About Us

Exterior photo of Culinary Institute LeNotre

“Bonjour, Bienvenue, Bon Appetit”

-by Alain Lenôtre, founder of the Culinary Institute Lenotre®

Cuisine is a feast. There is pleasure, art and magic in cooking and baking. Pleasure first, in reading a good recipe, then in preparing it, tasting it, and serving it. And pleasure is even greater when it is shared. And what better way than of a cooking school to share the pleasure of cooking?

The story of Culinary Institute Lenotre began in Houston in 1998, when my wife Marie and I decided to start what would be the adventure of our Life. We designed Culinary Institute Lenotre to welcome beginners of every age and background, as well as professionals of all levels, looking to enhance their skills and resumes. Through hands-on, low student/teacher ratio courses, our ‘chef-students’ would learn a maximum number of recipes and “tours de main” (feats of skill) in a minimum amount of time.f

Since 1998, our faculty and staff have worked continuously to evolve the curriculum and expand the facilities. We now have 2 buildings, including our restaurant, Le Bistro, where professional culinary arts students gain real-world experience.

We are proud of who we are and we want to remain faithful to our Mission Statement from the early years. If you have a culinary project in mind or simply are curious, come visit us. We will be happy to show you around and perhaps help you make your Passion your Profession.

Chef’s hat on, let the feast begin!

Why should you choose the Culinary Institute Lenôtre®?


The food service industry is one of the fastest growing businesses in the nation. In 2013, total sales for the restaurant industry surpassed 660 billion in the United States alone (not counting the baking, pastry, ice cream and chocolate businesses). Quality sous-chefs and chefs are in short supply. Demand for professional chefs is expected to grow 9.92 percent by the year 2023. Now is the time to get training or to become retrained in an international art form which is artistically and financially rewarding.

The Culinary Institute Lenotre is the only Culinary Institute in the U.S. run by French natives. It provides an amazingly fast training and continuing education program in baking and cooking through intensive classes set in a pleasant atmosphere. The small classes allow the chef-instructor to personally encourage each student to perform to the very best of his or her ability. The instructor is able to monitor and supervise the students’ progress while offering constructive support to help mold them into model chefs. The highly structured curriculum is based on strict criteria to help train the chefs of tomorrow using classic and innovative techniques. The four Culinary Institute Lenôtre diplomas and the three Associate Degrees of Applied Science are very respected credentials in the food industry for those who are seeking a professional career and searching for employment independently or through our job placement service for life. Many leading hotels, country clubs, restaurants and caterers offer employment to our students. Currently, more and more students are starting their own food business right after graduation.


The Culinary Institute Lenotre provides a flexible on-going teaching schedule designed to allow students to attend on a ten-week term basis (or in cycles of 10, 20, 30, or 40 weeks). Chef-students may also complete our three Associate of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) Degrees in Baking & Pastry Arts, in Culinary Arts or in Hospitality and Restaurant Management. Each A.A.S. offers at least three electives opportunities including Hotel, Lenotre Sommelier or Management. All the courses can be taken by the week, enrollment permitting. Lab classes are from Monday to Thursday with a choice of three shifts: morning, afternoon, and evening.


The Culinary Institute Lenotre occupies 38,000 square feet in two modern free-standing buildings complete with a student tasting auditorium to train their taste buds, two student lounges, ten kitchen and pastry labs, and an amphitheater for the Lenôtre sommelier classes, demonstration, and graduation. The Institute’s Boutique offers a large variety of top quality tools, uniforms and schoolbooks. A library and seven academic and computer classes are additional features of our student services.


In France, cuisine is part of the “Beaux-Arts” (Beautiful arts), like music or architecture. There is a National Academy of Cuisine as well as “L’Academie Francaise”, the ultimate French academy of literature (which continues to update the modern French dictionary). To facilitate the duplication of culinary “chefs d’oeuvres” (masterpieces), the French were the first to codify their culinary art (recipes, menus, services, décor, and appellation). The evolution of these codifications for the last 300 years had three main periods:

-Classique Codification, Antonin Careme, 18th Century
-Methodique Codification, Auguste Escoffier, 20th Century
-Contemporary Codification, Paul Bocuse, Gaston Lenôtre, Michel Guerard, Roger Verge, etc., 21st Century

Many recipes from each of these three categories of masters are taught in the Culinary Institute Lenotre in Houston, Texas. The fundamentals of cuisine and baking have to be mastered before you can develop your own personal or regional style.

“The ultimate compliment to the savvy diner is to be invited in the kitchen.”- Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker


“The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a new star.”- Jean Anthelme a.k.a. Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), politician and French Gastronome