Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to reflect on hospitality management education from a “practice epistemology” and discuss how a connecting of savoir (theoretical knowledge or “knowing”), savoir-faire (knowing how to do tasks, i.e. task-related skills) and savoir-être (knowing how to be, i.e. behavior) can develop into practical knowledge. Design/methodology/approach – The purpose of the paper is achieved through novel reading of the literature on practical knowledge and formativeness applied to a higher education context. Findings – The paper suggests that it is only through the creation of context that a sensation of practicing for students can be provided, which ultimately may lead to practical knowledge. Context must be actively created through situations that invite participation to explore the logic of practice. Therefore, savoir should be treated as “organizing knowing” and savoir-faire and savoir-être as “practicing knowing” to do and to be, respectively. The terms savoir, savoir-faire and savoir-être were chosen for this paper, as they were the common reference terms used in hospitality (master-) apprenticeship systems in Europe. Originality/value – The value of the paper is a personal reflection on a practice epistemology for hospitality management education from the perspective of two academic faculty members who have been practitioners in the hospitality industry and who regularly teach hospitality executives.