If I was you, and I wanted to study at the Cordon Bleu school, it would be in Paris, and only Paris.
There you are going to get a proper classical training which is recognised all over the world.
I would definitely not go to the US one for reasons which will become clear, and I am not sure if Paris is affiliated with the US one, or not.
Similarly, if I wanted to train at the Escoffier school, it would definitely only be at the Ecole Escoffier Ritz Paris, where again, you would get world class training from MOF chefs.
For some reason the Paris school, which was founded in 1988 in honour of Escoffier, is not associated with the US school.
Neither is the Paris ecole associated with Escoffier's great grandson, who seems to have done a deal with the US school.
More money for him on the table in the US I guess.
We should remember that Escoffier and Ritz were partners who together established the Ritz hotels in London, Paris etc
It's got to be Paris, every time.
If you want a classical French culinary education working with a world renowned chef, I am a huge fan of Raymond Blanc, a French chef who owns the Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, in Oxfordshire, near London, (http://www.manoir.com/web/olem/le_manoir.jsp,)
Raymond has maintained his 2 Michelin stars for almost 3O years. Getting Michelin stars is one thing, keeping them is something else.
Raymond prides himself on the fact that he has trained many young aspiring chefs who have eventually gone on to start their own successful businesses.
Back to, why not, the US Cordon Blue?
I recently made Raymond's famous "Flourless Chocolate Celebration" cake, for a friend's birthday. It was wonderfull, if I do say so myself.
Here is the link to the recipe : http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/flourless_chocolate_cake_73668
and here, is the 29 minute video. The cake is in the last 7 minutes, but watch all of it. You will love it. I know you will.
video link Flourless Chocolate cake : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOi-WM1o_jE
So now you've seen what this light delicate chocolate cake can and should look like when prepared correctly.
Now watch the chef at the US Cordon Bleu school make it. The difference is Night and Day. I mean.....Chalk and Cheese!!!
The poor woman has absolutely NO IDEA what she is doing. If this is the US Cordon Blue school, you'd get better training at McDonalds.
According to the video she was American Culinary Federation Western Region Pastry Chef of the Year 2010.
Jesus !!! How bad were the losers?
There are tons of places you could go to work with todays star chefs. There is Grant Achatz, Alinea, in Chicago, in London Michel Roux at Le Gavroche, then there is Heston Blumenthal at the Fat Duck, and endless wonderful chefs and places to train in France.
I can arrange introductions if you wish. Very pleased if I can be of any assistance.
Here is a photo of my attempt at Raymond's Flourless Chocolate Celebration Cake;
OK, I know, my white chocolate writing is crap, but Hey, It's the thought that counts !!!
Edited by black dog - 3/30/14 at 3:31am