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Meet our Alumni


Jump to: Ozge Glutekin  | Alexandru Scotnotis  | Pierre Dutaret, Inigo Ruiz Rituerto and Chia Hung  | Annick Muller  | Gabriela Kook
Georgios Papavgoulis  | Francesca Fiorentini  | Luis Machado  | Amanda Thomson  | Paula Moulton
Héloisa Bacellar  | Michael Greenwold  | Pooja Dhingra  | Anthony Fassio  | Janice Wong
Esra Özkutlu  | Darren Chin  | Allan Castellote  | Juan Arbelaez  | Bromberg’s brothers
Aharon Politi  | Alexandro Youri Hamacher  | Paula Passos  | Kathleen Marks Roseiro  | Kathleen (Casey) Hickey
Gaston Acurio  | Nathalie Delormeau  | Laura Quintanilla  | Biné Volčič  | David Laor
Mary Mastricola  | Weimar Gomez


Ozge Gultekin

Ozge Glutekin

Originally from Turkey, Özge was in charge of a hotel boutique for 5 years before she decided to leave her job and move to Switzerland in 2013. This change led her to ask herself what she really wanted to do in her future career. She decided it was time to make her dream become a reality and came to Paris to study the Culinary Arts and, specifically pastry about which she had always been passionate.

She looked into the different possibilities available and decided to sign up for the pastry diploma at Le Cordon Bleu. She passed her exams with ease and was even in the top 3 of her class.

She was then taken on as an intern with Pierre Hermé which only served to confirm her belief that she wanted to work in the pastry world.

Upon returning to Geneva, she decided to open her own cake creation and catering business: Parisserie. Despite the fact that the main focus of the company today is catering, Özge hopes to develop her business in the future by creating workshops for the general public


Meet our alumni

Alexandru Scotnotis

Alexandru Scotnotis

Of Romanian nationality, Alexandru Scotini chose Le Cordon Bleu Paris to make his dream, of working in the cuisine industry, a reality. Following graduation in 2012 with a Cuisine Diploma, Alexandru carried out an internship at the prestigious La Tour d’Argent restaurant where he worked alongside Laurent Delarbre, One of the Best Craftsmen in France (Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France - MOF) 2004.

He then went on to work at Passiflore restaurant under Chef Roland Durand – One of the Best Craftsmen in France (Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France - MOF) 1982.

Alexandru then decided to return to his home country to join the teams of Nico Lontras, finalist of the Top Chef Romania television show.

In 2014, he took part in the “Villeroy and Boch” Culinary World Cup where he won silver medal.

Alexandru now divides his time between teaching cuisine workshops and lessons and working as a consultant for restaurant owners. He organizes numerous events in the gastronomy field and shares his experience with his clients. In the future, he would like to create a culinary arts business where he can continue to share his passion for gastronomy

Meet Pierre Dutaret, Iñigo Ruiz Rituerto and Chia Hung

Pierre Dutaret, Inigo Ruiz Rituerto and Chia Hung

The story unfolds at Farago, a restaurant whose team includes three Le Cordon Bleu Paris alumni:  Pierre Dutaret, Iñigo Ruiz Rituerto and Chia Hung.

Located in the “cour des Petites Ecuries” in Paris’s 10th arrondissement, Farago, with its modern and friendly atmosphere, is based on an innovative tapas concept.

Pierre, Iñigo and Chia have pooled their creativity to make Pintxo, a dish of Basque origin, allowing people to experience a true sense of sharing as they enjoy their tapas.  They all studied at Le Cordon Bleu Paris but come from very diverse backgrounds:

Of French nationality, Pierre Dutaret worked as an investment banker for 5 years, in London, Madrid and Paris.  In 2012, he decided to make a career change and signed up for the Basic Cuisine Certificate at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. Following graduation he opened Farago, in 2013, with Jean Valfort.

Of Spanish nationality, Iñigo Ruiz Rituerto studied for the Grand Diploma.  After graduating in 2008, he worked for a number of prestigious establishments in Paris, Saint-Sébastien and Bilbao:  Le Chardenoux, Senderens, Playtime, Le Cinq, Arzak and Etxanobe.  He is currently cuisine Chef at Farago.

Of Taiwanese nationality, Chia Hung worked in media and training, before turning his passion for cuisine into a career.  He signed up for Le Cordon Bleu Paris Cuisine Diploma in 2013 and upon completion carried out an internship at the prestigious Le Galopin restaurant.  He then joined Iñigo and Pierre to become second de cuisine at Farago.

Their career paths are a perfect demonstration of one of the strengths of Le Cordon Bleu international network of schools:  The multicultural environment.  Each class that graduates is made up of students from the four corners of the world.  This cultural melting pot facilitates exchange, open-mindedness, creativity and innovation.  Farago is a shining example!

To read Pierre, Iñigo and Chia’s interview please click here.

Meet Annick Muller

Annick Muller

Annick worked in the Made in France costume jewelry sector for 25 years before deciding to change career path and focus on her passion for cuisine.    

She signed up for Le Cordon Bleu Paris Cuisine Diploma and, following graduation in 2011, worked in the kitchens of two Michelin-starred Chef Marc Meneau.

In 2013, she decided to close her jewelry business and started a new business venture with an American friend, Nancy, who she met at Le Cordon Bleu Paris.  Together, they created French Culinary Adventures, which specializes in developing and implementing top of the range culinary adventures, focusing on gastronomy, enology and French artisans, in Paris and Burgundy.

Originally from Burgundy but based in Paris, Annick is an epicurean through and through and committed to sharing her passion and knowledge of the terroirs, cuisine, vineyards and geography of these regions.

A wine-connoisseur, she is also a jury member at “Féminalise”, an annual competition exclusively for women who either work in the wine industry or are oenophiles.

Meet Gabriela Kook

Gabriela Kook

Gabriela became passionate about French cuisine when she first set foot in Paris.  She then decided to sign up for Le Cordon Bleu Paris Cuisine Diploma.

After successfully completing her diploma in 2013, she carried out an internship at the renowned two Michelin-starred Parisian restaurant:  Apicius.  During her internship, she also applied to take part in MasterChef Korea and in 2014 was selected to be one of the candidates for the third series. Following three months of intense competition, Gabriela finished in second place opening up numerous career opportunities, especially in Korea.

Also an expert in the arts, she went on to create her own channel on YouTube in order to combine her passion for cuisine with the making of videos.  In addition, she takes part in culinary demonstrations at events throughout Korea and appears on television cookery programs.  Gabriela will also be the star of a documentary on cuisine and travel, which was filmed in South America from EBS Korea.

When we asked for her thoughts on her time at Le Cordon Bleu Paris, she replied:  “The training I received at Le Cordon Bleu Paris helped me to be selected for MasterChef Korea. When I was training, I found it very difficult to fillet fish. It was ironic that, during my internship at Apicius, I mainly worked with fish and seafood, which proved invaluable on the day of my audition as I had to fillet a fish and then pan-fry the fillets in front of the jury. Thanks to my training and my internship, I was able to carry out the task with ease and really impressed the jury!

Meet Georgios Papavgoulis

Georgios Papavgoulis

It was in 2006, when he stumbled across a Le Cordon Bleu cookbook, that Georgios first came into contact with our culinary institute.  From that moment on, he dreamed of moving to Paris and studying at Le Cordon Bleu. After working in a number of restaurants in Greece and the United Kingdom, his dream finally became reality when he started studying at Le Cordon Bleu Paris in 2010.  He was awarded a Pastry Diploma in 2011, having finished amongst the top of his class.

Georgios then had the opportunity to carry out an internship at the prestigious Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme.  The internship and his Le Cordon Bleu Paris training proved to be a real springboard for his professional career.  He was immediately taken on as pastry Chef at Ralph's, Ralph Lauren’s new Parisian restaurant, which has a number of famous customers including Robert De Niro, Nicolas Sarkozy, David Guetta, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jean Dujardin.

Georgios then decided it was time to expand his horizons in the hotel/restaurant industry and agreed to develop the Dalloyau boutique/pastry store concept abroad.  In his role as Executive Chef, he supervised the opening of a boutique/pastry store in Bakou, Azerbaijan.

When we asked for his thoughts on his time at Le Cordon Bleu Paris, he answered:  “As well as having had the opportunity to study in a multicultural environment, Le Cordon Bleu has given me the tools and the motivation to be able to achieve my future goal:  Opening my own pastry store”.

Meet Francesca Fiorentini

Francesca Fiorentini

Francesca worked in banking before deciding to follow her childhood passion:  Pastry!  In 2008, she signed up for Le Cordon Bleu Paris Pastry Diploma.

Following graduation in 2009, Francesca began working in her family’s restaurant near Paris, continuing to make creative desserts and developing her made-to-measure cake concept.  It was at this point that she began working as a culinary designer for Marie Claire Enfants magazine.

Francesca sees pastry as a tool for creating and making cakes by giving equal importance to appearance and taste!  Today, she specializes in creative pastry, in other words:  Cake design.

She also teaches cake design in a Parisian cooking school and is consistently innovative in terms of subject, recipes and flavor combinations.

When we asked her to tell us about her time at Le Cordon Bleu Paris, Francesca explained:  “Le Cordon Bleu was an incredible experience.  I learned order and respect for the industry and for raw materials as well as learning all about ingredients and techniques.  I developed my own culinary decoration style.  I also enjoyed the multicultural environment and the opportunity to get to know and have fruitful exchanges with people of many different nationalities.  I have great memories of my time at Le Cordon Bleu Paris and I never miss out on the opportunity of taking part in an evening event or demonstration!

Meet Luis Machado

Luis Machado

Luis was a chemical engineer in Venezuela before changing direction and focusing on his childhood passion: Cuisine.  In 2011, he signed up for Le Cordon Bleu Paris Cuisine Diploma. 

Following graduation, he worked in a number of top restaurants with Michelin starred Chefs, including Joël Robuchon. 

He went on to further his education by taking an MBA in Luxury Brand Management, Gastronomy and Wine, in Paris, in order to obtain a global vision of restaurant management.

Having worked with some of the best Chefs at Le Cordon Bleu, Luis took all that he had learnt and used it to launch his own business.  In partnership with his friend Daniela Aldrey, he opened Ají Dulce, a Food Truck in the Paris region in order to share the cuisine of their country:  Venezuela. 

When we asked Luis to tell us about his experience at Le Cordon Bleu, he replied:  “I have always been passionate about cuisine. Coming to Paris was my dream. That is why I decided to have a complete career change from chemical engineer to Cuisine Chef. It is the biggest decision I ever made.”

Meet Amanda Thomson

Amanda Thomson

Before registering for Le Cordon Bleu Paris Wine and Management Program, Amanda Thomson was a Television and Radio journalist.  After graduating in 2012, she launched her company: Thomson & Scott Ltd specializing in 100% Grand Cru Champagne, with no added sugar. 

Amanda is currently launching Skinny Prosecco and developing a portfolio of no and low sugar sparkling wine in the UK, she will then aim for the wider global market.

When we asked for her thoughts on her time at our school, she replied: “Le Cordon Bleu Paris helped me to achieve my professional goals by introducing me to the extraordinary world of French wine. Mr. Franck Ramage, who has exceptional teaching skills, also gave me the opportunity to meet so many amazing individuals. I am currently launching Skinny Prosecco in the UK and this will be followed by Skinny Cava and Skinny Franciacorta.  Once established here, I have my eye on the wider global market.”

Meet Paula Moulton

Paula Moulton

Paula Moulton is co-founder and CEO of A Sip Away.  She is a viticulturist, award-winning winemaker and published author with over 25 years experience in the American wine industry.

Paula has a BA in Rhetoric from U. C. Berkeley and an AS in viticulture from Santa Rosa Junior College.  She had worked in the Californian wine industry for more than twenty when she decided to enroll on Le Cordon Bleu Paris Wine and Management Program.  Following graduation in 2012, she published her second book on wine and continues to teach the subject.  Paula appears on radio shows to talk about the importance of wine in modern day society, and gives interviews both on local television and on the Today Show.  Paula is also CEO of a wine application.

Paula has worked with talented individuals in the wine industry such as Joel Peterson of Ravenswood Winery, Mike Benziger of Benziger Family Winery, Jean-Luc Thunevin, and Phil Coturri of Enterprise Vineyards. 

When we asked for her thoughts on her time at our school, she replied:  “Le Cordon Bleu Paris gave me the passion and the momentum to communicate about wine on an international level.  I am currently CEO of A Sip Away, an innovative wine application that will target a currently untapped international market.  The application is due to be launched at the end of 2014.  I am extremely proud of the education that I received from Le Cordon Bleu Paris Wine and Management Program.  Thank you Le Cordon Bleu Paris, you changed my life!”

Meet Héloisa Bacellar

Héloisa Bacellar

Héloisa Bacellar was an attorney in Brazil for more than 20 years before deciding to focus on her childhood passion:  Cuisine.  In 1995, she came to Paris with her husband and 3 year old daughter and signed up for Le Cordon Bleu Grand Diploma.  Whilst at the school, she also followed bread baking workshops and enology courses.

Following graduation, Héloisa returned to Brazil and, with a friend, opened a school giving workshops to amateurs.  During each three hour workshop, two dishes were made. Ten years later, she decided to sell the school in order to dedicate herself entirely to the opening of her restaurant, Lá Da Venda (Vila Madalena - R. Harmonia São Paulo - SP Brazil).  The restaurant is based on a unique concept as it includes a pastry shop, bakery and store.  Lá Da Venda is a welcoming and colorful all-in-one business with, at its heart, a store selling artisan products.  Héloisa perfectly marries the French culinary techniques learnt at Le Cordon Bleu Paris with local ingredients and her cuisine is both authentic and full of flavor. 

Heloisa has received a number of awards, including "best cheese bread in São Paulo" (pão de queijo).  She has also written a number of cookbooks, which are best-sellers in Brazil:  Cozinhando para amigos I (2005), Cozinhando para amigos II (2008), Chocolate todo dia (2009), Bacalhau (2009), Le bon marché – Le Brésil à Table (2013), Made in Brazil (2014). 

Made in Brazil was written in partnership with Larousse and includes 30 easy recipes (20 savory and 10 sweet), using ingredients that can be easily found worldwide.  In this book, Héloisa highlights the richness of Brazilian cuisine. A seventh book is planned for 2014:  Brazil a mesa.

Meet Michael Greenwold

Michael Greenwold

Michael Greenwold graduated in English literature from Exeter University, in England, before focusing his career on the world of cuisine.  He arrived in Paris in 2008 to follow Le Cordon Bleu Grand Diploma.

Following graduation, Michael worked at The Churchill Arms in Paxford, England.  He then returned to Paris, improving his skills at Chateaubriand, La Gazzetta, then at Passage

In 2011, he gave a culinary demonstration as part of the Omnivore Festival in Moscow.  In 2012, Michael, with his friend Simone Tondo, opened the Roseval restaurant in the 20th arrondissement in Paris which was rapidly awarded the "Prix Fooding de la Meilleure table” in 2013 (best address 2013). 

Michael opened a second restaurant in Paris in July 2013, The Sunken Chip, based on Fish & Chips.  Using fresh and top quality ingredients, he makes authentic versions of this classic English dish.  The Sunken Chip was also awarded the "Prix du Meilleur lèche doigts” 2014 (Best Finger Food) by Fooding. 

Michael currently divides his time between his two restaurants and is always on the lookout for new professional projects which combine good taste, Parisian bistro style and his Anglo-Saxon roots.

Meet Pooja Dhingra

Pooja Dhingra

Born in India, Pooja studied tourism at Cesar Ritz college in Switzerland before working at the Villa Toscana hotel and the Hôtel des Trois Couronnes.  She then enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu Paris and graduated with a Pastry Diploma which proved to be a real springboard for her professional career. 

Upon her return to India, she opened Le 15Pâtisserie in Bombay, a French inspired pastry boutique.  In her shop, Pooja combines the traditional French pastry techniques she learnt at Le Cordon Bleu Paris with ingredients that are easy to find in India.  Le 15Pâtisserie’s menu has been commended in numerous Indian and International publications.  Following the dazzling success of her boutique, Pooja has opened two other similar boutiques in Bombay.

In 2013, Pooja launched Studio Fifteen, a studio where Chefs, pastry Chefs and bloggers regularly give culinary demonstrations. 

She has also written a book, Big Book of Treats, which includes a huge variety of desserts, which, whether classic or original, are easy and accessible.

When we asked her about her experience at Le Cordon Bleu Paris, she answered:  “Le Cordon Bleu gave me the perfect training to enable me to work in a professional kitchen.  I will always cherish what I learnt from the Chefs at the school”.

Meet Anthony Fassio

Anthony Fassio

Anthony grew up on a farm in the United States and, from a very early age, acquired a sound understanding of agriculture and environmental issues as well as regulatory standards concerning food production.

In 2010, Anthony enrolled on the Le Cordon Bleu Paris Cuisine Diploma.  He was extremely successful, finishing second in his class and graduating with honors.  He also followed Le Cordon Bleu Paris wine modules and was awarded an MBA in Management and Strategy from the University of Westminster.  This gave him interdisciplinary skills and a very wide area of expertise:  Sustainable food, food distribution, logistics, food quality, the restaurant industry, agriculture etc. Anthony has become an expert in the different stages of the food supply chain. 

In 2011, he was nominated Slow Food New York City President and is improving the current food system by introducing sustainable, healthy and quality food products.  He also founded AJ Food Consulting which helps to promote regional agriculture.

Anthony became CEO of the Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI) in 2013.

Meet Janice Wong

Janice Wong

Janice Wong studied economics and finance in Melbourne, Australia before following her childhood passion: pastry. She enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu Paris and graduated with a pastry diploma in 2006. It was a real springboard to become a Pastry Chef.

After graduating, Janice Wong developed and perfected her pastry skills with talented Chefs in several restaurants in Paris, New York, Chicago, Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastian and Majorca.

In 2007, she opened the 2am dessertbar restaurant, a dessert-focused restaurant, to highlight the desserts at the end of a meal. She redefined desserts, combining French classic techniques acquired at Le Cordon Bleu Paris and in some of the top kitchens, with Asian ingredients.

In 2013 and 2014, Janice Wong was awarded the Asia’s Best Pastry Chef by “Asia's 50 Best Restaurants”, organized by Restaurant magazine.

Meet Esra Özkutlu

Esra Özkutlu

Esra worked in sales and marketing in the pharmaceutical industry in Turkey for nearly 10 years before turning her passion into a profession.  In 2009, she moved to Paris and registered for the Le Cordon Bleu Pastry Diploma.

Esra was already a mother, and did not have the time to study for 9 months.  She decided to follow the program by enrolling on one intensive certificate per year in 2009, 2010 and 2013.  Alongside her studies at Le Cordon Bleu, she also had the opportunity to work in two different bakeries.  She also organized guest chef pastry workshops at the Istanbul Culinary Institute. 

After graduation, she returned to Turkey and organizes pastry workshops in Urla.  Her professional project is to set up a bespoke pastry boutique.  She would also like to write a cookbook on French desserts, made with Turkish ingredients to combine French culinary techniques and local products. 

When we asked her to tell us about her time at Le Cordon Bleu, Esra said “Le Cordon Bleu diploma was a real springboard for my career.  Le Cordon Bleu name engages a lot of people's attention thanks to its reputation.  It is well known around the world. The training I received was synonymous with tradition and excellence.  The experience of Le Cordon Bleu Chefs was very precious; we learned every little detail of how to create really delicious desserts.  Now it is my turn to share this knowledge and taste in my own environment”. 

Four years ago, Esra created a blog where she shares all her recipes, highlighting the culinary arts as a visual art.
Read more on her blog:

Meet Darren Chin

Darren Chin

Darren Chin started working in his family’s restaurant in Malaysia 10 years ago.  In 2011, he registered for Le Cordon Bleu Paris Grand Diploma.  His experience at the school was hugely successful.  He won the 9th edition of the Délifrance Sandwich World Cup in 2012.  He also had the opportunity to carry out one of his internships at the Pierre Sang Boyer restaurant.  He graduated in 2012 with highest honors. 

After finishing his studies, Darren returned to Malaysia, where he took over the family business with his brother.  He became Cuisine Chef, specialized in development and innovation and techniques for cooking under a vacuum seal for their network of four restaurants. 

In April 2014, Darren opened a French gastronomic restaurant DC Restaurant, by Darren Chin in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital.  The menu changes daily, revolving around fresh seasonal ingredients from the market.  “My experience at Le Cordon Bleu Paris helped me to develop my cooking style which is innovative, fresh, balanced and refined" said Darren when we asked his opinion on Le Cordon Bleu. 

Darren was also a jury member for the 10th edition of Délifrance Sandwich World Cup, which took place in Paris in February 2014.

Meet Allan Castellote

Allan Castellote

Born in France, Allan Castellote studied philosophy and law before following his childhood passion, cuisine.  With one grandmother from the Picard region of France and one from Spain, he was exposed to two different gastronomic cultures from a very early age. 

Enrolling at Le Cordon Bleu Paris and graduating with a Cuisine Diploma was a natural step to becoming a Chef. 

After graduating, Allan joined the Meurice hotel’s three Michelin starred restaurant in Paris, under Chef Yannick Alléno.  It was here that he met Chef Philippe Mille, "Meilleur Ouvrier de France" (Best Craftsman in France).  When Chef Mille took over the reins of the kitchens at the Domaine des Crayères in Reims, Allan followed him and stayed there for one and half years.  During this time, the restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars.

Allan returned to Paris as chef de partie at the two Michelin starred Carré des Feuillants, run by an eminent figure in today’s culinary world, Chef Alain Dutournier.  He also worked with the teams at the Trou Gascon, another restaurant run by the Michelin starred Chef.  Allan then joined Chef Christophe Moisand’s brigade at the Westminster hotel’s one Michelin starred restaurant, Céladon

Allan Castellote developed and perfected his skills with all these talented Chefs and his Chef instructors.  In partnership with his brother, Allan opened Le Senso restaurant in Beauvais in 2013.  Their menu revolves around noble products, originality and discovery.

Meet Juan Arbelaez

Juan Arbelaez

Of Columbian nationality, Juan Arbelaez studied at Louis Pasteur, a French high school in Bogota, until 2001.  In 2006, he passed his baccalaureate at Gimnasio Moderno school and went on to study Administration and Management at the Universidad de los Andes.

In 2007, Juan decided to follow his childhood dream and passion for Cuisine and enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu Paris.  He graduated in 2009 with a Grand Diploma having completed the Cuisine and then the Pastry Diploma with flying colors.

He went on to carry out an internship with the famous Pierre Gagnaire in Paris and in 2009 he began working as chef de partie in the Parisian restaurant Je Thé

In 2010, Juan set his sights on the top Parisian restaurants, becoming commis de cuisine at the Four Seasons Hotel George V restaurant Le Cinq.  A few months later, he became demi-chef de partie under Weimar Gomez, a Le Cordon Bleu Paris 1995 graduate and right hand man of Chef Eric Briffard MOF (Best Craftsman in France). 

He went on to be recruited as chef de partie at the Parisian hotel Le Bristol where he remained until February 2012.  During the same year, he was selected to take part in the popular M6 television program "Top Chef".  During filming he met his future colleague, Chef Jean Imbert, who employed him as Chef de Cuisine at his restaurant l'Acajou in Paris.

In June 2013, Juan Arbelaez took over the La Plancha restaurant which he renamed La Plantxa, in Boulogne-Billancourt.  The Columbian Chef works with delicate local produce to which he adds exotic flavors.  The resulting dishes, which are modern with surprising flavors, change on a daily basis depending on what he finds on the Parisian market stalls.


Meet Bromberg’s brothers

Bromberg’s brothers

American brothers Bruce and Eric Bromberg attended Le Cordon Bleu Paris and graduated with highest honors.  After graduation, Eric carried out apprenticeships at top restaurants in France, including Le Recamier in Paris before deciding to return to America.  Bruce also carried out apprenticeships in France, notably at the two Michelin starred Duquesnoy.  He learned the art of bread baking at Boulangerie Poilâne in Paris and haute cuisine at three Michelin starred Pierre Gagnaire restaurant in Saint-Etienne. 

In 1992, the brothers created the first Blue Ribbon restaurant in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood.  Blue Ribbon, or the English translation of Cordon Bleu, is a reference to Bruce and Eric Bromberg’s culinary experience in France.  The Brombergs’ only rule is that everything served be simple and delicious.

In the years that followed, the duo assembled a small Blue Ribbon empire in the United States.  Their restaurants have received many awards from publications including Wine Spectator, Zagat and Time Out New York.

They were also finalists of the prestigious "James Beard Award" for best restaurateur.  In April 2010 Bruce and Eric Bromberg published their first cookbook, The Blue Ribbon Cookbook, Better Home Cooking.

Meet Aharon Politi

Aharon Politi

Aharon Politi was born in Haïfa, Israel.  After travelling extensively, it was in New York, while studying to become a software engineer, that he discovered his passion for cuisine.  “Gastronomic cuisine still has a limited public in Israel, so obviously, becoming a Chef is not a childhood dream.  It is a vocation that is discovered, revealing a new love,” he explains with feeling.  “And the advantage of a late blooming love is that one has the maturity necessary to seek excellence and to focus on the essential.”  For Aharon Politi, it was inevitably Paris and in particular Le Cordon Bleu that he had to attend.  Starting again from zero, learning French was not a problem for this cosmopolitan polyglot.

“Many of the students at Le Cordon Bleu were, like me, from other countries.  To be in a multicultural environment, while learning traditional French gastronomy was extremely enriching!”  Having graduated, a whole new world opened up to him and he had the opportunity to work with some of the greatest Chefs in prestigious restaurants such as Lasserre, Taillevent, and La Grande Cascade.  The rigor required to produce the desired results, the highly prized savoir-faire, the perfection of each movement, the near military discipline required of the team, are all values which are of upmost importance to this former Army Lieutenant.  His experience of working as sous-chef at the Grand Véfour for Guy Martin taught him that gastronomic cuisine can be found in a laboratory, on a Parisian bistro menu, or even in a household kitchen.

Today, Aharon Politi is director of YNRA consulting, culinary consultant for numerous establishments.  He heads workshops and demonstrations for Bishulim School, Academy of Higher Studies in the Culinary Arts in Israel. He has also set up his own gastronomic catering company, Le Traiteur, which allows him to follow his passion and where the only limit is his own imagination.

Meet Alexandro Youri Hamacher

Alexandro Youri Hamacher

Alexandro’s culinary journey began in 2003 when he decided to leave Mexico and register for Le Cordon Bleu Paris Grand Diploma. 

Multilingual Alexandro’s passion for cuisine and discovering other cultures also led him to Italy and Thailand.

His career really took off in his home country, Mexico, where he remained for 2 years before moving to China.  In 2008, for the Peking Olympic Games, he was appointed Chef de Cuisine for the International Olympic Committee, Canadian Olympic Committee and NBC.  Following an incredibly successful experience, he went on to become Executive Chef of The Kings Kitchen in Shanghai before moving to the Renaissance Hotel

Alexandro is currently Executive Chef at the Marriot City Centre Hotel in Shanghai.

Meet Paula Passos

Paula Passos

Paula Passos was born in Brazil and obtained a degree in Advertising and a Masters in Business Administration.

Paula’s relationship with Le Cordon Bleu began during a vacation in Paris in 2008 when she followed a cooking demonstration at the school and fell in love with the place, the Chefs and the friendly atmosphere.  She decided to abandon her career, moved to Paris and registered for the Grand Diploma. 

“From my first day at the school, I felt I was part of Le Cordon Bleu family.  From the Chefs to the washer uppers and the office staff, everyone is very welcoming.  It’s not always easy to do everything we’re supposed to, but we are definitely a team working together to prepare delicious food!” 

Paula has wonderful memories of her time at Le Cordon Bleu, and will never forget the day she met Meryl Streep:  “…it was supposed to be just another regular Sunday in Paris.  I was invited to join the cuisine team as an assistant for the Premiere of the movie Julie & Julia at the American Embassy and all of a sudden my favorite actress shows up at the party!” 

Back home in Brazil, Paula took inspiration from the Le Cordon Bleu Paris culinary workshops to develop her own company, La Cuisine des Amis (, where she gives cooking lessons to adults and children.

Meet Kathleen Marks Roseiro

Kathleen Marks Roseiro

Kathleen Marks Roseiro studied French at the University of Charleston in America.  Her passion for pastry was inspired not only by her mother, who always cooked using fresh produce from their garden, but also by Julia Child. 

After finishing her studies, Kathleen decided to move to Paris and became a teaching assistant before beginning the pastry program at Le Cordon Bleu Paris.  “I had to choose the most famous culinary school in the world,” said Kathleen. 

After graduation, she carried out an internship at the Blé Sucré bakery/pastry boutique in Paris.  When Kathleen was a student at Le Cordon Bleu, she was blown away by guest chef Marius Cauvin’s (Angle de Faubourg restaurant) demonstration and was determined that one day she would work for him.  Her second internship at the Angle de Faubourg was accepted and, thanks to her dedication and motivation, she became part of the team in May 2010. 

In May 2011, Chef Laurent Poitevin, former Chef at Taillevent, the Crillon, the Bristol and the Angle du Faubourg, was hired to open a new 40 cover restaurant at the Hotel Vernet.  Kathleen accepted his invitation to be in charge of pastry at this luxurious boutique hotel where she also prepares desserts for private parties. 

Kathleen not only fell in love with French pastry but also with a French man and they got married last August in Charleston.  Her wedding was catered for by Cru Catering owned by former Le Cordon Bleu student John Zucker.

Meet Kathleen (Casey) Hickey

Kathleen (Casey) Hickey

Casey Hickey left her job as a fundraiser with a San Francisco-based non-profit organization in order to attend Paris’s renowned Le Cordon Bleu believing she was destined to make pastries.  Much to her surprise, however, she came out of Le Cordon Bleu having been wooed by chocolate, which she attributes to her instructors, as well as Paris’s "Salon du Chocolat" and its chocolate fashion show.  Upon graduating, Casey knew that she wanted to combine high-quality, flavorful ingredients to create original combinations which were both beautiful to look at and delicious.  Casey and then-boyfriend and now-husband, Mark Meissner, envisioned him leaving corporate America to combine his passion for wine with Casey’s aspirations.  They continued to brainstorm and methodically began laying the groundwork to turn their dreams into reality. 

Casey took a Professional chocolate maker certificate at the "Ecole Chocolat" in Vancouver, Canada and worked in several San Francisco Bay Area pastry kitchens.  She also baked wedding cakes and experimented in her kitchen with an ever-growing list of ingredients that inspired her.  Mark began studying winemaking in order to become a sommelier. 

After marriage, two children and much research, Casey and Mark took the plunge.  In June 2010 they left California and headed for Charlotte (North Carolina) to begin their journey towards opening Petit Philippe in December 2010, a unique retail wine store, tasting room and current exclusive retailer of Twenty Degrees™ chocolates.

Customers can choose from approximately 35 different types of chocolates and caramels, some traditional and others unexpected, along with seasonal candies.  They may also find Casey in her on-site kitchen experimenting with new ingredient combinations.  Casey has been featured in O-The Oprah Magazine as well as many local and regional publications. Bolstered by the enthusiasm and encouragement of her customers, Casey plans to begin selling at gourmet food markets and selected grocers throughout the Southeast United-States in the coming months.

Meet Gaston Acurio

Gaston Acurio

Gastón Acurio is a Chef, writer, businessman, and advocate of Peruvian culinary art.  In 2005, he was named Entrepreneur of the Year by America Economía magazine – the most important business magazine in South America.

He attended law school in the late 80s but his passion for cuisine was so strong that he decided to leave to study the culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu Paris.  It was in Paris that he met Astrid and, in 1994, they opened Astrid&Gastón, one of the first Peruvian haute cuisine restaurants.  Initially very French orientated due to his training, Gastón soon started experimenting with Peruvian ingredients and taking inspiration from local traditions.  In 2012 the restaurant was rated 35th in the "World's 50 Best Restaurants list".  With 33 restaurants in 12 countries, today the Acurio group is leading the Peruvian culinary revolution. 

In 2009, Chef Acurio received the international “Prince Claus of Holland” award in the category "Collective Memories and Journalism" for his significant contribution in the field of culture and its development.  That same year, he was honored by the Madrid Fusión Festival panel for defending the biodiversity of Peru and Latin America, and invited as main speaker at Madrid Fusion 2011. 

Lima City has become the gastronomic capital of South America, and host of Mistura, the greatest culinary festival in the region.  Acurio was in charge of the festival organization for 3 years as president of APEGA (Peruvian Gastronomy Society), welcoming 200,000 people from around the world in 2011.  He is still involved in the organization of Mistura as a board member. 

Gastón is the main supporter of the Pachacutec School of Cuisine, based in one of the poorest areas of Lima, which provides an institute, with leading instructors, for underprivileged young people. 

As a writer, he has published 20 books which are all national bestsellers.  His latest publication 500 Años de Fusión (500 Years of Fusion) was voted "Best International Cookbook" at the 2008 "Gourmand World Cookbook Awards".  Acurio also hosts a weekly cable TV show “Aventura Culinaria” (Culinary Adventure) and reality show "Master Chef" Peru.

Meet Nathalie Delormeau

Nathalie Delormeau

Nathalie Delormeau graduated from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu French culinary academy in London at the age of 20. She has always been passionate about the food and creativity that are embodied by the culinary world. Her early career saw her working in fashion and decoration, Nathalie has a natural taste for colors and materials, excellent attention to detail, as well as a love of all things beautiful, appetizing and appealing.

In 2001 Nathalie launched her culinary career with the catchy and innovative concept “Natachef”, where her imaginative cuisine attracted a clientele with both a refined palette and a desire to discover new things. While staying true to her passion, Nathalie enjoyed receiving her diners as friends. Through her cuisine, she shared her desires, creativity and personal favorites. It was a natural progression for her to offer services in the art of fine dining to her customers, changing her dishes according to the season and her imagination. Thanks to the concept of exchange and conviviality, as well as the quality of her original menus, the business was a success.

On the back of her accomplishments in Paris, she returned to her first love – all things British. Nathalie decided to revamp the humble sandwich shop, creating British Sandwich, a restaurant where concept and recipe are united in deliciously balanced harmony.

Nathalie is active and dynamic, and never ceases to invent and innovate, launching her high end sandwich boutique and delicatessen featuring only English products. The menu changes depending on the season and Nathalie's current favorites. The ideal new meeting place for gastronomes in a hurry, “British Sandwich” is Nathalie's latest challenge, her current passion.

The idea reflects her desire to share her love of fine foods as well as her taste for creative combinations. Staying true to a concept of elegance and gastronomy, she has reinterpreted bygone recipes with the eye of a chef, and returned the sandwich to its noble – English – roots.

Meet Laura Quintanilla

Laura Quintanilla

Laura, a Spanish native, has always had a keen interest in the world of food, as is demonstrated by her career path.  She has worked both as Head of Quality Control in the food industry and as a university Professor in Food Technology.  

When her husband was hired to work in France, she saw this as a chance to fulfill one of her biggest dreams:  Becoming an expert in French gastronomy.


In 2008, Laura became a student at Le Cordon Bleu Paris and obtained her Cuisine Diploma, followed by the Basic and Intermediate Pastry certificates in 2010, which opened the doors of French cuisine and pastry for her.

At the same time as studying at Le Cordon Bleu, Laura also completed an MSc in Wine Management with the O.I.V. ("Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin") which put her in contact with some of the best French winemakers.  

After perfecting her culinary techniques during an internship at Le Cordon Bleu, Laura joined Nomiya, a modern gastronomic concept in France.  The restaurant, under Head Chef Gilles Stassart, combined an original location (on the roof of the Palais de Tokyo) with a cuisine workshop. 

When she returned to Spain, Laura decided to create a similar concept, which brought together cuisine and training.  La Table de Laura was born.  The company, based in Madrid, offers a variety of services:  Private Chef, meals for special occasions at Laura's table, and practical cuisine workshops.  Today, La Table de Laura is one of the ambassadors of the French art of living in the Spanish capital.

"Le Cordon Bleu was one of the best experiences of my life.  I had some unforgettable moments while I was at the school.  I met Chefs and other amazing people who passed on their passion for cuisine and quality to me. Paris and Le Cordon Bleu will always have a special place in my heart” she says.

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Meet Biné Volčič

Biné Volčič Fashioned by Michelin star restaurants Arpège, Apicius and l’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Biné Volčič is one of the outstanding Le Cordon Bleu graduates of 2007. His career in Slovenia, a small but beautiful central European country, is going from strength to strength.Following an initial training period in a catering and restaurant school in Bled (Slovenia), Biné Volčič decides to expand his horizons. With no knowledge of the French language, he arrives in Paris and signs up at Le Cordon Bleu. The Arpège restaurant (3 stars) becomes the next target of the young Slovenian.Third in his class, the doors of Apicius (2 stars) are wide open. Initially as an intern, then as a demi-chef de partie for a year, the former Le Cordon Bleu student spends his days in the kitchen of the famous Chef Jean-Pierre Vigato. In January 2011, Biné Volčič is invited to carry out an internship at the Atelier de Joël Robuchon (2 stars).Having created his very own culinary workshop Kitch’n’Art, Biné decides to return to his roots in Slovenia. He begins working at the Livada Prestige hotel (5 stars) at Murska Sobota, where he becomes the youngest cuisine chef in history to hold such a position in a prestigious Slovenian establishment. His menu has twice won the gold medal at the National tourism and restaurant awards (in 2009 and 2010).Today, Chef of the Gourmet Promenada restaurant in Bled (Slovenia), Biné continues to integrate the techniques learnt in France by combining them with traditional Slovenian cuisine.

Meet David Laor

David Laor

David Laor was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel.  Harboring a passion for pastry from the beginning of his career, David took up his first culinary position at bakery/pastry boutique, Ditra and Offer Bakers, in the Judea Mountains, Jerusalem.  When he realized that his true passion was pastry and becoming a pastry Chef, he decided to enroll at Le Cordon Bleu Paris and study for his Pastry Diploma which he completed in 2009.

“The time I spent studying at Le Cordon Bleu exceeded all my expectations’’ explained David. “I was taught by the best Chefs, working with the best possible raw materials and experiencing life in Paris, the world’s pastry capital.  The experience of walking through the streets of Paris, discovering new pastry boutiques and markets, was an important part of my studies, as well as my life at Le Cordon Bleu and in Paris itself”. 

Following graduation, David undertook an internship at MOF (Best Craftsman in France) Arnauld Lahrer’s pastry boutique in Montmartre before going on to further his studies, firstly in the art of chocolate in Paris and then specializing in breads and pizzas in Italy.

Returning to his native Israel in 2010, David opened his own pastry boutique in the picturesque village of Ein-Kerem, near Jerusalem.  He sells traditional French pastries, cakes, chocolates and candies, all crafted from the best ingredients imported from France and Europe and using the classic techniques he learnt during his studies.  His products, for private events, coffee shops and gourmet food retailers, are also sold in his pastry boutique/workshop. 

In 2012, David moved his pastry boutique to the old Mevsseret Zion industrial area, between Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. This new pastry boutique/laboratory has an open-kitchen which allows customers or simple those who are curious to watch David’s team making that day’s preparations.

Meet Mary Mastricola

Mary Mastricola

Mary was Director of the University of Chicago Medical School alumni association when she decided to study for a Le Cordon Bleu Paris Grand Diploma.  She opened her own classic French cuisine restaurant La petite folie in Hyde Park (Barack Obama’s old neighborhood) in 1999 and has Le Cordon Bleu graduates working with her.  Her husband Mike manages front of house and, as a very educated wine lover, suggests wines to the customers.  Her restaurant was recently included in the first Chicago Michelin guide.  It also provides a catering service for private and corporate clients, customizing both menus and services. 

When asked about her time at Le Cordon Bleu, Mary said, “In striving to give our customers pleasure, I have realized that in the years since I embarked on this remarkable adventure, the seminal experience that influences nearly every decision I make is the time I spent at Le Cordon Bleu Paris.”

Mary continued on to say, “…the many words of encouragement, advice and instruction given by the extraordinarily talented Le Cordon Bleu faculty, served simultaneously to inspire and to ground me in the traditions of one of the most honorable vocations”.

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Weimar Gomez

Weimar Gomez

It all started when Weimar Gomez met Le Cordon Bleu Chef Instructor, Patrick Terrien, while participating in a gastronomic festival in Casa Medina, Colombia where he was born.  Inspired by Chef Terrien, Weimar decided to register for the Le Cordon Bleu Paris Grand Diploma. 

After graduating in 1995, Weimar continued his training at well known restaurants and hotels, such us Château d’Artigny in Tours, Château Unang in Avignon, La Cognette in Issoudun and Le Macchi in Châtel.  Later he became chef de partie at the Guy Savoy restaurant, in Paris.

From May 2000, Weimar joined the Chef’s team at le Cinq, the fine dining restaurant at the Hotel Four Seasons George V.  After working as demi-chef de partie he reached the position of sous-chef.  Two months after opening, Le Cinq received its first Michelin star, and the second followed soon after.  Today, Weimar is the right hand man of Eric Briffard, "Meilleur Ouvrier de France" (Best Craftsman in France), and Executive Chef of Le Cinq restaurant and La Galerie, both located inside the hotel. 

When we asked Weimar about Le Cordon Bleu, he said “Le Cordon Bleu was the starting point of my career.  It has opened many doors and given me the opportunity to meet many interesting people in the French culinary field.  I am currently working for of one of the most prestigious restaurants in the world.” 

In 2012, Weimar was appointed Executive Chef of the gastronomic restaurant Camelia at the Four Seasons Pudong Shanghai.