Cordon Bleu Diploma

Our flagship Cordon Bleu Diploma is for those who are serious about food and looking to take the first steps towards a career in food and drink.

The Tante Marie Cordon Bleu Diploma is an internationally recognised qualification which has been setting the standards in global culinary training since its creation in 1954. Run over a full 3 term academic year from September to July, this course is designed for those with little or no previous experience in the kitchen, allowing students to progress within their comfort zone towards a professional culinary qualification.

DaysMonday - Friday
Duration3 Terms
Time9:30 AM - 4:45 PM

* Subject to our annual fee review in April of each year, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

What you will learn

On arrival to the Academy you will receive your Tante Marie Diploma recipe file. Each term will see you working through this array of versatile recipes, learning and developing cookery skills and techniques to the highest standards and building your confidence in the kitchen.

Term one begins with the basics, introducing you to working in a professional kitchen, building your practical cookery skills, such as knife work and time management, allowing you to master the foundations of cookery. Term two moves on to an intermediate programme, taking your newly acquired skills to the next level and giving you a deeper understanding of the science behind cooking. As you enter term three everything that you have learned will be refined to perfection and you will have the confidence and abilities to produce Cordon Bleu dishes to an advanced level and create and adapt recipes of your own.

Tante Marie teachers are all professionally trained chefs and qualified teachers and understand the importance of skills focused training. We place a heavy emphasis on time spent in the kitchen, practicing and promoting skills based learning – we therefore aim for you to spend around 80% of your time at the Academy in our state of the art kitchens. Along with this practical training, you will receive supporting theory lessons. These sessions are designed to give you a comprehensive understanding of the food that you work with and the knowledge that you need to support you as your culinary abilities grow. We aim to make these lessons as engaging as possible to help your learning process. You will often find that lessons are accompanied by interactive activities, where you can put what you have learned to the test in fun, quick fire, digital quizzes.

Lessons at Tante Marie are taught in small groups of no more than 10 students. As well as practical cookery sessions, you will benefit from detailed demonstrations from both Academy staff and leading industry experts. You will also take a three day wine course with Master of Wine, John Downes.

As a Tante Marie Cordon Bleu Diploma student you will also have exclusive opportunities to take part in field trips to visit many of our incredible suppliers and food producers. These trips will give you a valuable insight in to the ingredients that you use every day and the importance of knowing where they come from.

The level of attention, skill and support given to Cordon Bleu students at the Tante Marie Culinary Academy means that our graduates are versatile, confident and more than ready to dive in to a successful career in food, drink & hospitality.


What’s included?

As with all our courses, there are no hidden extras. The course fee includes everything you need to complete your course. We do not charge extra for recipe books, uniform or knives. The course fee includes:

  • Professional chef’s whites
  • Chef’s apron
  • Chef’s knives
  • Tante Marie Recipe file
  • All ingredients and equipment
  • Lunch

In addition to the above, students will have access to our extensive library of cookery books as well as ongoing careers advice and support from our knowledgeable teachers and support team.

Tante Marie Cordon Bleu Diploma students also have the exclusive advantage of regular, educational field trips to our various suppliers and food producers, at no extra cost.

Virtual Learning

The Academy’s bespoke Virtual Learning Environment has been designed and configured by our teachers to support students with their studies and supplement their practical learning.

This online platform allows students access to extensive resources any time they wish, from anywhere in the world, via a computer or mobile device. Features include:

  • Personal Development Journals – A place for students to log how their course is progressing and communicate successes or concerns to their tutor mentor. This is also a great place for students to upload photos of their culinary creations to track how they have improved over the course of their training.
  • Lesson Notes & Student Discussion Forums – Here students have access to theory class notes and open forums where they can discuss specific classes with their fellow students – a great place to share constructive feedback.
  • Supplementary Learning – Diploma students have exclusive access to supplementary training via our Virtual Learning Environment. Here they can independently work through various resources such as ‘Hospitality Management’ and a ‘Guide to Chalet Hosting’ to accompany their culinary studies with a deeper understanding of the hospitality industry as a whole. Best of all, these resources continue to be available to them once they have graduated and moved on to the next stage of their career.
  • ‘How To’ Videos & Revision Quizzes

Once graduated, our students will also have exclusive access to the Tante Marie Recipe App giving them on and off line access to a digital copy of their valuable Diploma recipe file, from anywhere in the world.

CTH Exam Fee:

The exam awarding body charge an assessment and certification fee. This is out of our control and is the only cost not included in our course fee. The CTH Exam Fee is currently £350 and is an optional cost for those wishing to gain the CTH Level 4 Diploma in Professional Culinary Arts

Coursework & Homework

Students will be assigned a coursework project to be completed over the first and second terms. Preparation of Budget Lunch exam and Celebration Lunch exam will also be completed in students own time.

Students are also expected to spend time revising theory and practicing cooking regularly at home.


Exams and Assessment

Continuous, day-to-day assessment forms the basis of progression on this course, allowing teachers to identify individual areas of strength and weakness and ensure students achieve to their full potential. Formal exams and assessment include both practical and theory, and are spread across the course as follows:

Term 1:
Practical and theory skills test

Term 2:
Intermediate practical and theory exams, Budget Lunch assessment

Term 3:
Final practical and theory exams, Celebration Lunch and Wedding Buffet assessments

Qualifications Gained

Tante Marie Cordon Bleu Diploma
An industry recognised professional qualification, offered at Tante Marie since 1954.

Level 4 Diploma in Professional Culinary Arts
An internationally accredited qualification created by Tante Marie and The Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality (CTH)

Level 2 Award in Food Safety
A one day course delivered by leading industry experts.

Wine Course Certificate
Three day wine course delivered by ‘Master of Wines’ John Downes.

Details of all qualifications and accreditations available at Tante Marie Culinary Academy can be found here.

Career Prospects

The variety of careers that are open to our graduates, paired with the fact that students of all ages, abilities and nationalities are welcome, makes studying at Tante Marie an inspiring option. Since our creation in 1954 we have welcomed a vast range of individuals to the Academy – from school leavers looking for an alternative to university, to older students who are passionate about food and ready to make a career change.

Tante Marie graduates are known for their unsurpassed standards and professional discipline, making them highly desirable to employers. The Tante Marie Cordon Bleu Diploma is industry recognised and internationally accredited, therefore offering a fast track to successful careers in all areas of food and drink.

Our graduates are given the skills to adapt to all environments allowing them to hit the ground running in fast paced professional kitchens. Many of our graduates have gone on to take positions in Michelin starred restaurants with the aim of further building their working knowledge, while others have chosen to pursue their dream of opening their own restaurants and food businesses.

The Cordon Bleu diploma also gives graduates the understanding and discipline to follow varied non-cooking careers such as food journalism and photography or events management and marketing.

Some graduates go on to work in the marine industry, working in the kitchen on private yachts. To support students in this career choice, we also offer the Assessment in Marine Cookery.


Graduate Success Story

Selena Afnan-Holmes

Previous role: University graduate
Course attended: Intensive Cordon Bleu Diploma, 2009
New career: Restaurant Assistant Manager, The Test Kitchen, Cape Town
Career earnings: £365,000

Graduated from university, struggled to find work, loves cooking, enrolled at Tante Marie, Restaurant Assistant Manager at one of the worlds’ top restaurants: The Test Kitchen in Cape Town - currently ranked at no. 28 in the San Pellegrino World's top 50. It has all worked out nicely…

Read more graduate success stories