Ashburton Chefs Academy

Certificate in Culinary Arts

Learn to cook professionally

Chefs Academy

The Certificate in Culinary Arts is an accredited 4-week chef foundation program designed to teach amateur cooks the skills required to cook to a professional standard. At the end of the course you will have the skills to start your career as a junior chef in a professional kitchen, launch your own catering enterprise, or simply enjoy the life skills of an accomplished cook.

Over 4 weeks, this structured course will give you expert training from our experienced chef tutors in modern cookery techniques. This course incorporates a Level 2 Award in Cookery Skills QCF qualification accredited by the Confederation of Tourism & Hospitality.

This course offers over 35 hours of practical cookery a week to teach you to the core skills required to cook to a professional standard, whether in a restaurant kitchen, a cafe, a ski chalet or as part of a catering business.

Who is this course suitable for?

Typical ambitions of those that take this course include:

  • launching a career as a junior chef;
  • starting a catering business;
  • working as a cook/host in ski chalets or on boats.
  • life skills and personal development.

Accreditation Matters

The Ashburton Chefs Academy is accredited and inspected by both the British Accreditation Council and the awarding bodies of the qualifications we offer to ensure we meet the highest standards of educational delivery for our students.

Read our latest report here

Course Content

Certificate in Culinary Arts

Training: Full-time
Mon to Fri: 9.30am to 5pm
Hours: Approx 35 Hours/Week
Duration: 4 weeks

  • Ashburton Certificate in Culinary Arts
  • CTH Level 2 Award in Cookery Skills
  • HABC Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering

Course Brochure

Brochure Download a printable course brochure. Download

Meet the Graduate

Chef Graduate Rosie shares her experience of the Certificate in Culinary Arts.

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Choosing a chef school

Chef School

How do you choose the best chef school? We look at the common options.

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Course Content

Over the course of 4 weeks our experienced chef tutors will teach you the fundamentals of cooking professionally along with a wide range of professional skills and restaurant style dishes.

Course Schedule

Week 1 Skills

  • Induction
  • Level 2 Food Hygiene Award (1st Day)
  • Introduction to the Kitchen
  • Mise en Place & Kitchen Organisation
  • Knife Skills
  • Piping Skills
  • Soups & Stocks
  • Chicken - Butchery & Cooking
  • Round Fish - Filleting & Cooking
  • Vegetables & Eggs
  • Breads & Enriched Breads
  • Pastry
  • Meringues & Ice Creams

Typical Recipes

  • Watercress Soup
    with Salt Cod & Poached Quails Eggs
  • Pea & Mint Risotto
    with Market Fish of the Day
  • Smoked Salmon Tart
  • Walnut & Raisin Bread
  • Brioche
  • Griddles Chicken A La Francaise
  • Minestrone Soup
  • Chocolate Mousse
    with Chocolate Drop Outs

Week 2 Skills

  • Flat Fish - Filleting and Cooking
  • Sushi - Preparation and Rolling
  • Terrine
  • Lamb - Butchery & Cooking
  • Duck - Butchery
  • Pasta - Ravioli & Tortellini
  • Choux Pastry
  • Sauces, Jus, Mayonnaise
  • Desserts

Typical Recipes

  • Plaice Goujons
    with Homemade Tartare Sauce
  • Mackerel Escabeche
    with Warm Schallot, Potato & Bacon Salad
  • Chicken Terrine
    with Homemade Picalilli
  • Best End of Lamb
    with Black Olive Salt, Aubergine Caviar & Lamb Jus
  • Butternut Squash, Sage and Beurre Noisette Ravioli
  • Profiteroles
    with Chocolate Ganache
  • Raspberry Mousse
    with Chocolate Tear Drop
  • Tart Au Citron

Week 3 Skills

  • Duck - Cooking
  • Pork - Cooking
  • Beef - Cooking
  • Scallops - Preparing & Cooking
  • Laminated Pastry & Suet Pastry
  • Thai Cooking
  • Emulsified Sauces, Salsa & Vegetable Purées
  • Ice Creams & Sorbets
  • Chocolate

Typical Recipes

  • Duck Confit
    with Beetroot Rosti, Chinese Greens & Roasted Shallots
  • Braised Beef Suet Pudding
    with Salsify & Broccoli Purée
  • Belly Pork
    with Caramelised Scallops & Cauliflower
  • Goat's Cheese Pithivier
    with Courgette & Walnut Salad
  • Thai Fish Cakes
    Galangal Soup, Thai Green Curry
  • Apple Tart
    with Caramel Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Negus
    with Pistachio Sorbet
  • Chocolate Truffles

Week 4 Assessment

  • Mock Exam
  • Practical Assessments
  • Graduation

Graduation Day

  • Canapé Selection
  • Macarons


Graduates of this course earn the following certificates and qualifications:-

Certificate in Culinary Arts

The Ashburton Chefs Academy Certificate in Culinary Arts marks your graduation from an elite culinary academy and is our endorsement of your professional skills.

CTH Level 2 Award in Cookery Skills

The Level 2 Award in Cookery Skills is accredited by the Confederation of Hospitality & Tourism an internationally recognised awarding body. The level 2 award has been designed as an introduction to the professional kitchen and will provide opportunities for credit transfer to other qualifications.

Visit the CTH Website

HABC Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering

This is an industry standard food hygiene qualification that will be required by employers.

Visit the HABC Website


Course Dates

The course duration is 4 weeks and runs from 9.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

2022 Dates

  • JAN 2022
    Mon 10 Jan to Fri 04 Feb, 2022 Book Now
  • MAR 2022
    Mon 21 Mar to Fri 15 Apr, 2022 Book Now
  • MAY 2022
    Mon 02 to Fri 27 May, 2022 Book Now
  • JUL 2022
    Mon 04 to Fri 29 Jul, 2022 Book Now
  • OCT 2022
    Mon 03 to Fri 28 Oct, 2022 Book Now
  • NOV 2022
    Mon 21 Nov to Fri 16 Dec, 2022 Book Now

2023 Dates

  • JAN 2023
    Mon 09 Jan to Fri 03 Feb, 2023 Book Now
  • MAR 2023
    Mon 20 Mar to Fri 14 Apr, 2023 Book Now
  • MAY 2023
    Mon 08 May to Fri 02 June, 2023 Book Now
  • JULY 2023
    Mon 03 July to Fri 28 July, 2023 Book Now
  • OCT 2023
    Mon 02 Oct to Fri 27 Oct, 2023 Book Now
  • Nov 2023
    Mon 20 Nov to Fri 15 Dec, 2023 Book Now
Book this course now

Student Accommodation

We offer a residential option to all students that need a comfortable, quality and affordable room whilst studying with us, from a weekend class to a 10 month stay on our Advanced Diploma. For shorter courses, our Bed & Breakfast option at Ashburton Court is an ideal home away from home, and for our longer courses our shared student lodges at Finlake are the ideal choice.

Finlake Student Lodges

For Diploma level students our residential package for Chefs Academy Diploma students offers a fantastic experience that you won't find anywhere else. Set in 130 acres of magnificent Devon countryside, Finlake is one of the country's most sought after holiday destinations just 15 minutes drive from Ashburton.

Academy students share a luxury, 3-bedroomed woodland lodge which is fitted to the highest standards. Featuring a spacious shared lounge and dining area, tv, fitted kitchen & bathrooms, as well as outdoor deck and bbq areas.

Finlake offers a wealth of activities to help you relax after your training in the kitchen. Start the day with an early morning swim in the heated indoor pool, keep fit in the extensive fitness room, or enjoy one of the many woodland walks. Enjoy a fresh coffee in the park cafe, or unwind with a drink in the bar and restaurant with friends.

Accommodation includes access to all leisure facilities and free minibus transport between Finlake and the Ashburton Cookery School. Finlake is truly an inspirational setting from which to complete your studies at the Chefs Academy.

Student Lodges
Shared Lounge
Fitted Kitchen
Indoor Pool
Fitness Room
Restaurant, Cafe and Bar
Horse Riding & Walks
Fishing Lakes & Cycling Path
Tennis Courts

Site Facilities

  • Indoor heated swimming pool
  • Outdoor heated swimming pool with giant water slide
  • Gym and Tennis courts
  • Health and Leisure club including sauna, steam room
  • Bar and restaurant
  • Fishing lakes
  • Horse riding
  • Walking and nature trails
  • 9 hole golf course
  • Farm shop
  • Launderette

Lodge Facilities

  • TV with selected Freeview channels/DVD
  • Kitchen including microwave and fridge/freezer
  • Washing machine/dryer
  • Bath and/or shower
  • Decking area with patio furniture
  • Double glazed and heated throughout
  • Gas and electricity included
  • Bed linen, duvets & towels
  • Free Car Parking
  • Free minibus shuttle to and from Academy


Course Duration Price
Certificate in Culinary Arts 26 Nights £910
Diploma in Patisserie 96 Nights £3,360
Diploma in Culinary Arts 110 Nights £3,850
Advanced Diploma 215 Nights £7,525
Advanced Diploma (Sep to Apr) 206 Nights
Less Nights due to Christmas Break

Finlake Deposit: £250
Required to reserve room and acts as damage deposit. Returned at the end of course upon successful checkout.

Note:Finlake Deposit is non-refundable in the case of a cancellation. Please see our terms and conditions for full details. Additionally please read the Rules of Residence.
Note: Smoking is prohibited within the lodges at Finlake and outside of designated smoking zones.

Fees 2022/23

Certificate in Culinary Arts (4 Weeks)

Course Only

Training: £3,700
Chef Uniforms x 2: £90
Aprons x 5: £25
Exam Fees: £160
Total Course Fee: £3,975

Residential Option

Course Fee (see above): £3,975
26 Nights Room: £910
Refundable Security Deposit: £100
Course with Accommodation: £4,885


  • Training: 4 Weeks (Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5pm)
  • Course Notes
  • Use of Equipment
  • Daily Lunch
  • Chef Uniforms x 2
  • External Exam Fees & 
    Course Books for 

Course Deposit

Non-refundable deposit to secure place: £250

Full balance due 8 weeks prior to start of course.

Optional Accommodation


Finlake Rooms Available July

For July, 2022 Certificate in Culinary Arts courses we have several rooms available for students who wish to stay at Finlake for the duration of their course.

For just £910 for 26 nights at this premium location. Call us on (01364) 652784 for details.

Frequently Asked Questions

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The minimum age to join this course is 18 years old.

Typically we see age ranges from 18 to 55 years old with a 60% male to 40% female split. There will be a broad range of people from different backgrounds and different life experiences on our courses. We have people that are retraining after a long career in public service or the forces, professionals making a sea-change and planning to open up their dream cafe or pub, people planning to launch an outdoor catering business, or keen amateur cooks that want to develop their skills.

Chefs Academy courses are full-time, with intensive practical training. This is one of the reasons why our students can achieve so much during their time with us. Academy students receive 34 hours direct tuition a week, Monday to Thursday 9.30 to 4.30 and Friday 9.30 to 3.30 in addition to some home study assignments.

Whilst QCF qualifications carry a credit value and in some cases you can carry this credit onto another course. Our Diploma level courses however are standalone and so the credits accrused on a Certificate or Award will not reduce the study time on a Diploma level course.

Yes, we are accredited by the British Accreditation Council so you can apply for a student visa to study with us.
Please visit this page for further information for International Students.

Not at all. This is a common question we get from mature students who are considering retraining in a new career and are concerned that they are going to feel like they are going back to school. Our courses are not like those offered by a traditional catering college - both in the style of training we offer and the environment you will learn in. The broad range of ages and backgrounds of students at the Ashburton Chefs Academy will mean you feel very much at home.

The skill requirement to take this course is that of a confident home cook. If you have no prior cookery experience at all we recommend you take either our Beginners Weekend or our 5 day Foundation cookery course first prior to taking this course which will teach you the basic cooking skills you need.

Yes, Travel Insurance cover is essential for this course. A good policy will insure you against issues such as sickness or accident that would prevent you taking or completing the course.

Be aware that insurance does not cover 'change-of-mind' or any scenario that is not specifically detailed in the policy document. Any claims are initiated and pursued by the student.

Please read the policy document to ensure you understand the cover provided and exclusions - such as pre-existing medical conditions.

If you would like further advice about the travel insurance requirement, please contact us.

You should be committed to complete the course prior to enrolling. Demand is high for places on this course and late cancellations can deprive other potential students of a place. We will always aim to be as flexible as possible and work with you to help find the best solution to any challenges you might face.

Please note that if you book your course using our Course Finance option, you have a 14 day cooling off period where you may cancel your finance agreement and course. After this period, or if the course starts before this period is over, you will be bound by our Cancellation Policy which is described below.

Cancellation Policy in a Nutshell

  • To secure your place on the course requires a non-refundable deposit (see course fees).
  • The balance of payments of course fees are due 8 weeks before the start of the course. (This date is called the Enrolment Threshold)
  • Should you wish to cancel your place before the Enrolment Threshold we will refund all course fees minus the deposit. If you wish to defer your booking to a future course (and we are able to sell your existing booking), we may also agree to transfer your deposit to the future course date.
  • After the Enrolment Threshold you will have paid the remainder of your course fees. If you have chosen our Insurance Option you will also be insured under our insurance policy against sickness or injury to yourself or an immediate relative that prevents you taking the course. In cases of cancellation due to an insurable issue, you would initiate an insurance claim to try and recover the lost fees.
  • If you wish to cancel the course booking for a non-insurable reason after the Enrolment Threshold, such as 'change of circumstance' or 'change of mind', we will attempt to resell your place for you. If we are able to resell your place, you may request a full refund of course fees (minus the deposit) or transfer your fees (and deposit) to a future course date. If, despite best efforts, we are unable to resell your place, you would lose the full cost of your booking.

For full details of our Cancellation Policy please read our Terms and Conditions.

We provide you with your own chef uniform to keep, and all the equipment you will need is provided within the course.

As a graduate you can expect to be considered seriously for entry level chef positions in good quality restaurants. Your training at the Chefs Academy is aimed at preparing you for a junior chef position, but of course this is dependant on your own ambitions and the opportunities that come your way.

The Academy will be able to support you in your search for employment with references and introduce you to the vacancies offered by partner companies at hotels, restaurants, chalet and yacht crew agencies.

Confidence and self-belief come from mastering the fundamentals of cooking. No qualification can replace years of experience in a commercial kitchen, but we will prepare you to be a skilled chef with a good technical ability, a professional approach, good presentation skills and the confidence to be able to cope in a pressured and commercial environment, be that a restaurant or cooking for a private function. Graduates from the Chefs Academy have been eagerly snapped up by top employers who are keen to recruit well trained individuals.

We aim to prepare you for the realities of an industry that demands long hours and dedication, but equally can be as rewarding as any career. Our chefs have a wealth of industry experience and will be able to provide advice for your chosen career path.

All the food we source is from high quality local, food suppliers. It is our policy to reduce food miles, to source seasonal organic ingredients at every opportunity, and to only use sustainable food stocks. We audit the provenance of all of the produce we use. Your training and your food will benefit substantially from our approach which is in contrast to many other institutions. Meet our suppliers

There are a small handful of well established Culinary Schools in the UK offering a similar standard of training. Whilst some of the qualifications and aspects of the course may appear the same, the courses are delivered in a way unique to each establishment. Some focus on classical French training for example, whereas our focus is on developing broader skills, passion and thinking relevant to the modern chef, designed to fast-track your career.

We offer a comfortable and affordable rooms at our shared student house, Academy House that will give you a comfortable home from home while training in either location. Please contact us for further details.

If you are ready to take the next step to joining the Chefs Academy, simply register your details and we will contact you.You will be required to complete an enrolment form as the first step to admission. Click here to apply.

Apply for this course


You can secure your place on your chosen date now with a £250 deposit. Simply click the button below, register your details and you will be able to reserve your place with a £250 payment.

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