Pop-up dining has taken the foodie world by storm and Le Cordon Bleu London, in partnership with Grub Club, hosted the pop-up of all pop-ups right here in our famous, state-of-the-art school last week. We invited 8 of our talented alumni to come back to the very kitchens in which they learned their skills, and create a spectacular three-course meal, paired with the perfect wine, for 56 very lucky (and very hungry) guests.
The cuisine team consisted of Luciana Berry, Fatima Ahmed, Jose Menezes, Kateřina Bursíková Jacques and Maria Riga, and the pâtisserie team consisted of Sharifa Aljafri and Sadiqa Esmael, with Sarah Smyth overlooking the wine on the night. All of our chosen alumni graduated a few years ago with either a Diplôme de Cuisine, a Diplôme de Pâtisserie, or a Grand Diplôme®.
The alumni were given a list of ingredients and were asked to create a three-course meal using anything that was listed. Under the guidance of our Master Chefs, Chef Anthony Boyd for the cuisine team and Chef Nicolas Houchet for the pâtisserie team, the alumni developed a spectacular menu that perfectly united the classic flavours of French cuisine with the exciting and adventurous flavours of more international dishes. On top of this Sarah also selected an excellent selection of wines that were paired with each individual course, supervised by Matthieu Longuere, Master Sommelier.
Firstly our guests were presented with a beautiful starter of langoustine ceviche with a Brazilian chayote salad. Langoustine is a succulent white shellfish which is very popular in France, and Ceviche is a Latin American dish in which the shellfish is cooked by the acidity of citrus juice. This speciality was a perfect accompaniment to the salad in which Chayote, a popular Brazilian squash, was the star ingredient. This starter was perfectly paired with 2006 Riesling Gebling, Sepp Moser, Kremstal, Austria.
Next on the menu was the spectacular main course which consisted of nut-crusted venison, figs and seasonal Vegetables which left our guests savouring every last mouthful. This flavoursome dish was paired with 2013 Pinot Noir Talinay Vineyard, Tabali, Valle del Limari, Chile.
And last but definitely not least, the alumni dinner concluded with Trio de desserts. Yes, not one, but three beautiful treats lovingly prepared by this talented group. The course consisted of an amazing blood orange parfait, a sticky toffee pudding with a mushroom caramel sauce, and an elderflower mousseline and apricot jelly with pistachio nibbed. This extraordinary finale was lovingly paired with 2008 Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive, Cave de Turckheim, Alsace, France.
Our amazing alumni really excelled themselves on the night with the flavoursome food that they produced, and how beautifully they presented it on the plates. The service was described as “second to none,” and “impeccable,” by some of our guests, with this area being overseen by our lecturer Nitin Radhakrishnan, who has a wealth of experience working in some of the most prestigious 5* hotels in the UK.
Overall the night was amazing and the guests really enjoyed the unique experience of going behind the scenes and being able to dine in the most famous culinary, wine and management school in the world. It was also great to be able to show our guests the high calibre of chefs, wine and hospitality experts that training at Le Cordon Bleu London can produce. From the feedback that we received it is clear that our guests left as amazed and inspired by the culinary delights created by our former students as we were!