For aspiring culinary professionals, training at Le Cordon Bleu is synonymous with joining the elite ranks of the food and beverage world. Even those who simply want to build their expertise and translate it into a scalable business — in other words, aspiring food ‘entrepreneurs’ — having a technically rigorous background is not only valuable in the kitchen, it can help to entirely set them apart from other amateurs or ‘foodies’ in the market.
With the enormous popularity of food-focused programmes like Saturday Kitchen and Masterchef, the food and beverage industry is the subject of mainstream attention, as the culinary craft is beamed into our living rooms on an almost daily basis. The British public are exposed to the finesse of gastronomic excellence and are recognising an opportunity to master a lifelong art.
At Le Cordon Bleu London, there is this same approach to food as art, cuisine as a culture, and the practice of eating and drinking as a way to connect not only with other people but with something creative and exciting within ourselves.
Let’s take a look at 8 cutting-edge courses offered by Le Cordon Bleu London for Aspiring Culinary Professionals.
1) Diploma in Wine, Gastronomy & Management
Wine, Gastronomy & Management focuses on providing students with a hands-on and practical approach to the world of wine. The Wine, Gastronomy & Management diploma gives students everything they’ll need to know about the production, analysis, pairing and understanding of wine.
Aspiring wine professionals will benefit from continued wine sensory analysis activities that build upon each other, field trips to wineries and restaurants across the UK, trade tastings, wine events, food and wine pairing and viticulture. The course also covers winemaking, maturation and bottling in the context of wine production in Britain.
For students hoping to branch out into the beverage industry and dabble in viticulture, along with their burgeoning culinary expertise, the Wine, Gastronomy & Management course brings a study of food trends together with a deepened focus on wine sensory analysis. Here’s where students really get a chance to develop their evaluation and tasting skills as they’re challenged to conduct a blind varietal analysis.
Besides viticulture, the diploma also emphasises beverage management, which is its own network of suppliers, producers and fundamental management theories specific to the winemaking industry. Besides field visits to wineries, breweries, distilleries and restaurants in the UK, students can also choose to visit French wineries. They’ll learn about the quintessential function of branding and distribution of a label, along with pricing, and commercialising their winemaking enterprise.
2) Diploma in Gastronomy, Nutrition & Food Trends
These culinary classes aim to heighten a student’s sensory evaluation skills and covers topics like food preservation, snack foods, seafood and underutilised ingredients. Yet, courses within the Diploma are taught through cooking and baking, allowing students to experiment with food trends and techniques from around the world.
Gastronomy, Nutrition & Food Trends also helps students understand the idea of choice and the body when it comes to food consumption. From the perspective of food science, ingredients such as grains are examined, as well as food preservation techniques, fermentation and pickling.
Time-honed and specialised culinary techniques like yoghurt making and spice-blending will be demonstrated. Understanding the makeup of food can also help chefs and culinary professionals develop a sense of how much is enough and how much is too much, so topics such as recipe writing, altering and adjusting recipes for special dietary requirements, reducing sugar and offering dairy alternatives will also be explored.
Through a diverse range of lectures and seminars on food trends and the current health and wellness industry, students learn more about ingredients such as cheese, wine, teas, herbs and the culture and evolution of globalised ingredients like the cocoa bean. This diploma helps students understand that gastronomy and food trends are not theoretical or isolated but a chance to reflect on how the entire world is connected through a very simple fact: We all need to eat and we all love food.
The evolution of food culture and food trends has been a slow and steady one, from practices and recipes keenly guarded to a global sharing of food traditions, ingredients and eating habits. Gastronomy, Nutrition & Food Trends is a zoomed-out, global look at the way we came to hone and preserve our current, modern practices in the professional kitchen — and beyond.
3) Boulangerie Arts and Artisan Baking Diploma — ‘Diplôme de Boulangerie’
Running a successful Boulangerie takes skill, practice and knowledge, and this diploma helps students cultivate and become comfortable what will be a lifelong journey in the refinement of Boulangerie arts, kitchen management, and gastronomy. Through the analysis of breads, breadmaking and bakery management as well as practical techniques like viennoiserie, and creating and managing your own starter cultures for sourdoughs, the Boulangerie diploma aims to give students a structure to their learning.
Via lectures, demonstrations and periodic workshops, students can cultivate the Boulangerie practice, hone their skills on professional equipment, and understand the preparation process, including straight mixing, lamination, and the presentation of baked goods.
Students will also focus on health and safety standings in the workplace, learning how to safely handle manual equipment in a professional kitchen environment. They’ll begin with the basics of food preparation theory, cooking and baking processes and then move on to focus on the granular composition of ingredients, complicated baking methods and on-site industry visits.
4) French Pastry Techniques Diploma — ‘Diplôme de Pâtisserie’
The Pâtisserie diploma focuses on preparing students interested in learning all about pastry baking with the knowledge, skill, discipline and practice of the basic, intermediate and advanced levels classic pâtisserie skills. Using demonstrations, challenges and lessons, students build an expertise that is guided by classically trained chefs who themselves have been steeped in a tradition of working in Michelin-starred restaurants and the industry’s finest kitchens.
With the Pâtisserie diploma, students will spend a significant amount of time learning and practising these classics and fundamentals and are then challenged to develop their own personal brand of style and artistry. This is achieved by exploring such techniques as decoration and presentation, plated desserts, cooked sugar centrepieces, confectionery and moulded chocolate and more.
During their 9 month tenure, students also get a chance to undertake the hosting of a formal Afternoon Tea event which pushes students to understand how a day in the industry really works. It’s a unique experience offered by Le Cordon Bleu London, and students begin to see how to produce food in quantity while ensuring quality, and adhering to a strict deadline within a formal hospitality environment.
5) Classic French Culinary Techniques Diploma — ‘Diplôme de Cuisine’
Running a professional kitchen involves running a tight ship — often at breakneck speed and for long hours. Yet, students who have a deep and abiding love for the culinary arts will simply see this as par for the course. The Classic French Culinary Techniques Diploma takes anywhere from 6 to 9 months to complete and involves a range of fundamental classical and contemporary techniques, including extended and advanced cooking techniques, butchery, textures and cultural ingredients.
Like students taking the Pâtisserie diploma, students of the Classic French Culinary Cuisine certificate will undertake a seated event that will test their knowledge and skills in a final project. Teamwork and creativity are brought to the fore and the event gives students a sense of what it’s like to work in the industry.
6) Diploma in Culinary Management
Consider this the ‘lite’ version of the BBA in Culinary Management. The diploma, as you might expect, is intended for independent business owners and managers who intend to work at the managerial level within independent food services operations such as restaurants or even manufacturing facilities.
The diploma in Culinary Management takes a holistic view on training, providing students with the opportunity to gain advanced culinary skills, gastronomy, the development of recipes, along with aspects of restaurant and business management such as designing menus, costing and managing supply chain and more.
7) Professional Chef Diploma — ‘Grand Diplôme®’
This is the ‘big’ one, the diploma that is intended for the true culinary aficionado, the student who intends to immerse themselves in the practice of culinary arts, working towards mastery.
It’s a tall order but motivated and deeply interested students enjoy that they can complete the rigorous Professional Chef Diploma can be completed in 9 months. The Professional Chef Diploma is the most prestigious culinary qualification aspiring professionals who actually want to work in a kitchen can gain. This journey combines both the Diplôme de Cuisine and Diplôme de Pâtisserie, which is exactly what makes it so special and so intensive.
Students begin their immersion through a thorough and complementary set of skills across both disciplines, focused on applying these skills to high-quality produce and specialist ingredients. These fundamentals of culinary techniques bring together theoretical and practical training, supported through Chef demonstrations and practical sessions.
They’ll learn how to work with live shellfish, prepare and use veal stock, engage in and practice butchery skills, working with beef, pork and chicken, as well as handle alcoholic beverages within a culinary context.
Students can also add an internship component and integrate the diploma alongside the Culinary Industry Management BBA for a well-rounded and deeply enriching experience.
8) Culinary Industry Management BBA (Honours)
The BBA Honours in Culinary Industry Management is a unique chance for the graduates to understand the intricacies of the food world from a business and commercial standpoint. Offered jointly with the Department of Management at Birbeck, part of the University of London, the degree cultivates a well-rounded graduate who’s ready to immerse themselves within the food business and service industry.
However, as the credential of ‘BBA’ suggests, the degree arms the graduate with a proper business designation and a similarly rigorous curriculum that reflects this tight business focus. The only difference — and advantage — is that courses like Introduction to Accounting, Management Studies and Principles of Project Management will reflect a culinary and service operations perspective. These more general and business-centric courses are then also distributed with Le Cordon Bleu London’s special offerings like Development and Evaluation of Food, Food and Beverage Management and Culinary Techniques.
The BBA in Culinary Industry Management equips graduates with a key advantage in today’s fast-changing economic and workplace landscape: flexibility. Upon completion, graduates can apply to a larger breadth of jobs, while still maintaining that sense of specialisation. Past graduates, for example, have scored positions within niches and industries like retail, product development, restaurants, hotels and marketing.
There is an entire world of gastronomy and culinary arts open and available to aspiring culinary professionals, and Le Cordon Bleu London is the perfect base camp from which to learn, perfect, and experience it all. If any of these courses sound like a dream come true, chances are, you’ve got a professional chef somewhere within you somewhere. Explore your options at Le Cordon Bleu London.
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