As our talented NCOTY and YNCOTY semi-finalists head to Le Cordon Bleu on Tuesday, 20th June, we’ve found out 10 interesting facts that you should know before heading to the event.
1. Le Cordon Bleu has over 120 years of teaching experience
Le Cordon Bleu’s story began over 120 years ago when a young journalist, Miss Marthe Distel founded the first weekly culinary magazine of that period entitled La cuisinière Le Cordon Bleu. With 20,000 subscribers, Marthe decided to start inviting subscribers to take part in free cuisine lessons with the first being taught at Le Cordon Bleu Paris in October 15, 1895. Today Le Cordon Bleu has become the leading global network of culinary arts and hospitality management institutes, and is renowned for being at the forefront of the gastronomy industry.
2. They invented Coronation Chicken!
In 1953, Le Cordon Bleu was asked to undertake the luncheon for Her Majesty’s guests, and served the Coronation Day Banquet to three hundred and fifty people in the Great Hall of Westminster School. The dish was called Poulet Reine Elizabeth, known infamously today as Coronation Chicken.
3. Their figures are impressive
Le Cordon Bleu has over 20,000 students graduating each year of over 100 different nationalities throughout their 35 institutes across more than 20 countries worldwide!
4. They have a pretty impressive team of teaching chefs and lecturers
Le Cordon Bleu’s Master Chefs, wine experts and lecturers have all been recruited from the best Michelin-starred restaurants and 5* hotels from around the world. With years of experience in the industry, having held executive positions and competed in some high profile competitions, the academic team have a wealth of knowledge to share with Le Cordon Bleu students.
5. They are more than just a culinary arts school
Not only do Le Cordon Bleu run courses such as the Diplôme de Cuisine and the Diplôme de Pâtisserie, but they also offer a range of programmes in wine, culinary management, and nutrition which can be combined with a professional internship for a real jump-start into a hospitality career. They also recently launched a new degree with Birkbeck University, the BBA in Culinary Industry Management.
6. They have state-of-the-arts facilities
Le Cordon Bleu moved from Marylebone Lane to Bloomsbury Square in 2012 and now boasts temperature and humidity controlled rooms, multi-zone convection ovens, fully-equipped bakery rooms, a tandoor oven, a wine room with premium wine coolers, digital sous-vide water baths, an urban cultivator and much more, allowing students to train with the most up-to-date equipment.
7. There’s even a rooftop garden!
Hiding atop of the renowned school is a beautiful rooftop garden generating an abundant supply of the freshest ingredients such as rosemary, fennel, garlic and chives. This resource allows students to study plants and herbs in their natural state and experiment with this produce in the classroom.
8. And a café!
There is also an on-site café, which allows the public to enjoy a taste of the Le Cordon Bleu experience. Café Le Cordon Bleu offers a range of fresh artisan breads, pastries, gourmet sandwiches and daily specials, which are made fresh each morning using traditional French techniques and seasonal ingredients.
9. They have some really famous alumni
Graduating from Le Cordon Bleu can lead to an amazing career which is apparent in the school’s many notable alumni. There’s Julia Child, Mary Berry, Peggy Porschen, Virgilio Martìnez and Yotam Ottolenghi, with more recent alumni including Adria Wu, Rachel Khoo, Tess Ward and John Whaite.
10. They do a lot more than just teach
Along with staying ahead of the curve when it comes to culinary trends and hospitality education, Le Cordon Bleu has also developed restaurants, bakeries, and a diverse range of gourmet products, cooking magazines and recipe books. They also organise and host events throughout the year, and participate in TV series’ and films.
For more information about Le Cordon Bleu London, please visit the Le Cordon Bleu London’s website.