How Le Cordon Bleu is equipping chefs with the skills the industry needs.
The subject of better environmental sustainability within the hospitality industry has gained a lot of traction in recent years. As consumers have become more concerned about the effect farming practices and food waste have on the environment, the industry has evolved along with the demand for more sustainable menus.
Zero waste, increased plant-based options and the eradication of single use plastics are all positive developments for hospitality. Culinary professionals have met these changes head on, as one would expect, innovating their approaches to menu planning and applying their expertise to new ingredients. But we also need to change the way we teach our future chefs, so they enter the workforce prepared to take on the changing landscape of hospitality.
Le Cordon Bleu is synonymous with traditional French cooking methods, but the institute whole-heartedly supports the need for innovation and better sustainability. Programmes are constantly updated and adapted in line with current industry and food trends, and Le Cordon Bleu London has also developed several programmes specifically designed to equip chefs with a more diverse skillset, preparing them for the modern challenges of the industry.
One such programme is the Diploma in Gastronomy, Nutrition and Food Trends, which was created to provide a pathway to support the growing interest in health within the industry; based on the principles of nutrition and food science. Similarly, the Diploma in Plant-Based Culinary Arts focuses on crafting excellent dishes solely from plants, designed in response to the demand for menus and products free from meat and animal products. Both programmes consider ways to think beyond the produce we are used to, looking at how one can utilise ingredients that can use up fewer natural resources and cause less damage to the environment, as well as looking at using ingredients in their entirety to reduce waste.
For those with an interest in management, Le Cordon Bleu worked alongside Birkbeck, University of London to develop a master’s degree teaching a modern approach to management within the hospitality sector. The MSc in Culinary Innovation Management emphasises innovation within hospitality management and helps to prepare students to be the ones who shape the future of the industry with a creative, sustainable and entrepreneurial approach.
In addition to offering courses tailored towards sustainability, Le Cordon Bleu highlights the issue at every opportunity through culinary conferences and guest chef demonstrations. Earlier this year Paul Newnham, Director of the SDG2 Advocacy Hub, hosted a discussion for students on the Chefs’ Manifesto; a chef-led project that brings together culinary professionals from around the world to explore how they can help deliver a sustainable food system. Their message is incredibly important to instil into student chefs, who will ultimately be helping guide the future of food. The institute has also hosted demonstrations from chefs specialising in sustainable food, such as Tom Hunt, Chantelle Nicholson and Jp McMahon.
Recognition for the importance of sustainability within hospitality continues to grow, and it seems this is no trend that will fizzle out after a short period. As more and more people recognise the need to change the way we eat to help the environment, you can be sure that Le Cordon Bleu will be ready to equip the culinary professionals of the future with the skills and knowledge the industry needs.