Ashburton Chefs Academy

Certificate in Professional Cookery

Learn to cook professionally

Chefs Academy

The Certificate in Professional Cookery is an accredited 4-week chef foundation program designed to teach amateur cooks the skills required to cook to a professional standard. At the end of the course you will have the skills to start your career as a junior chef in a professional kitchen, launch your own catering enterprise, or simply enjoy the life skills of an accomplished cook.

Over 4 weeks, this structured course will give you expert training from our experienced chef tutors in modern cookery techniques. This course incorporates a Level 2 Award in Culinary Skills QCF qualification accredited by the Confederation of Tourism & Hospitality.

This course offers over 30 hours of practical cookery a week to teach you to the core skills required to cook to a professional standard, whether in a restaurant kitchen, a cafe, a ski chalet or as part of a catering business.

Who is this course suitable for?

Typical ambitions of those that take this course include:

  • launching a career as a junior chef;
  • starting a catering business;
  • working as a cook/host in ski chalets or on boats.
  • life skills and personal development.
Course Content

Certificate in Professional Cookery

Training: Full-time
Mon to Fri: 9.30am to 4pm
Hours: Approx 32 Hours/Week
Duration: 4 weeks

Locations: Ashburton

Certificates & Qualifications
  • Ashburton Chefs Academy Certificate in Professional Cookery
  • CTH Level 2 Award in Culinary Skills
  • CIEH Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering

Course Brochure

Brochure Download a printable course brochure. Download

Meet the Graduate

Chef Graduate Rosie shares her experience of the Certificate in Professional Cookery.

Read more

Choosing a chef school

Chef School

How do you choose the best chef school? We look at the common options.

Read more

Course Content

  • Food safety & hygiene
  • Professional kitchen practices
  • Knife skills
  • Mise-en-place
  • Vegetable preparation
  • Stocks, soups and sauces
  • Prepare meat, poultry & fish
  • Pastry, cakes, biscuits & breads
  • Farinaceous dishes
  • Desserts & Patisserie
  • Vegetarian dishes
  • Canapes
  • Modern Cooking Techniques
  • Plating & Presentation Skills

Course Schedule

Week 1

  • Induction
  • CIEH Level 2 Food Hygiene (1st Day)
  • Introduction to the kitchen
  • Mise en Place
  • Knife Skills
  • Soups
  • Breads
  • Pastry
  • Chicken
  • Scones and Cakes

Typical Recipes

  • Vichyssoise
  • Saffron risotto with wild mushrooms
  • Roasted vegetable and goats cheese quiche
  • French baguettes
  • Coq au vin
  • Cream of onion soup
  • Lemon drizzle cake
  • Chocolate brownie and vanilla custard

Week 2

  • Flat Fish
  • Round Fish
  • Ham
  • Lamb
  • Vegetables
  • Salads
  • Sauces
  • Desserts

Typical Recipes

  • Honey-glazed ham, buttered new potatoes, parsley sauce, saute cabbage and homemade piccalilli
  • Mackerel Escabeche, warm shallot, potato and bacon salad with mixed salad leaves.
  • Lamb Tagine, mint and almond cous cous.
  • Moules mariniere.
  • Braised breast of lamb, boulangere potatoes, green beans and griddled corurgettes.
  • Treacle tart and Bakewell tart.
  • Elderflower fruit jelly with rosewater ice-cream.

Week 3

  • Pastry
  • Vegetables
  • Pasta
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Duck
  • Sauces
  • Desserts

Typical Recipes

  • Pan-fried sea-bass with a mussel, cockle, pea and wild mushroom fricassee.
  • Best-end of Lamb, mustard herb crust, vegetable tien, rosemary dauphinoise potatoes and olive jus.
  • Pork escalope Holstein with fried duck egg and buckwheat tomato salad beurre noisette.
  • Confit duck ravioli with sage and hazelnut butter.
  • Chocolate fondant pudding.
  • Tarte Tatin.
  • Panna cotta with glazed figs in a tuille basket.
  • Eclairs, Profiteroles, Raspberry Sorbet.

Week 4

  • Practical Assessment
  • Graduation

Typical Recipes

  • Canapés.
  • Lamb Rogan Josh.
  • Oven baked gurnard fillet on spelt bread croute with spinach, poached egg hollandaise.
  • Roasted vegetable and goats cheese quiche with dressed salad.


Graduates of this course earn the following certificates and qualifications:-

Certificate in Professional Cookery

The Ashburton Chefs Academy Certificate in Professional Cookery marks your graduation from an elite culinary academy and is our endorsement of your professional skills.

CTH Level 2 Award in Culinary Skills

The Level 2 Award in Culinary Skills award is accredited by the Confederation of Hospitality & Tourism an internationally recognised awarding body. The level 2 award has been designed as an introduction to the professional kitchen and will provide opportunities for credit transfer to other qualifications.

Visit the CTH Website

What is the difference between the Level 2 Award and the Level 2 Diploma qualifications?

The Level 2 Award is an entry level qualification whereas the Level 4 Diploma is the equivalent of a Foundation Degree.

QCF Levels

CIEH Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering

This is an industry standard food hygenie qualification that will be required by employers.

Visit the CIEH Website


Course Dates

The course duration is 4 weeks and runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

2017 Dates

  • JANUARY 2017
    Mon 09 Jan to Fri 03 Feb, 2017
  • FEBRUARY 2017
    Mon 06 Feb to Fri 03 Mar, 2017
  • MARCH 2017
    Mon 6th to Fri 31st Mar, 2017
  • APRIL 2017
    Mon 03 to Fri 28 Apr, 2017
  • JUNE 2017
    Mon 29 May to Fri 23 Jun, 2017
  • JULY 2017
    Mon 03 to Fri 28 July, 2017
  • AUGUST 2017
    Mon 31 July to Fri 25 August, 2017
  • SEPTEMBER 2017
    Mon 28 Aug to Fri 22 Sep, 2017
  • OCTOBER 2017
    Mon 25 Sep to Fri 20 Oct, 2017
  • NOVEMBER 2017
    Mon 23 Oct to Fri 17 Nov, 2017
  • DECEMBER 2017
    Mon 20 Nov to Fri 15 Dec, 2017
Apply for this course now

Student Accommodation

Chefs Academy students come from all over the world to study with us and we can help with your accommodation needs. We offer our own Bed & Breakfast accommodation option at Ashburton Court and a unique shared student accommodation option at Finlake.

We also maintain a list of local rooms and accommodation providers that can offer local accommodation and are happy to help place you in suitable accommodation. Please contact us to discuss your needs.

Ashburton Court

Stay With Us

At Ashburton Court


Stay at our comfortable and affordable accommodation at Ashburton Court, a short walk from the Academy Campus.

Rooms have en-suite bathrooms, tea and coffee making facilities, and television. You will also have access to laundry facilities and a guest lounge with evening dining space.

A delicious daily breakfast is provided with fresh local produce including juices, breads and pastries, fruit and eggs cooked to order.

Site Facilities

  • Historic Georgian buildings.
  • 5 minute walk from Ashburton town amenities, pubs & cafes.
  • All rooms en-suite.
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities.
  • Free wifi.
  • Rooms cleaned daily.
  • Towels provided.
  • Continental breakfast with eggs cooked to order.
  • Guest lounge.
  • Complimentary minibus transport to the new Cookery School.


You can choose to stay for 5 nights or 7 nights in either an attic room, standard room or apartment.

5 Night Stay

This option is best suited to those who wish to return home at weekends, or perhaps explore the region and staying elsewhere on Friday and Saturday nights.
You arrive on Sunday evening and checkout of your room on Friday morning. Total nights of stay is 20.

7 Night Stay

Choose this option if you would like a room for the full duration of the course - 26 nights.

Room Type 5 Night (Sun to Thu) 7 Nights
Attic Room £900 £1250
Standard Room £1100 £1500
Apartment £1400 £1900


The Heart of Devon

Located between the cities of Exeter and Plymouth, the small, picturesque town of Ashburton is known as the 'Gateway to the Moor', located on the edge of Dartmoor National Park - an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Exeter is just 20 minutes by car which provides plenty in the way of shopping, services and entertainment. And of course, the Cornish border is only 1 hour away.

Devon is one of Europe's finest food regions, and you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to food producers, farmer's markets, fine restaurants and some of the UK's best pubs.

Explore More

Finlake Shared Accomodation

Finlake is a luxury holiday park around 10 minutes drive from Ashburton. Our free daily minibus collects and returns students between the cookery school and the accommodation. A luxury 3-bedroom lodge is shared by Ashburton culinary students for the duration of their stay with breaks at half term. Finlake is set in stunning countryside and provides excellent facilities and an amazing base ffrom which to make the most of your time with us.


No. Nights Cost
Certificate in Professional Cookery (4 weeks) 26 £950

Finlake Student Accommodation

Our residential package for Chefs Academy students offers a fantastic experience that you won't find anywhere else. Set in 130 acres of magnificent Devon countryside, Finlake is one of the country's most sought after holiday destinations just 15 minutes drive from Ashburton.

Academy students share a luxury, 3-bedroomed woodland lodge which is fitted to the highest standards. Featuring a spacious shared lounge and dining area, tv, fitted kitchen & bathrooms, as well as outdoor deck and bbq areas.

Finlake offers a wealth of activities to help you relax after your training in the kitchen. Start the day with an early morning swim in the heated indoor pool, keep fit in the extensive fitness room, or enjoy one of the many woodland walks. Enjoy a fresh coffee in the park cafe, or unwind with a drink in the bar and restaurant with friends.

Accommodation includes access to all leisure facilities and free minibus transport between Finlake and the Ashburton Cookery School. Finlake is truly an inspirational setting from which to complete your studies at the Chefs Academy.

Student Lodges
Shared Lounge
Fitted Kitchen
Indoor Pool
Fitness Room
Restaurant, Cafe and Bar
Horse Riding & Walks
Fishing Lakes & Cycling Path
Tennis Courts

Site Facilities

  • Indoor heated swimming pool
  • Outdoor heated swimming pool with giant water slide
  • Gym and Tennis courts
  • Health and Leisure club including sauna, steam room
  • Bar and restaurant
  • Fishing lakes
  • Horse riding
  • Walking and nature trails
  • 9 hole golf course
  • Farm shop
  • Launderette

Lodge Facilities

  • TV with selected Freeview channels/DVD
  • Kitchen including microwave and fridge/freezer
  • Washing machine/dryer
  • Bath and/or shower
  • Decking area with patio furniture
  • Double glazed and heated throughout
  • Gas and electricity included
  • Bed linen and duvets
  • Free Car Parking
  • Free minibus shuttle to and from Academy


£35 per person per night (see individual course fees tables).

Includes access to all site facilities (gym, pool etc), free wifi, free minibus transport (Mon to Fri).

The Heart of Devon

Located just 15 minutes drive from the Academy, you will enjoy the peace of Finlakes rural location, while benefiting from the proximity to local town services of Chudleigh. You are also perfectly positioned to take advantage of all that Devon has to offer, with Dartmoor National Park on your doorstep and the East Devon coast just 15 minutes driveaway.

Exeter is just 20 minutes by car which provides plenty in the way of shopping, services and entertainment. And of course, the Cornish border is only 1 hour away.

Devon is one of Europe's finest food regions, and you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to food producers, farmer's markets, fine restaurants and some of the UK's best pubs.

Explore More

Fees 2017

2017 Certificate in Professional Cookery (4 Weeks)

Course Fee:

  • Training: 4 Weeks (Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm)
  • Course Notes
  • Equipment
  • Lunch
  • Chef Uniforms x 2
  • External Exam Fees & 
    Course Books for 

Course Deposit

Non-refundable deposit to secure place: £250

Full balance due 6 weeks prior to start of course.
Note: Payments made by credit card incur a 1.3% bank processing fee. Debit card, cheque or bank transfer incur no fee.

Optional Accommodation

Finlake Shared Accommodation
(26 Nights): £950

Ashburton Court Accommodation
(26 Nights - Standard Room & Breakfast): £1,514

Non-refundable Deposit: £250

Find out about Accommodation

Frequently Asked Questions

Free Trial Cookery Course

Experience Ashburton culinary training for free.

Find out more


The minimum age to join this course is 18 years old.

Typically we see age ranges from 18 to 55 years old with a 60% male to 40% female split. There will be a broad range of people from different backgrounds and different life experiences on our courses. We have people that are retraining after a long career in public service or the forces, professionals making a sea-change and planning to open up their dream cafe or pub, people planning to launch an outdoor catering business, or keen amateur cooks that want to develop their skills.

Chefs Academy courses are full-time, with intensive practical training. This is one of the reasons why our students can achieve so much during their time with us. Academy students receive 34 hours direct tuition a week, Monday to Thursday 9.30 to 4.30 and Friday 9.30 to 3.30 in addition to some home study assignments.

Whilst QCF qualifications carry a credit value and in some cases you can carry this credit onto another course. Our Diploma level courses however are standalone and so the credits accrused on a Certificate or Award will not reduce the study time on a Diploma level course.

Yes, we are accredited by the British Accreditation Council so you can apply for a student visa to study with us.
Please visit this page for further information for International Students.

Not at all. This is a common question we get from mature students who are considering retraining in a new career and are concerned that they are going to feel like they are going back to school. Our courses are not like those offered by a traditional catering college - both in the style of training we offer and the environment you will learn in. The broad range of ages and backgrounds of students at the Ashburton Chefs Academy will mean you feel very much at home.

Yes, Travel Insurance cover is essential for this course. A good policy will insure you against issues such as sickness or accident that would prevent you taking or completing the course.

Be aware that insurance does not cover 'change-of-mind' or any scenario that is not specifically detailed in the policy document. Any claims are initiated and pursued by the student.

Please read the policy document to ensure you understand the cover provided and exclusions - such as pre-existing medical conditions.

If you would like further advice about the travel insurance requirement, please contact us.

You should be committed to complete the course prior to enrolling. Demand is high for places on this course and late cancellations can deprive other potential students of a place. We will always aim to be as flexible as possible and work with you to help find the best solution to any challenges you might face.

Please note that if you book your course using our Course Finance option, you have a 14 day cooling off period where you may cancel your finance agreement and course. After this period, or if the course starts before this period is over, you will be bound by our Cancellation Policy which is described below.

Cancellation Policy in a Nutshell

  • To secure your place on the course requires a non-refundable deposit(see course fees).
  • The balance of payments of course fees are due 6 weeks before the start of the course. (This date is called the Enrolment Threshold)
  • Should you wish to cancel your place before the Enrolment Threshold we will refund all course fees minus the deposit. If you wish to defer your booking to a future course (and we are able to sell your existing booking), we may also agree to transfer your deposit to the future course date.
  • After the Enrolment Threshold you will have paid the remainder of your course fees. If you have chosen our Insurance Option you will also be insured under our insurance policy against sickness or injury to yourself or an immediate relative that prevents you taking the course. In cases of cancellation due to an insurable issue, you would initiate an insurance claim to try and recover the lost fees.
  • If you wish to cancel the course booking for a non-insurable reason after the Enrolment Threshold, such as 'change of circumstance' or 'change of mind', we will attempt to resell your place for you. If we are able to resell your place, you may request a full refund of course fees (minus the deposit) or transfer your fees (and deposit) to a future course date. If, despite best efforts, we are unable to resell your place, you would lose the full cost of your booking.

For full details of our Cancellation Policy please read our Terms and Conditions.

As a private culinary school, government grants or student loans are not available for our courses, however we have several student finance options available to UK residents that can help spread the cost of our courses. Please visit our Finance page for further details, or contact a student advisor on (01364) 652784 to discuss your requirements.

We provide you with your own chef uniform to keep, and all the equipment you will need is provided within the course.

As a graduate you can expect to be considered seriously for entry level chef positions in good quality restaurants. Your training at the Chefs Academy is aimed at preparing you for a junior chef position, but of course this is dependant on your own ambitions and the opportunities that come your way.

The Academy will be able to support you in your search for employment with references and introduce you to the vacancies offered by partner companies at hotels, restaurants, chalet and yacht crew agencies.

Confidence and self-belief come from mastering the fundamentals of cooking. No qualification can replace years of experience in a commercial kitchen, but we will prepare you to be a skilled chef with a good technical ability, a professional approach, good presentation skills and the confidence to be able to cope in a pressured and commercial environment, be that a restaurant or cooking for a private function. Graduates from the Chefs Academy have been eagerly snapped up by top employers who are keen to recruit well trained individuals.

We aim to prepare you for the realities of an industry that demands long hours and dedication, but equally can be as rewarding as any career. Our chefs have a wealth of industry experience and will be able to provide advice for your chosen career path.

All the food we source is from high quality local, food suppliers. It is our policy to reduce food miles, to source seasonal organic ingredients at every opportunity, and to only use sustainable food stocks. We audit the provenance of all of the produce we use. Your training and your food will benefit substantially from our approach which is in contrast to many other institutions. Meet our suppliers

There are a small handful of well established Culinary Schools in the UK offering a similar standard of training. Whilst some of the qualifications and aspects of the course may appear the same, the courses are delivered in a way unique to each establishment. Some focus on classical French training for example, whereas our focus is on developing broader skills, passion and thinking relevant to the modern chef, designed to fast-track your career.

We maintain a list of affordable local bed and breakfast options that will give you a comfortable home from home while training in either location. Please contact us for further details.

If you are ready to take the next step to joing the Chefs Academy, simply register your details and we will contact you.You will be required to complete an enrolment form as the first step to admission. Click here to apply.

Apply for this course


To apply for the Certificate in Professional Cookery simply contact us to speak to a student advisor or apply online below.

Fill out my online form.