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Erik,

I am at the end of the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu London, Monday is my final exam - I will be continuing to the Intermediate and Advanced courses and then the Patisserie...you can teake them simultaneously also...

I highly recommend it - I have never been to another culinary school, but there are some students in my class who have left other local schools b/c of poor training and having to purchase their own ingredients! Several of the students are already working chefs who are there to improve on skills or gain experience to further their careers...

In my class there are about 50 people, we are separated into practical classes of 8-10 in the kitchens, and the chef is always circulating and following what you are doing - always available for questions or problems.

Do you speak French? I know that the schools in France offer translations, but that may not always be sufficient, will there be a translator in the practical classes so you can communicate with the chefs? Also life in general may be more difficult if you don't speak it, which will take away from your learning concentration...

I don't know about the employment issues here and in the US...

Let me know if I can answer anything else for you

Sandra
 

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Erik and Culinarian,

The classes are as follows, you start out the day with a demonstration that lasts 2.5-3 hours, the chef will show you how to make a variety of recipes, of which 2-3 you will be making in a practical class that afternoon or the next day - practical classes last 2.5 hours, although if you are finished before then, you can leave after you get your grade - you are graded on a scale of 0-50.

The demonstartion classe encompass the whole group, about 30-40 students, the practical classes in the kitchens are broken down into groups of 8-10 max, you stay with your group for the duration of the term.

Each practical class is headed by a different chef, obviously not necessarily the one that demonstrated.

The classes for cuisine are 3 days a week, last term it was M T W, this term I have W TH F. I am not taking the patisserie yet, but those who are, attend the other 2 days of the week - I'm not crazy about baking so I will take that separately after cuisine.

They have also introduced theory classes which take place one day a week strating after school and ususally go about 1.5-2 hours - they cover topics such as history, kitchen departmentalization, culinary terms, butchery, etc...

You will also have to take a Food Hygiene course which is on one Saturday and lasts 8 hours - you get a nice certificate from it if you pass the test at the end of the day.

I'm not sure about externships or visas, I live here, so not a problem for me. I do know the school tries to help with placements, I haven't gotten to that stage yet.... Also, there are sooo many restaurants in the area which take students...

What else can I tell you??

Sandra
 
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