L’Academie de Cuisine, the local culinary school that’s produced distinguished alumni including James Beard Foundation Award-winner Aaron Silverman, Mirabelle pastry chef Aggie Chin, Daikaya co-founder Katsuya Fukushima, and celebrity chef Carla Hall, just shut down its professional campus in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
L’Academie founder Francois Dionot, who started the now-revered institution in 1976, informed staff late Friday, December 15, that the professional facility (16006 Industrial Drive, Gaithersburg, Md.) was done effective immediately.
“Graduation was today. Doors are closing. Locks have been changed,” a tipster tells Eater about the stunning blow, adding that management provided no clear guidance as to what prompted the collapse of the highly respected training program.
“Too many things have happened … too much to overcome,” was about the extent of the explanations provided to staff during a post-announcement Q&A.
According to the tipster, the recreational classes at the Bethesda campus (5021 Wilson Lane) are expected to go on until Sunday, December 31.
Upon hearing the news, Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema took to social media to praise the “terrific local cooking school that spawned many a talented chef.”
Incredibly sad to hear about the sudden closure of @Lacademie, a terrific local cooking school that spawned many a talented chef.— Tom Sietsema (@tomsietsema) December 15, 2017
Eater reached out to L’Academie de Cuisine for comment about the announcement but has not yet heard back.