The French Culinary Institute (FCI), has campuses at The International Culinary Center in Soho, New York and in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. It is the sister school of The Italian Culinary Academy. Founded in 1984 by Dorothy Cann Hamilton, FCI’s New York campus offers full-time courses in culinary arts, pastry arts, cake design, and artisanal bread baking. The school also offers specialized training in restaurant management, wine studies, food styling, and food technology, as well as a variety of amateur cooking and wine courses. FCI’s California campus offers full-time courses in culinary arts, pastry arts, and a wine sommelier program. The FCI is consistently ranked among the top cooking schools in the country. In 2006 and 2010, The French Culinary Institute received “The Award of Excellence for Vocational Cooking School from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).”


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L’Ecole is the public restaurant operated by The FCI located in Soho, New York City. The restaurant is opened for lunch and dinner service, as well as brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Students gain experience by working the back-of-the-house kitchen.


  • 2009 Zagat Survey – 25 out of 30 for food
  • 2009 & 2010 Michelin Guide – Bib Gourmand for high-quality favorites at a great value.
  • Wine Spectator – Best of Award of Excellence
  • Wine Enthusiast Magazine – Award of Unique Distinction

Notable alumni

  • Dan Barber – Best Chef in America 2009 by the James Beard Foundation, Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People of 2009
  • Bobby Flay – Food Network personality, chef and owner, Mesa Grill & Bolo, New York, NY
  • Wylie Dufresne – chef and owner, wd~50, New York, NY
  • David Chang (chef) – named Rising Star Chef in 2007, Best Chef: New York City 2008 by the James Beard Foundation and Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People in the World of 2010.
  • Joshua Skenes – named Best New Chef 2011 by Food & Wine
  • Lee Anne Wong – 4th place *Top Chef season 1
  • Donatella Arpaia – successful New York City restaurateur; judge on The Food Network reality TV series The Next Iron Chef
  • Daisy Martinez – Cookbook author and host of “Viva Daisy” on The Food Network.
  • Melissa Murphy – Pastry Chef and Owner of Sweet Melissa’s Patisserie, Brooklyn, NY.
  • Claire Robinson – private chef and host of 5 Ingredient Fix on Food Network.

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