At the Ashburton Chefs Academy our mission is to launch the careers of the future stars of the culinary world. The Professional Culinary Diploma is a prestigious training programme designed to launch your career as a professional chef of the highest calibre, ready to meet the demands of today's employers.

Becoming a top chef takes ambition, dedication, passion and skill. The UK is in the midst of a culinary renaissance and employers are demanding qualified, skilled and creative chefs. Despite this demand there is currently a huge skills shortage within the industry for qualified chefs. We extend our training to develop the full range of skills and qualities needed to be a modern head chef from core cooking skills to management to leadership skills and beyond.

Over the course of this 6 month programme we will:

  • Develop your culinary skills to a professional level.
  • Prepare you for a career as a head chef.
  • Inspire you to become the best cook you can be.
  • Graduating from the Professional Culinary Diploma sets you out as a committed professional, ahead of the competition, possessing not only excellent cooking skills, but also the managerial skills that employers are crying out for.


Typical ambitions of those that take this course include:

  • launching a career as a professional chef;
  • opening a cafe, pub, bistro or restaurant;
  • launching a catering business;
  • personal development, gap year

Certificates & Qualifications

  • Ashburton Chefs Academy Professional Culinary Diploma
  • QCF Level 4 Diploma in Professional Culinary Arts
  • CIEH Level 3 Award in Food Safety
  • WSET Level 1 Foundation Certificate in Wines
  • Leadership in the Kitchen

Course Content

Students will receive a comprehensive training programme that will develop the qualities and skills required to become a successful chef. We take a modern approach to chef development working to build the full range of skills and qualities required by today's chefs.

Our 'Total Chef' training delivers a modern approach to chef development and is unique to the Ashburton Chefs Academy focusing on three areas of development which we call Hands, Head, Heart.


A chef is nothing without a mastery of the practical skills to create great food. We will teach you all of the fundamental cookery skills required to enter a professional kitchen with confidence, ready to deal with any challenge.

Around 70 days of your course content will be dedicated to developing your core cooking skills and a complete understanding of the essential cookery concepts and skills.

This will include theory sessions and chef demonstrations, but predominantly you will be working in the kitchen.

Real World Experience - Towards the end of your course, you will also experience the pressure and excitement of cooking for paying customers as you prepare and deliver a 5-course tasting menu to guests at the Ashburton Dining Club.

Skills You Will Learn

  • Knife Skills
  • Professional Kitchen Skills
  • Hors d'oeuvres, cocktails & canapes
  • Meat, Poultry & Game
  • Fish & Shellfish
  • Yeast Products, Bakery & Pastry
  • Pastries, Desserts & Confectionery
  • Farinaceous Dishes
  • Terrine Dishes
  • Stocks, Sauces & Dressings
  • Soups
  • Vegetables & Salads
  • Presentation Skills
  • Wine & Food Matching
  • Menu Planning
  • Sous Vide
  • and more


A successful chef is a thinking chef, and we will expose you to concepts and ideas from the outset that will build your confidence as a chef. We will explore valuable areas such as:

Food Hygiene

You will take the industry standard 3 day CIEH qualification for head chefs to ensure you are fully trained in this essential area of catering.

Kitchen Management

It's one thing to cook a dish, but managing a professional kitchen requires specific organisational skills. Costings. Profit Margins. We will prepare you for that role.

Managing the supply chain

To find the best flavours, you need to source great ingredients. We will show you how to develop a portfolio of food producers and nurture these relationships to give you the best results.

Leadership in the kitchen

A professional bespoke 3 day program on how best to manage and motivate a team in the kitchen.

Menu Planning

You will learn to develop menus taking into consideration event themes, styles of service, seasonality, budgets, and special diets.


You will learn to appreciate and identify wine with the WSET Foundation in Wine course.

Food Allergies & Nutrition

A customer with a food intolerance or dietary requirement is just as important as any other. We teach you what you need to know to be prepared for and accommodate a range of dietary requirements.


You will learn to appreciate and identify wine with the WSET Foundation in Wine course.


Great cooking comes from the heart! Students that are accepted on the Professional Culinary Diploma are committed, ambitious and are passionate about food and cooking. We will focus your passion to enrich and inspire your cooking.

Inspiring Guest Lectures

You will meet some of the most inspirational chefs in the region who have earned a reputation for excellence in their chosen area, along with artisans such as master butchers and fishmongers to give you great depth to your knowledge.

Field Trips & Visits

You will meet some of the food producers behind the ingredients you will be working with and we will help foster an interest and understanding of the importance of the path from land and sea to plate.

Ethics & Issues

And we will explore some of the ethical choices to be made in catering today and some of the wider environmental issues that affect us all.

Program taught in:
  • English

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This course is Campus based
Start Date
20 weeks
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