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Hands on Experience at Le Cordon Bleu

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
the grand diplome at LCB is it much hands on work? or is it sit in a class and watch the chef?
post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 

maybe i worded it wrong

If anyone has ever been to any cordon bleu in europe, could you please tell me if it was more hands on, or if it were more watching. Thanks
post #3 of 11
Oddly enough, I don't recall anyone posting here that's been through the real Cordon Bleu program. If it's anything like the curriculum that they license out to schools in the U.S., then I'd say it's more hands-on. I can't be certain, though.

I would recommend calling the school and asking for a short amount of time from one of their chef-instructors. Ask the instructor to walk you through what a typical day in class is.
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
post #4 of 11
I've talked to a girl in my High School who graduated the year before me and went on to la cordon bleu and she said that it was more hands on then academic. Also I work with a kid that studied in la cordon bleu in england on a daily basis so I will ask him about what he did in england and I will repost the info when I get it.
post #5 of 11

student at Le Cordon Bleu in Vegas

I am currently a student at the Le Cordon Bleu in vegas, it is mostly hands on. They are three week classes that lasts about a year. It goes lecture class, then practical class. They have changed it around, the classes used to be three hours for lecture and 6 hour for practical. Now it is two, and five. It is a good place to learn, but it is a fast paced program. I have learned a lot in the 6 months i have been here. Now if I can just get a job, so I wont lose those skills. :lol:
Hope this helps you.

"my chef must love me, he is always yelling my name"
Chef Peter Sherlock
post #6 of 11
I know that I'm coming in past fashionably late on this one but I've recently completed the cuisine program (classical cycle) at the Ottawa campus and it is certainly mostly hands on. Even the demonstration classes are not at all "academic" and allowed for much student/chef interaction.

post #7 of 11

I posted this in another forum...

No, I did not go to the LCB but as I mention here I have employees who have and we talk a lot. I have pasted this response from another thread. Maybe it isn't relevant. I hope it is helpful...

Since you asked for a response here is one. The first question is what is your professional goals? If they include working in a professional kitchen I wouldn't really reccomend either of the schools you mentioned. If your whole goal is to work in France I still wouldn't. I am speaking from a co-worker of these graduates, as an employer of these [COLOR=#006666 ! important][COLOR=#006666 ! important]graduates[/COLOR][/COLOR], and also these words are from graduates themselves (my employees)

The Paris LCB and Ritz are not programs that are designed to teach you to work in a real professional kitchen (despite their claims). Yes you will learn the classics, and yes you may even learn a lot of traditional techiques, and, get to do it all in metric. But you will not learn to do volume work, or to use professional equipment. All three of my employees (2@LCB, and 1 at Ritz) feel like they wasted a lot of money, and so do I since I have had to re-train them. Yes they know a few dishes very well, but the foundations and theory and the general familiarity of the cooking world is not there. Both of the LCB graduates said they were 1 of the few [COLOR=#006666 ! important][COLOR=#006666 ! important]students[/COLOR][/COLOR] there training to be a cook, most where international women/girls who where just trying to improve their mariage-ability(the girls' words). Also french professionals have no respect for these schools so if you do go and want to get a job (in France) afterward don't say you went.

One of my biggest frustrations is that there remains this myth that France (and Paris) is still the epitome of cuisine or even french cuisine. (Ironically all the french media bemoan the fact that the french don't know how to eat anymore. I actually just stopped my subscription to my french cooking magazine, I was tired of all the "american cusine" in it.) I love France, I love cooking in France; it is my second home. But I do not think that it offers any greater cooking training than here in the US. Various social and labour laws in France have driven many chefs here to the states.

Again I ask you what is your ultimate goal for culinary education. If you just love food and want a great experience, go wherever. If you truly want to work in the professional cooking field than you need to do research as to what kind of schooling will give you the best foundation and professional preparation for that.

"It's just you would hate to make such a big commitment and then come back and work on a line beside some community college culinary graduate, not saying that's bad but I think you can understand."

Hmm I am wondering if you understand. Have you been researching beyond the brochures. You will be lucky if right out of culinary school (no matter how fancy it was) you will even get a job on the line. And consider this, many top chefs will only hire from community colleges because they don't want the attitude that comes from graduates who think they are better because they went to a big name school. I would hate for you to make that commitment and come in to my place thinking your where going to be making rabbit fricasse and macrons. You might but you will also be peeling a lot of carrots, scooping cookie dough, cleaning out the ovens, organizing the walk in freezer, and trimming baby artichoke hearts.

France is a great place to live and cook but unless you have some good contacts (easier made in American Culinary schools where many French chefs now teach), it is much better for you to get some basic training in any school and then get some real world experience. Then go do a stage in a restaurant of your choice. I am curious as your research on "affording it" I don't know your situation but believe me when I say it costs about 2000-3000Euro a month to live in Paris, that is if you share a room and don't do any traveling or shopping etc... And yes being a student allows you to work, no, actually it allows you to apply for a work permit (part time only), a process that can take about 6 weeks to 6 months. But then you have consider the high unemployment rate in France and Paris, the severe immigration issues in France/Paris. And they're coming up on an election year so all those issues will make it harder for foreigners to find work.

You might be able to find a stage, if you are REALLY good, REALLY gregarious, and fluent in French and the metric system.

As a chef, and now business owner I frequently tell applicants that I can teach anyone to make a consomme, french lamb, or make a creme brulee; what I cannot teach is the desire and love of the professional cooking world. What I expect from an applicant is 1. A work ethic that allows them to do any task no matter how fun or tedius, work long hours on their feet, work holidys and weekends, 2. A basic understanding of professional equipment: sheeter, 60-qt mixer, robe coup, combi, flat top, deck oven, tilt skillet etc.. 3. A basic understanding behind cooking theory why things do what they do, and how to problem solve when they don't. 4. And the ability to move quickly and work in bulk: 20# of shrimp before service, scoop 50# of cookie dough.

I ranted long enough. I don't know about all the other LCB's and I welcome all the LCB paris people to come out in defense. Good luck with your choice. I have lived and worked in France for many years, I also went to a US culinary school and am soooo glad I went to the one I went to. If you have any more questions i can try to answer or give more opinions.
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
post #8 of 11
I'm not a professional chef by any means - but I've been on lots of short courses at various cookery schools around Europe - anything from 2 days to 6 weeks.

I did a 6 week intensive course at the Cordon Bleu, Paris... but that was a long time ago! It was certainly a hands-on course. You watched... then copied the dish/processes.
post #9 of 11
Wow, I've got to come to the LCB's defense here. I can't speak to the Paris campus program, so that's a proviso.

While we didn't focus on working in a large comercial kitchen, or hotel, or catering, or small mom-an'-pop renue we really had the foundations of solid cooking pounded into us. I think that's the beauty of the system, the maxim of "problem?/solution!" are really the watch words that rule the roost. If you have a specific career goal don't expect the LCB to conform to your expectations, it lives to provide you with the foundation to take you into whatever area of cuisine you find yourself and do well. Its not for people who just want some sort of finishing school and rest on their diploma. Its for people who really love food and realize that they will have to work every day of their lives to live up to the honour it is to feed their fellow man.

My two cents. Adjusted for inflation.

post #10 of 11
hi i'm planning on attending in the fall how many days are you in class
post #11 of 11
im looking at going to califorina culinary acadmey in san fransico LCB school and have talked to the the admishions people and they said that its 80% kitchen 20% classroom
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