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Joël Robuchon Reveals Grand Plans for Massive International Culinary School

It's opening in a former French monastery and hospital.

Samir Hussein/Getty Images

Joël Robuchon, who holds a galaxy of Michelin stars, is getting into the business of education. The French chef has revealed plans for an international culinary school headed for the site of a monastery-hospital in Montmorillon, France, according to the Malay Mail. The campus will debut in 2018.

The school will offer a range of programs focused on cooking and confection making to sommelier training and waitstaff training. Bilingual training will also be available. Programs will range from two-months to three years. Plans for the campus include 20 classrooms, 19 labs, a multimedia lecture hall, and a working garden. Additionally, the school will operate a restaurant on-site in the Saint-Laurent church where students will apply their skills. During dining service, customers will be seated in the church's nave while students prepare food at the altar. The building rehab is expected to cost around €65 million (or $69 million USD), reports France TV.

[Photo: Maurice Rougemont/Getty Images]

Robuchon's campus, which is being funded by an unnamed Asian investment group, will also build a 15-suite hotel on site. In its first year, the school hopes to enroll approximately 523 students and grow to 1,175 students by its third year. In time the school will provide French culinary certification (known as Certificat d'Aptitude Professionnelle).

There's no word on what tuition Robuchon's school will charge but if it's on par with other top culinary schools in the U.S., the payoff might not be worth the investment. The value of culinary degrees is widely disputed with some chefs arguing that skill and work experience far outweigh culinary credentials.

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