary students to take long-term and short-term courses in the country’s classic and complex Szechuan cuisine. World-renowned chefs, restaurant proprietors and food bloggers and journalists have been partaking in the institute’s programs since 1985. 

Szechuan cuisine is rooted in China’s history and traditions. It is best characterized as an eclectic smack of rich flavors and spices mixed in with seasoned textures. The best way to describe the palate is that it’s deliciously intense. Lately, Chinese food culture and techniques have been sweeping the culinary world by storm and this might just be the perfect place to attain the unique mastery. 

SHIC’s short-term curriculum provides classes that aid in the basics of food preparation such as cutting skills, small plates, steamed and sauteed dishes, cold starters and plate work. All students gain access to kitchen facilities and literature regarding the science, philosophy and art of cooking Chinese dishes. The long-term curriculum offers a master’s degree in nutrition and cooking. There are other courses in tourism, catering and hotel and restaurant administration. 

The campus is located in Chengdu, China and it offers state-of-the-art recreation facilities such as demonstration labs, a library, a gym, a golf course, a stadium and a swimming pool. It is easily accessible through public transit as the compound is placed in downtown Chengdu. Faculty members are award-winning chefs so trust me, you will be in safe, credible hands.

To enroll in the Sichuan Higher Institute of Cuisine, tuition costs $400 to $900 monthly.

3. Japan: Hattori Nutrition College

Leading Japan’s most reputable culinary college is Yukio Hattori, a famous chef and nutritionist who also happens to be the host of a popular Japanese cooking show, Iron Chef. Hattori has constructed and designed his cooking courses to cater to the cultivation of people’s body and mind, also known as the practice of shokuiku. The chef believes that delicious food would be incomplete without the certainty of health and environmental safety. Hattori Nutrition College is the leading institute in Japan with a wide international following. 

Many people want to traverse the world of cooking and nutrition but it’s more than just having a steady hand and an understanding of general well-being. It’s about cooking food that inspires a peaceful mind and to achieve that, one would need to place themselves in that bearing. Hattori brings you to that higher level of understanding. With this new mentality, the truest composition of food begins.

Students have the option of choosing a program in nutrition, the culinary arts and culinary business administration. Each course contains various subjects linked to the base program which collectively aid in the complete mastery of the curriculum. Regardless of experience, students will discover their specializations and identity throughout their stay in the institution as its very essence is to promote cooking with a healthy mind and soul. The experience is dynamic and eye-opening, to say the least.

A degree from Hattori Nutrition College is a ticket to opportunities all over the world, not to mention possible culinary stardom. The knowledge that one has attended the college is an international currency that will boost reputations and bring them one step closer to blossoming success.

To enroll in Hattori Nutrition College, tuition is $5,600 to $6,700 every year.

4. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Culinary Academy (HKCA)

The Hong Kong Culinary Academy has been bringing professional training services to the table since 2005. It is the perfect place to be prepped for the harsh, unforgiving world of the food industry. It won’t be too long before one meets those incredibly high standards through the qualifications that only HKCA can provide. 

Some of the academy’s faculty members are European and American chefs that incorporate various cooking perspectives and techniques that would benefit students if they so choose to embark on their culinary adventure elsewhere. And if they choose to stay, well, the institution is dedicated to bringing an interesting spin to western dishes within its borders. Talk about a win-win. 

The academy does not just train students with their culinary endeavors. They believe that personal discipline and diligence is just as important as being a good cook. HKCA ensures that no student leaves the establishment without the right attitude and work ethic. One could be a terrific chef, but without appropriate discipline and control, how far could they possibly go?

To enroll in Hong Kong Culinary Academy, tuition costs $18,000 for two years, excluding miscellaneous fees. It is mandatory for applicants to take the IELTS for English proficiency to get an interview.

Courtesy @ Hong Kong Culinary Academy (HKCA)

5. Thailand: MSC Thai Culinary School

MSC Thai Culinary School offers a year-long course that offers programs that adhere to the highest standards of culinary education. The school’s core mission is to guide students through practical and theoretical cooking skills in a cultivated environment. It is imperative that students evolve into highly skilled chefs with outstanding occupational prospects ahead of them. 

They offer short-term programs for people who want to dive into that experience without too much commitment. They provide brief courses for restaurant entrepreneurs, half-day courses for a condensed understanding of its processes and fun weekend courses that feature fruit and vegetable carving, family cooking, dessert-making and many more. 

The establishment is accredited by the Ministry of Education and Thailand Professional Qualification Institute. 

To enroll in MSC Thai Culinary School, tuition is $2,760 for a year. To be accepted into the program, one is required to pass the examination issued by the World Association of Chefs Societies.

What are you waiting for? Asian culinary brilliance is just around the corner!