Le Cordon Bleu- a rewarding experience !

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Le Cordon Bleu Academie D`Art Culinaire De Paris . established  in 1895

Bonjour!

Paris was like a dream  and especially my experience at the Le cordon Bleu .This is how the story goes……

I received an email from Mrs Catherine Baschet , Development Manager Cordon Bleu , few months back.It was  regarding her forthcoming visit to India and her  desire to meet me at my office.I was equally excited to meet her as she represented  one of the worlds oldest and most renowned intitute of culinary education.  Following our meeting in my office in New Delhi, she invited me to the Institute for demostration of Indian Cuisine. since  I was  also invited to the Paris cook Book fair in March 2011 to demonstrate at the international show kitchen at the Paris cook Book fair 2011 , we  coordinated  the  dates to coincide with my trip to Paris.

I reached Paris on 2nd of March 2011 , ealry morning.On reaching the Hotel I was very much touched to find  neatly wrapped  box of exotic Chocolates  with a note from Catherine Baschet and Elodie Cochekin(Student and Customer Services Manager) -”Wishing you a warm Welcome “.

I was received by Catherine , Elodie and Neha Verma (A keen Student of LCB)  for a tour of the institute , the day  I arrived.The White and Blue Building with a neat enterance and a warm reception, with Culinary books show casing the splendour of the great Institute which has produced great students such as Julia Child( recently a motion picture was made on her Julia Julia staring Meryl Streep).

The School is  an impressive massive white and blue builing .The basement has kitchen storages and cold storages for the material used for the demos and practicals.

There are many large demo kitchens where great chefs  teach their students the art of cooking.There are two courses  offered at the school -one for the cuisine and the other for the Pastry. Each course is divided into three parts and takes around 9 months to complete all three levels .One may choose to do both Cuisine as well as Pasrty course to get the Grande Diploma.

On  my visit I was introduced to many  great chefs who teach at the Le Cordon Bleu  and the other  staff of the school.I was over whelmed to  feel the vibrancy and the positive buzz in the atmosphere . There were classes being attended by students .I went to one  of the classes ,  where the students were being taught  how to make a log cake with Pistachio filling  .I waited patiently  for the class to end  with a mouth watering desire to be able to taste the devine looking cake.  On my first bite into the cake I was to fully convinced  that there is no parallel to this great institue.

The following day that is the 3rd of March 2011 , Iw as to take a class for the students of cuisine course . I was assigned two students  (Rio and Sui) to assist me in preperation  for the demo in  the class . The class was scheduled from 4 pm to 6 pm . I explained to the class about the rich heritage   and diversity of  Indian cuisine .They were all very excited to  see the colours and   smell  the aromas of the Indian spices .I explained to them ,the different styles of Indian cuisne as it differs from region to region since india is a country with many regions, cultures, religions and climates owing to which we have such diversity in our Indian Cuisine.I demonstrated Hyderababdi Biryani  and Motimahals  Tandoori Chicken and the Butter chicken ,which were s invented by my grandfather Kundan Lal Gujral in 1920. The class ended with the usual tasting session .  I was enthralled , when I saw the  students enthusiastically queuing   up   to taste the food, I had  cooked. Then suddenly there was a loud applause and clapping ,as I was told  by the students that the food was great   and my    day was made…

To my surprise ,at the end of the class ,I was given  a certificate from the Le Cordon Bleu  – admitting me to the Le Club des Am’s du Cordon Bleu -”Pour son appreciation de la cusine et de la gastronomie, la direction de l`ecole Le Cordon Bleu atteste que ” Making me the first Indian chef to demonstrate at the Le Cordon Bleu school and recieve  this  certificate of honor.

Last but not the least I must thank Neha Verma (from India) , a student  of LCB who  was assigned to   assist me at the institute.She was a great help , indeed.

The story which began by an email from   Catherine Baschet  , who by the end  ,became a dear friend a truly mothery figure and I dealry admire her for all her efforts   she puts in La Cordon Bleu and   for making , this culinary experince  of mine ,truly special and memorable one.

Dear Catherine -Merci for everything .

First chef from India to be invited to Le cordon Bleu to demonstrate in Paris. Monish is credited with the trailblazing turn-around of Moti Mahal, from being a small but iconic presence in Delhi, to becoming a multi-national corporation that is well on its way to defining how the world eats Indian food. A traditionalist, Monish has remained true to the signature dishes that made Moti Mahal a legend, while reinventing the dining experience into one that is exciting and avant garde to suit modern sensibilities.

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