Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Le Cordon Bleu—A Dream Come True

Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa
"Choose Life
only that and always
and at whatever risk.
To let life leak out, to let it wear away by
the mere passage of time, to withhold
giving it and spreading it
is to choose
nothing."
— Sister Helen Keller
Some of you already know this, but I thought I should let everyone know that today was my first day of school at Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa! A few weeks ago, I decided to follow my dream of attending culinary school, and with the help of my supportive family (especially my husband) I signed up for Basic Cuisine with the hopes of working towards the Grand Diplôme.

Today was orientation for all Basic Cuisine and Pastry students, of which 30 are in Cuisine and 45 in Pastry. We learned a bit about the history of Le Cordon Bleu. It was actually started by a woman named Marthe Distel in 1895 who was the publisher of a magazine called La Cuisinière Cordon Bleu. To thank her subscribers, she invited chefs to demonstrate to readers some of the recipes published in the magazine. The demonstrations launched the cooking school.

We were introduced to the chefs and staff, and then we walked through several policies and procedures (with attendance and promptness being stressed over and over).

All the parts of the uniform were explained, including why the jacket is double-breasted (so that you can re-button it to show the clean side if you want to visit the restaurant patrons). Houndstooth pants hide any stains. Aprons are done up on the front so that they're easy to take off in case it catches on fire. Steel-toed shoes protect feet from falling knives and hats collect the sweat. (Hairnets are worn at all times.)

After some more presentations about the schedule and other administrative details, we were given a tour, our equipment and uniforms.

Finally, I made sure to sample as many of the "viennoiseries" that I could, including two types of muffins, a sunny-side up apricot pastry, a croissant, a lemon poppy-seed loaf and some fruit. All were tasty, as expected.

Now, I must iron my uniform and get ready for tomorrow. Stay tuned...
"It is your soul's duty to be loyal to your desires."
— Rebecca West




31 comments:

Sunei said...

Thanks for the update. This is so exciting! Steel toed shoes?!! No orange crocs?? Good luck on this exciting new venture!!

Judy said...

Congratulations on your new adventure! I look forward to reading about your experiences.

Engineer Baker said...

Oh yay for that! I can't wait to see / hear about everything. What a wonderful opportunity for you!

FYI though - that "print friendly" button screws up blogger so you can't comment from a specific post's page. I had to remove mine from my code, as did Maria & Meeta :(

The Scootabaker said...

Oh you lucky lucky lady. I'm so very envious of thee. I look forward to learning from YOU all that you learn in your classes. The thought of taking on another batch of student loans makes me shiver. My turn will have to wait.
Teach me! I am your humble student!

luv,
heather

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Thanks, Caitlin! I was wondering what was happening. It was a cool feature, so I hope they fix this problem!

"E" Street said...

Congratulations and best of luck to you on this new adventure! It is always exciting to follow your dreams!

pigpigscorner said...

oh wow! This is so exciting! Good luck and have fun!

Tracey said...

How exciting Shari! Thanks for sharing about your first day - I learned a lot reading your post :) Hope you'll keep blogging about your experience.

don said...

First day orientation. Cool! So looking forward to reading about your new culinary adventures.

Good luck!

Out of curiosity, would those whites and knives come with the tuition? I've seen Cordon Bleu branded Wustof's in the hands of some graduates.

lisa said...

Congratulations on beginning an exciting experience! Can't wait to follow along.

Darina said...

How great that you finally have the chance to realize your dream! I wish you the best of luck and look forward to future posts on your progress.

Eliana said...

Congratulations and best of luck t you. I look forward to reading about your adventures.

nicole said...

Congrats, Shari! How exciting. I was JUST wondering why chefs wore double-breasted uniforms and now you've answered that for me. I'm already learning new things from your school experience :)

Jennifer said...

Congrats!!! What a fun adventure this will be! I cant wait to hear more about it!

strawberriesinparis said...

OOOH congrats Shari!!! and best of luck my dear!!

Joy said...

Oh my gosh, I didn't know you finally did it. I'm living vicariously through you. That's so exciting, hun! Can't wait to hear more about it. I'm learning a lot already from you.

jessbcuz said...

Oh! That is so exciting. I am so happy for you (and a little jealous, although I know you have many, many hours of hard work ahead of you!). Good luck, and I can't wait to hear more about it!

angela@spinachtiger said...

Okay now Shari, we want to see a picture of you in this uniform. You must be so excited!We're excited for you.

chriesi said...

Congratulations! I wish you a lot of fun and the best of luck! How exciting!

Andrea said...

Congratulations! We'll look forward to many stories of your adventures at Le Cordon Bleu.

Pam said...

This is so exciting!

Carol Peterman said...

Congratulations on taking the plunge to go to culinary school. I can't think of anything more fun and interesting to do, though I suspect the fun part will seem distant when exam time rolls around. Good luck and enjoy the adventure. I look forward to reading about your experience.

Helene said...

Congratulations! I was just in Ottawa, last week, and if I had known I would have walked by the school. Next time. Good luck.

Monica H said...

Sorry I'm so late commenting. For some reason Bloglines hasn't been updating me when you post :-(

I'm so thriled for you. This is so excciting and I look forward to seeing what you make. I wish I were there!

info said...

Congratulations! Follow your passion! I'm a career changer myself. I left a six-figure job for 6 dollars an hour 15 years ago and have never been happier.

My career change lead me to open my own catering company and cooking school, which lead to cooking videos on YouTube, then my DVDs, and now I'm about to introduce Web Cooking Classes.

Back then, I thought I was giving up everything to follow my passion. I later found that I gained all I'd really care about, and hadn't given up anything that wasn't worth losing.

Best of luck to you, you'll be great because of your passion.

Chef Todd Mohr

Jacque said...

Oh how exciting and awesome for you! I can't wait to hear all about it.

A hearty Congratulations to you.

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Wow! Looks like you have an amazing time to look forward to! I hope to someday attend the Pastry course!! I'm going to love reading more about this!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

that's exciting news! you have such a head start on the curriculum, too! :)

bibliochef said...

I love taking classes there when I am in Ottawa; have not done so in ages. And so I am officially jealous.

cantbelieveweate said...

I'm so thrilled for you!! And me too...I actually know someone who IS (was, has, etc.) attending LCB!! And I get to live it vicariously through one of the best writers I know! It couldn't get any better unless I were right there beside you!

kellypea said...

A little late and always a serious backwards reader (hahaha) a heartfelt congrats to your for following your dreams. Love the quotations you chose and can say enough how much their message means to me as well. Inspiring!