L’Academie de Cuisine


Start your culinary school education in Gaithersburg, Maryland

With a history dating back to the mid-1700’s it’s no surprise that Gaithersburg, MD is home to a diverse population that includes a historic old town, new high-rise buildings, and and a progressive urban culture. Located in the heart of Gaithersburg, L’Academie de Cuisine is a leader in culinary arts and pastry arts training.

Any important decision is accompanied by important questions, and attending culinary arts school is no different. How much will it cost? How long does it take? How do I start? Can I get financial aid? Get the information you need, and the answers you’re looking for.

L’Academie de Cuisine – Gaithersburg
16006 Industrial Drive
Gaithersburg, MD 20877


About L’Academie de Cuisine

L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Maryland was founded in 1976 by Francois Dionot, a native of France, who attended culinary school and hotel management school at the prestigious L’Ecole Hoteliere de la Societe Suisse de Hoteliers in Lausanne, Switzerland. Chef Francois moved to the United States in the late 1960’s, worked at several hotel restaurants and decided there was a need for European formal culinary training in Washington, DC. He opened the school in 1976.

For over 30 years, the professional school has been teaching its students French culinary techniques. These students have gone on to become professional chefs around the United States.

The school has become recognized as the premier culinary school in the Washington, DC region and is considered one of the finest schools in the United States. In 1994, L’Academie de Cuisine moved its professional training programs and continuing education programs to a 15,000 square foot facility in Gaithersburg, MD.

About the Culinary Arts Program

The Culinary Arts Program is an intensive training curriculum comprised of classroom study, hands-on kitchen experience and a paid externship to prepare students to for work in the culinary world. The program is broken down into phases, each designed to develop the skills needed to be successful in a very competitive market. By the time you are done with these classes, you will have the confidence to work under any chef in the country.

You will learn both the technical and theoretical techniques of classic French cooking in small classes with lots of personal attention by an expert instructor. Once you have the necessary competence in all areas of fine food preparation and presentation you will add to your skills by expanding your menus to other international cuisines.

With management, operations, and career development lectures to augment your theoretical and practical culinary instruction, this period of competitive training helps enrich your overall vocational preparation and allows you to develop a realistic attitude toward work in the culinary industry.

The final phase is comprised of classroom study and externship training where you will work in a professional kitchen to hone your skills under the “watchful” eye of a seasoned chef. It is a paid job where you will work in a real kitchen in a fine-dining restaurant. The school has found over the years that this combination of classroom training along with hands on experience works to develop a well-rounded professional.

About the Pastry Arts Program

The Pastry Arts program is an exciting program with classroom study, hands-on kitchen training and a paid externship to hone those skills and get you ready for the real world. The entire program is divided into phases and is for serious students who are interested in a career in the Pastry Arts.

The program involves classroom study as well as hands on pastry production. Here you will learn the classic techniques and skills needed to create French Pastries and desserts. You will be taught by trained professionals in the schools 4 P’s philosophy – Purchasing, Preparation, Presentation and Palate.

A typical day consists of a lecture and technique demonstration, followed by a hands-on production session in L’Academie’s professionally equipped pastry kitchen. You will work to improve the skills you have already learned and add artistic skills that are essential to mastering fine pastries. You will learn the latest decoration styles and use higher quality ingredients to learn how to balance flavor and texture.

During the final phase of the program you will start your externship at one of the fine-dining restaurants, hotels, pastry shops or other professional establishment to give you hands-on experience in a professional pastry kitchen. Your externship will be in a school-approved pastry establishment of your choice where you will apply what you learned in your classroom studies.

You will work full time in your externship but still return to the classroom once a month for more targeted study. Part of this classroom time will be spent exchanging ideas with your classmates and describing your experiences in the field. Part of the externship training includes evaluation and supervision by the school and the pastry supervisor of the student.


L’Academie de Cuisine is accredited by the Maryland Higher Education Commission as an independent educational facility. Nationally, it is accredited by the Accrediting council for continuing Education and Training (ACCET).

Financial Aid

Financial Aid is available to students who qualify.

L’Academie de Cuisine participates in a number of financial aid programs, including Federal Pell Grants, FFEL Stafford Loans, FFEL PLUS Loans, and various alternative loan programs. In addition, the school offers a variety of scholarships to qualifying students, and offers payment plans. Applicants interested in financial aid should contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.

Faculty and Facilities

Home to a seasoned faculty, the instructors at L’Academie de Cuisine are first-rate. In addition to bringing a wide variety of industry experience to the classroom, the faculty at L’Academie de Cuisine also have a wide range of teaching experiences, giving students a strong foundation in necessary skills and knowledge for a culinary arts career.

Located at 16006 Industrial Drive in Gaithersburg, MD, L’Academie de Cuisine offers hands-on training in small-sized classes. In addition to on-campus training, students also participate in an externship program that provides career-based culinary experience in a supportive educational environment.

Going to Culinary Arts School in Gaithersburg, Maryland

L’Academie de Cuisine is located just a short distance from downtown Washington, DC. Home to roughly 60,000 residents, Gaithersburg is also home to a diverse population, and includes high rise buildings, a historic district, suburban and urban communities.

Located just a short distance away, Washington, DC offers students of L’Academie de Cuisine a wealth of opportunity. More than just monuments, embassies and museums, Washington has many lively historic neighborhoods and a vibrant music and arts scene. The nation’s capital is rich in culture and tradition and you can experience a wide array of international cuisines with some truly great chefs in our world-class restaurants and hotels.