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Le Cordon Bleu News, 02/19/2008
"The Potato: A Hidden Treasure"
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Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa

(Ottawa, February 15th, 2007) – Under the High Patronage of His Honorable David A Walden, Secretary General to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and the Patronage of the United Nations Association of Canada, Le Cordon Bleu International will celebrate on February 21st the International Year of the Potato in Ottawa.

Le Cordon Bleu, with its dedication to preserving and passing on the mastery and appreciation of the culinary arts and its related fields, will celebrate the International Year of the Potato (IYP) 2008 Under the High Patronage of His Honorable David A. Walden, Secretary General to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and the Patronage of the United Nations Association of Canada.

A private ceremony will be held at Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute on February 21st 2008 for this celebration. The program consists of a Press Conference at 4:30 PM followed by a culinary demonstration where guest chef José Meza from Le Cordon Bleu Peru will demonstrate the many delights of the potato. At 6:00 PM a reception featuring the potato will take place in the salle Cointreau followed by “The Potato: A Hidden Treasure” Gala Dinner at 6:30 PM in Le Cordon Bleu Signatures 5 Diamond Restaurant in Ottawa.

This event is to highlight the importance of the production and use of the potato in the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger while ensuring environmental stability. The need for all stakeholders, the FAO, United Nations Agencies, governments, NGO’s, farmers, and the private sector, to work together during and after The International year of the Potato 2008 was expressly acknowledged by the United Nations General Assembly when it nominated the major partners to work together.

The International Year of the Potato 2008’s aim is to engage all stakeholders, from farmers to scientists to government policy makers in promoting the production, consumption and trade of a truly global crop. “It is the Le Cordon Bleu’s role and duty, as an educational leader at the forefront of the worldwide hospitality industry, to unite itself to such an important cause. We are honored to be able to partner with The Canadian Commission to UNESCO and the United Nations Association of Canada, who represent the regional liaison offices across the world to provide the infrastructure and capacity to coordinate such an important global awareness and action campaign. Canada ranks as the world's 12th largest potato grower, with an output of almost five million tons in 2006. We truly hope that this local celebration will build increased awareness and draw focus to the International Year of the Potato 2008 in Canada,” said André Cointreau, Le Cordon Bleu International President and Chief Executive Officer.

Each year, Le Cordon Bleu supports, more than 50 international events such as festivals, professional conferences and competition juries. Le Cordon Bleu is an equally active member in culinary and cultural associations like the Alliance Française of Paris (where it sits on the Administrative Council), the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) and several others.

The International Year of the Potato has been and will continue to be celebrated in all Le Cordon Bleu schools around the world, particularly in Peru. Peru is where the potato was first cultivated near the present border of Bolivia, some 8000 years ago. The Incas believed the moon conferred fertility on women and moved mother earth to offer up her potatoes at harvest time; this is why the Quechan word for potato “kausac” means “The Giver of Life”! It was Peru’s initiative, to focus world attention on the importance of the potato on the frontline against world hunger and poverty that was adopted by the FAO and United Nations’ General Assembly.

“Why Potato?

The FAO and the United Nations’ General Assembly adopted Peru’s Proposal to focus world attention on the importance of the Potato on the frontline against world hunger and poverty.

The celebration of the International Year of the Potato (IYP) aims to raise awareness of the importance of the potato - and of agriculture in general - in addressing issues of global concern, including hunger, poverty and threats to the environment.

Over the next two decades, the world's population is expected to grow on average by more than 100 million people a year. More than 95 percent of this increase will occur in the developing countries, where pressure on land and water is already intense. A key challenge facing the international community is to ensure food security for present and future generations, while protecting the natural resource base on which we all depend. The potato will be an important part of efforts to meet those challenges...

Potatoes feed the hungry: The potato should be a major component in strategies aimed at providing nutritious food for the poor and hungry.

Potatoes are good for you: Potatoes are rich in carbohydrates, making them a good source of energy.

Demand for potatoes is growing: World potato production has increased at an annual average rate of 4.5 percent over the last 10 years, and exceeded the growth in production of many other major food commodities in developing countries, particularly in Asia.”

For More Information or to attend the Press Conference and Demonstration

Please Contact:

Pamela Bakalian

PR and Media Relations

Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Institute Ottawa 453 Laurier Avenue East K1N 6R4 Ottawa ON

613- 558 98 56

613- 236 24 33 ext 230

pbakalian@cordonbleu.edu

 

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