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ELEVATING THE CULINARY ARTS
André J. Cointreau, President and CEO of Le Cordon Bleu talks with HN about the school’s most recent and exciting offerings designed to better equip students with the tools for tomorrow’s hospitality industry.
In the wake of an ‘experience’ economy, hospitality has changed into an accommodation model driven by customization rather than standardization. How are you accommodating this trend?
With a history stretching back more than 120 years, Le Cordon Bleu has always stayed true to its philosophy of excellence. With around 35 Institutes in more than 20 countries, Le Cordon Bleu offers a wide range of training programs, from initiation right through to university curricula in the restaurant, hospitality and tourism sectors. In this regard to deliver expectations, Le Cordon Bleu aims to provide the best learning environment, the best teachers and experts in the industry to train the great chefs and managers of tomorrow. Indeed, Le Cordon Bleu is extremely committed to ensuring its training programs are outstanding. For this reason it gives utmost importance to developing new programs and constantly updating those already in existence. Regarding the latest trends for example, there is currently widespread concern in the field of gastronomy: how can we eat/consume more effectively for better health whilst protecting the environment? This has led to increased interest in fermented foods, such as Kimchi and Kefir, locally sourced ingredients, plant based dishes etc. These trends raise further questions about nutrition, ingredients, their quality, their flavor and the techniques, which enable them to be used to their full potential. Le Cordon Bleu supports this evolution in the gastronomy sector thanks to its programs, including a Diploma in Gastronomy, Nutrition and Food Trends, a Plant-based Culinary Arts Diploma, and a Bachelor of Integrated Food Sciences.In terms of equipment, you’ll see that our institutes regularly update their learning environment with the newest innovations. Paris changed location for a modern state-of-the-art campus in 2016, as did the Thai institute earlier last month. More recently, Le Cordon Bleu Brisbane unveiled new premium training kitchens, including an Asian cookery section with high-tech wok burners. Furthermore, since 2018 Le Cordon Bleu has partnered on R&D projects with Electrolux to propose new products born from professional culinary expertise and technology excellence.
Are the programs available designed to meet individual market needs?
Le Cordon Bleu is focused on listening and responding to market needs and requests from around the world in order to train the future generations of talents whether chefs, entrepreneurs or managers in the gastronomy fields. To that end, Le Cordon Bleu recently opened new Institutes in Manilla the Philippines to deliver a Bachelor degree and culinary arts training. In Brazil, specifically Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, we focus on the patisserie and boulangerie. Also, because food arouses such interest among professionals and food lovers, Le Cordon Bleu has just launched an Online Learning Program proposing a variety of courses linked to the field of Gastronomy, including Food Writing, Nutrition, Modernist Cuisine, etc. In this sense, Le Cordon Bleu is addressing various needs on a number of levels.
How are you attracting, developing and retaining the right talent?
Le Cordon Bleu is a network of alumni, industry and academic partners, chefs and field experts. In this sense, Le Cordon Bleu comprises a strong international community where some employees have remained loyal for many years, sometimes even decades. The achievements of our alumni are a clear indication of the success of the education they receive at Le Cordon Bleu and there are many outstanding career paths. For example, Le Cordon Bleu alumna, Chef Garima Arora, became the first Indian woman to be awarded a Michelin star for her restaurant, Gaa, in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2018 and was awarded the title of Best Female Chef in Asia in 2019. Another alumnus, Justin Kim, was named managing director of luxury hotel, Merchant House in Bahrain. That said, retaining talent is a very modern problem in the hospitality world, but it is not the only one. However, we can see the effects this has had on a variety of different fields. This is also where we recognize that the new generation needs to work with a sense of purpose in order to build a team and the drive to achieve.
Le Cordon Bleu
André J. Cointreau
President and CEO
Le Cordon Bleu has just launched an Online Learning Program proposing a variety of courses linked to the field of Gastronomy
We support this evolution in the gastronomy sector thanks to our programs, including a Diploma in Gastronomy, Nutrition and Food Trends, a Plant-based Culinary Arts Diploma, and…