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Cook Like A Chef
L’Academie de Cuisine’s mission is to provide quality culinary education to the general public for recreational purposes. The increase in television and internet programming, fine dining restaurants and specialty food retail stores is evidence of the increase for the appreciation of food and its preparations. These short term avocational courses, which make up the body of the Bethesda Branch classes, are designed to entertain as well as educate. The institution’s goal is to the general public needs and awareness. Our Mission is to provide a quality culinary education where cooks of any age or experience can hone their skills and savor results.
L’Academie – Bethesda is L’Academie de Cuisine’s recreational cooking school. Learn from the same chefs teaching at our professional culinary school at these fun cooking classes on every topic and food imaginable in a friendly, relaxed environment.
L’Academie – Bethesda is the original home of our professional culinary school, L’Academie de Cuisine. Founded in 1976 by Chef Francois Dionot as Washington, DC’s first boutique culinary school, L’Academie – Bethesda offers the opportunity to work with professional equipment and ingredients.
Our Logo Story
Our brand centers on a modern interpretation of a duck press, a highly specialized culinary tool used to create pressed duck, a French delicacy dating back to the 19th century. The logo modernizes the often-ornate form of a duck press to pay tribute to L’Academie’s place in French culinary tradition and to symbolize the foundational skills required to create even the most complex dish.
L`Academie de Cuisine
L’Academie de Cuisine was founded in 1976 by Francois Dionot. Chef Francois, a classically trained chef in all aspects of French cooking, was at the apex of a career that began at the world-renowned L’Ecole Hoteliere de Lausannel in Switzerland. This career saw him through rigorous kitchens in both Europe and the United States. After settling in Washington, DC in the mid-70s, he recognized a need within the restaurant community to provide high-quality, hands-on instruction in essential, classic techniques. He committed himself to creating a teaching environment that delivers the skills training students need to pursue a career as a culinary or pastry professional, strengthens self-discipline needed to excel in the challenging food-service industry, offers small class sizes and expert instruction, and cares about the learning needs and professional aspirations of each student.
Across the decades, our curricula have prepared hundreds of skilled culinary and pastry professionals for the local and national workforce. Some of our graduates, such as Carla Hall, host of ABC’s “The Chew,” and Chefs Nick Stefanelli, Aaron Silverman, Jeff Heineman, Angela Pinkerton, Katsuya Fukushima, Shannon Overmiller, Josh Jarvis, and Aggie Chin, enjoy national acclaim, while many others are beloved and appreciated by their patrons and local audiences.
Since our founding, L’Academie has cultivated a robust community of contacts among executive chefs, chef-owners, and restaurateurs in the greater Washington, DC region. Every year, this network grows and enables us to place each of our students in a paid apprenticeship. Many student apprentices are able to work in kitchens led by L’Academie graduates who carry on our legacy of excellence. As L’Academie de Cuisine celebrates its fortieth anniversary, our commitment to high-quality, skills-based training in classical culinary and pastry techniques remains steadfast. As our community grows richer, we look forward to making the forty years even more delicious.