Le Cordon Bleu

15/01/2018 11:27:44

Founded in Paris in 1895, Le Cordon Bleu is one of the largest networks of culinary and hospitality schools in the world.

Founded in Paris in 1895, Le Cordon Bleu is one of the largest networks of culinary and hospitality schools in the world with more than 35 institutes in 20 countries and 20,000 students of over 100 nationalities trained every year. 

As headline sponsors of The Skills Theatre - a programme of classes for chefs at the start of their career which will enable them to hone and demonstrate vital skills – we spoke to Sales and Marketing Director Alienor Cointreau ahead of the show, to talk about the institution’s history, its future and its role at Hotelympia 2018.

Alienor, Le Cordon Bleu is an organisation with a great deal of heritage, can you tell us how you have evolved and outline your vision moving forward?

Le Cordon Bleu Institute has been teaching the techniques and expertise inherited from the great names of French cuisine for more than 120 years. Our philosophy has always been to reach the very highest levels of excellence whilst maintaining tradition and guiding generations around the world in the evolving sectors of the culinary arts and hospitality.

Right from the very beginning, the school has embraced academic innovation, incorporating the constant changes which influence on the culinary arts into its curriculum. These changes include the evolution of ingredients, techniques and kitchen equipment as well as the increasing impact of social media on chefs. As such, lessons at Le Cordon Bleu focus on teaching fundamental techniques that can be applied to any type of cuisine and recipes which give students the skill set to progress in a global career.

Thanks to our increasingly globalised world, we’ve also seen increased and more comprehensive exchanges between French and world cuisines in recent years. And, whilst the major objective of Le Cordon Bleu is to widen and promote the scope of French cuisine and its gastronomic heritage, the institute also recognises the diverse gastronomic cultures of the 20 countries in which its institutes are located. Le Cordon Bleu alumni are no longer just ambassadors of French cuisine in their countries but reputed and internationally recognised chefs who strive to bring about resurgence in world cuisines.

Why have you chosen to move the brand on?

The culinary world has changed dramatically over the years, and Le Cordon Bleu has been an instrumental part of this evolution. At our schools we teach fundamental classic culinary techniques; however we also review and update all of our programmes on a regular basis. This enables us to introduce more modern techniques which are up to date with the trends in the industry. As a result, our students are able to continue to push the boundaries of modern cooking.

The institution is also aware that introducing new programmes which respond to food trends will help it stay at the vanguard of culinary education. For example, the London school recently launched a Diploma in Boulangerie, a course which trains students in the expertise of bread making and Viennoiserie. From classic items to modern techniques as well as kitchen management and tips on how to run a small business, the Diploma has already proved a success and we will continue to introduce these new courses in order to remain relevant and on-trend.

With the UK in the middle of a skills shortage, what, with chefs in mind, is your take on how this can be remedied?

Sadly, the skills shortage is not a challenge that can be resolved overnight. The hospitality industry must adjust and adapt in order to attract more passionate and talented individuals. At Le Cordon Bleu we train individuals to become highly skilled chefs, and we work closely with top operators from the industry to ensure that our students secure a job in some of the best kitchens in the country.

Le Cordon Bleu works closely with the international industry to foster relationships with potential and current employers who can help graduates shape their career. There are a variety of opportunities at the institute for students to network with professionals from the industry either through our guest chef demonstrations, careers fair or internship pathway that we run several times a year and by encouraging young chefs to forge these relationships hopefully we will start to see a reduction in the skills shortage. 

Can you outline what Hotelympia means to you and your plans for the 2018 show?

As the leading UK hospitality trade show, Hotelympia brings together a great profile of chefs, suppliers, and professionals making it a fantastic opportunity to network and keep the industry aware of what Le Cordon Bleu offers and our contribution to the industry. This year we will be holding an array of activities including activities, demonstrations and interviews with our chefs.

Press Office Contact Details:
Nick Clancy or Neil Brenson, Jellybean Creative Solutions
Tel: 01372 227 950 Email: nick@jellybeancreative.co.uk or neil@jellybeancreative.co.uk