Culinary schools in Abu Dhabi cause stir, with Ecole Ducasse and Le Cordon Bleu announced

The two prestigious French cooking institutes will open outposts in the capital

Ecole Ducasse's Abu Dhabi Studio in Al Hosn. Photo: Ecole Ducasse
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A Michelin Guide food festival. A sold-out Taste of Abu Dhabi. Supper clubs and restaurant launches galore. There is no denying things are heating up on Abu Dhabi's culinary scene. Now the capital is set to get a boost as two prominent cooking schools announce their entry.

Globally recognised French institutions Ecole Ducasse and Le Cordon Bleu will both open their first Middle East outposts in Abu Dhabi in the coming months.

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi announced its partnership with Erth Hospitality, the company behind the first Emirati Michelin-starred restaurant, to launch prestigious chef Alain Ducasse's culinary school.

Set to open this month in the Al Hosn district, Ecole Ducasse will offer classes and courses for all skill levels, from amateur home cooks to professional chefs. The programmes will take a dive deep into the fundamentals of French cuisine, as well as the “Ducasse philosophy”.

French chef Ducasse, who has 20 Michelin stars to his name, established the culinary school in Paris in 1999, and has since developed it into a global network of cooking institutes around the world with a presence in countries such as Thailand, India and the Philippines.

This week, DCT Abu Dhabi also announced its partnership with Le Cordon Bleu, another culinary stalwart with a history of training world-class chefs. The outpost is slated to open in the first quarter of 2025, and will be located at The Grove on Saadiyat Island.

“This collaboration with the globally renowned Le Cordon Bleu will enable us to redefine culinary education in the region,” said Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, the director general for tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi.

Le Cordon Bleu was founded in 1895 in Paris and offers a wider range of programmes, from diploma level to bachelor's and master's degrees. It has produced several notable alumni, from American chef, author and television personality Julia Childs to Peruvian chef and restaurateur Virgilio Martinez.

Both school openings follow Abu Dhabi's previous announcement of a Dh360 million culinary investment fund aimed at attracting international brands to the UAE over the next five years.

Updated: December 12, 2023, 8:36 AM