We recently sat down with Elina Ermsone from Riga, Latvia to discuss how she went from a Master’s Degree in Management and MSc in Financial Markets to studying the Grand Diplôme® in the heart of Canada’s capital, Ottawa.
What made you decide to study at Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa?
Firstly, it was the reputation. Secondly, I am a big admirer of Julia Child, who attended Le Cordon Bleu. Thirdly, the length of the program was comparatively adequate for this stage of my life.
What influenced or inspired you to become a chef and study culinary art?
I enjoy cooking, so I wanted to expand my horizons and see whether I could make it a career.
What stage of the Grand Diplôme are you at now and how has your experience been so far?
I am currently half way through the Intermediate level. Overall it has been challenging, but at the same time rewarding. It is never boring and offers plenty of challenges to tackle.
What has been the most challenging yet rewarding part of the course for you so far?
In a funny way this has helped me believe in myself more and trust my instincts, which is something I will be able to use in life in general. All in all, every time I present a successful dish I experience a sense of gratification.
This is an experience any cooking enthusiast who is lucky enough should experience. Whether you become a chef or not this is something that will stay with you forever and will add to your personality more endurance and strength.
Of all the ingredients you have worked with in the course so far, which has been your favorite and why?
It is not a particular ingredient, but a whole style of cooking cuisine légère. This is highly consistent with my lifestyle and belief system. Of course, working with lobster has also been very exciting and delicious!
During the course did you meet any chefs or influencers that have inspired you?
I think that all the chefs here are unique and bring something special to the table. It has been and will continue to be a great experience to learn from them.
Once you graduate from Le Cordon Bleu what will your dream career look like?
At this stage I want to return to Latvia and possibly develop a healthy lifestyle restaurant, which focuses on local and fresh products, as well as ingredients that fit my philosophy.
Any pieces of advice that you would like to pass on to future or perspective students considering studying culinary arts?
Kitchens are fast-paced, so never underestimate it. Be prepared to work up a sweat and have a strong backbone to turn criticism into personal growth and development. Bring a positive attitude and willingness to learn and there will be no reason why you won’t succeed.
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