Foundation in Practical Cookery

3 Months, Full-Time

Our Foundation Diploma in Food & Wine forms a part of our flagship 6 Month Diploma and is a new addition to our educational prospectus, offering students the opportunity to gain a solid understanding of ingredients, cooking techniques and a range of recipes. In addition, the Foundation Diploma in Food & Wine equips students with valuable qualifications in food hygiene.

Who is the course for?

The Foundation Diploma is open to all ages and abilities. Edinburgh School of Food & Wine accepts students from around the world including gap-year students, school-leavers, and career changers. The Foundation Diploma offers a wonderful insight into the world of food and gives students a valuable life skill, as well as a good base knowledge to pursue a career in the food and drink sector.


Foundation Diploma students have gone on to pursue a range of careers in hospitality. Opportunities include entry-level chefs, private cooks and caterers. Edinburgh School of Food & Wine constantly creates and nurtures relationships with industry professionals and agencies in the UK and around the world. We work closely with students to create the right opportunity for each individual.

Culinary Programme

Over the course of our Foundation Diploma in Food & Wine, ESFW covers over 300 hours of hands-on, practical experience in all areas of the kitchen. This includes all of the classical cornerstones of cooking which have been developed to form the modern techniques and methods adopted in today’s catering world.

Not only do we equip students with a good knowledge of the ingredients used in each recipe, we spend a number of days away from the kitchen meeting suppliers to learn more about ingredients and taking part in innovative workshops.


Topics that we cover include, but are not limited to:

  • Soups, stocks and sauces
  • Meat preparation and cooking
  • Bread making
  • Cooking for groups
  • Vegetables
  • Pasta, risotto and pulses
  • Fish preparation and cooking
  • Game
  • Smoking, curing and preserving
  • Cooking for diets and allergies
  • Desserts and puddings
  • Menu writing and costing
  • Wine Studies

During the Diploma, students are given a one-day introduction to food and wine matching, tutored by our expert sommelier.

This will give students a foundation of understanding regarding the makeup of wines and their ability to match with various flavour and food types.

This course will give students a good understanding of grape varieties and will enable informed wine and spirit selections.

This course provides an excellent foundation to pursue further studies in food and wine.

Health & Safety

Before working in any foodservice environment, it is a legal requirement that every employee have a REHIS food hygiene certificate. As a matter of course, all of our Foundation Diploma students spend a full day of training with our Health & Safety officer, at the end of which a short exam is taken to gain certification.

Chef’s Essential Kit

Knives and whites are an essential part of any chef’s kit, given that it is virtually impossible to work without them. Therefore, we equip all students with a full set of knives and equipment, as well as two sets of chef’s whites.

This is included in the Foundation Diploma price.

Careers Day at ESFW

Although Foundation Diploma students do not take the Business Course, we host the ESFW Careers Day each year. This introduces students to various potential employers from across the hospitality spectrum. These days are always very positive and help students make valuable contacts within the industry, which they can choose to follow up either straight away or keep in their network for the future.

Qualifications & Accreditation

Edinburgh School of Food & Wine is fully accredited by ICAS and is continuously assessed and reviewed to ensure that we are reaching the standards that they set.

Only upon successful completion of our Diploma course, will each student receive:

Foundation Diploma in Food & Wine Certificate

REHIS Elementary Food Hygiene Certificate

Portfolio of Work & Study

Don’t just take our word for it…

“I was at a bit of a crossroads, having left a job with my dad as an engineer and looking to pursue my passion for cooking. Edinburgh School of Food & Wine was by far the best of the bunch and my time here will stay with me forever. Since finishing the course, I am back home in Yorkshire, working in a 5 star hotel and loving every minute of it!”

John Donaghue, 2011 Diploma in Food & Wine

“As a recruitment agent for the catering industry, Cindy Webster Cooks has been working with the Edinburgh School of Food and Wine for many years. We very much enjoy meeting the students to discuss their careers in the food industry and we know that we will find some excellent future cooks, as they have received a very good grounding and broad skill base. Students find positions either as assistant cooks or work alone immediately. I always feel confident placing the ESFW students and I regularly receive excellent feedback regarding their catering skills.”

Cindy Webster, Cindy Webster Cooks

Courses Dates 2017 & Price

  • 4 January – 25 March £4,500 inc VAT (£500 deposit)
  • 4 January – 31 March £4,500 inc VAT (£500 deposit)
Program taught in:
  • English (US)

See 3 more programs offered by Edinburgh School of Food and Wine (ESFW) »

This course is Campus based
Start Date
Aug 2020
3 months
4,500 GBP
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