Le Cordon Bleu would like to introduce our international scholarship winner from Brazil, Karen Takizawa, who recently commenced with us this January at Le Cordon Bleu Adelaide. Karen was the winner of our Australian scholarship that Le Cordon Bleu Rio ran in conjunction with our Brazilian agent, World Study, and Madero Restaurant in 2014. Entrants were asked to create a dessert and film the process.
To celebrate Karen’s winning entry and achievement, we have asked her a few questions in order to get to know her and find out how she is enjoying her time as a le Cordon Bleu international scholarship student.
Passion for food and gastronomy.
My whole life I have been passionate about all things food. I think the reason for this is because the best moments of my life have been when people get together to have a meal, and there is plenty of laughter; for me, food is happiness. With this in mind, I decided to take what makes me happy and apply it to my professional life. I studied Gastronomy for 3 years at University and in my final year of studies I was top of my class. For this I was awarded a scholarship to undertake a post-graduate course in Restaurant, Gastronomy and Events Management.
During my studies, I participated in two competitions; both national competitions in Brazil to discover young talent. I didn’t win the first one, however I was successful in winning the second competition and title of Young Talent 2011 by Bom Gourmet (a well-known Brazilian magazine).
As an apprentice, I worked in many restaurants, gaining invaluable experience. But it was after I graduated, where I was working as a Pastry Chef at a well-known restaurant in Brazil, that really peaked my interest in Patisserie cooking.
Why Le Cordon Bleu?
I participated in a competition that Le Cordon Bleu ran, in conjunction with World Study and Madero Restaurant in Brazil. The competition was run nationally with entrants required to create a dessert and then film themselves making it. My entry, via selection process, made it to the final stage where the winner was chosen by people voting for it. My intention was always to study abroad, and specifically at Le Cordon Bleu, so to win this prize meant the world to me. A dream come true!
Patisserie as a career?
I always wanted to work with food, but I had no idea what I wanted to do exactly. When I began my studies, I was overwhelmed with all the options! But I always loved making desserts, and finding a job as a pastry chef really cemented this for me. My dream is to own and run my own café – or even a chain of cafes! – since I started studying at Le Cordon Bleu, I am now thinking of bigger ambitions with confidence!
How are you finding the course so far?
I have always heard great things about Le Cordon Bleu, and so far everything has been true! The staff is so professional, and have emphasized to us that passion is essential for this career. I completely agree. The lecturers have years of experience, which offers me the opportunity to learn something new in every class. For me, this is going to make all the difference.
Adelaide as a study destination.
Since my plane landed in Adelaide, I have liked this city. My hometown Brazil and Adelaide have a lot in common, although I feel Adelaide is a better version! My first impressions were great, and this city continues to impress me. It is a nice place to study, and to live. As it is my first time living alone and overseas, I think it was undoubtedly the best choice for me. Quality of living, pace, transport, security and friendly locals have made it the perfect place to study.