Le Cordon Bleu Academy, London
On May 4th, I joined Emil Minev, Master Chef and Culinary Arts Director of Le Cordon Bleu in London to find out why training the French way is the best way.
There’s just something about French cooking that’s so simplistic and still teases us with its beautifully rich and complex presentation, taste and heavenly, weighted wafts of fragrance. For hundreds of years, France has been synonymous with all things gastronomic - but over time, it’s clung on to the sacred traditions practiced in the kitchen. It comes with little surprise then that aspiring chefs have packed their bags to arrive unexpectedly in Paris, desperate for the Maître of any food establishment to take them on as an apprentice in their kitchens.
Culinary Arts Director of Le Cordon Bleu plating up his dish at the Borough Market Cookery School
Le Cordon Bleu began in the late 19th century with a magazine that offered cooking lessons hosted by some of the best chefs in France. Over 120 years later, Le Cordon Bleu has become a globally leading institution teaching culinary, wine and hospitality education. It boasts over 35 schools in 20 countries with an outstanding 20,000 students graduating each year.
Since the beginning of its practice in 1895, the school offered an elite level of education and a unique diversity in the kitchen with classes of eight or nine different nationalities quickly becoming commonplace. Fast-forward today to 2017, and this mélange of cultures remains the same.
Emil (previously Executive Chef for Shangri-La and Jumeirah) guided us through London’s Borough Market (where much of their produce is sourced from) to forage the best fruit and vegetables and teach us how to prepare, store and cook fresh fillet of lamb with seasonal vegetables. As a young cook, it was inspiring to see how Emil’s Bulgarian hospitality and strong attention to detail revealed a work ethos built on perseverance and respect.
Le Cordon Bleu offers students of all abilities culinary arts, wine, nutrition, gastronomy and management Diplomas as well as one-day or 10-day experiences. Classes are on offer to anyone looking to improve their skills regardless of age - but do note the fees can be fairly steep.
...it was inspiring to see how
Emil’s Bulgarian hospitality and strong attention to detail revealed a work ethos built on perseverance and respect.
For young people, it's a fantastic opportunity to embrace a blank space that opens up from higher education. I can name friends who have finished High School or University and embarked on Nutritional, Culinary or Business Management in Food courses. As you know, I love cooking and have thoroughly enjoyed the handful of opportunities I've had to improve my skills in the kitchen - a memorable event in particular was when I had a masterclass with the Head Chef of GAUCHO which you can certainly read all about here.
Our plates were left clean and the lamb fillet and seasonal vegetables were delicious; but the experience of learning from a Master Chef personally made it that extra bit special.
To find out more about Le Cordon Bleu, or get in touch with them to organise a tour: