Aharon Politi, Cuisine Diploma 2002
Alexandro Youri Hamacher, Grand Diplôme 2004
Paula Passos, Grand Diplôme 2008
Kathleen Marks Roseiro
Kathleen (Casey) Hickey
Penny Shack, Le Grand Diplôme graduate, 2007
Bruce and Eric Bromberg attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and graduated with highest honors. Eric followed cooking school with apprenticeships at top restaurants in France, including Le Recamier in Paris and went on to cook in America. Bruce also carried out apprenticeships in France, notably at the Michelin two-star Duquesnoy. He learned the art of bread baking at Boulangerie Poilâne in Paris and haute cuisine at Michelin three-star restaurant Pierre Gagnaire in Saint-Etienne.Bruce and Eric Bromberg attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and graduated with highest honors. Eric followed cooking school with apprenticeships at top restaurants in France, including Le Recamier in Paris and went on to cook in America. Bruce also carried out apprenticeships in France, notably at the Michelin two-star Duquesnoy. He learned the art of bread baking at Boulangerie Poilâne in Paris and haute cuisine at Michelin three-star restaurant Pierre Gagnaire 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, references 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 empire. The Blue Ribbon world also includes Blue Ribbon Sushi, Blue Ribbon Bakery, Blue Ribbon Brooklyn, Blue Ribbon Sushi Brooklyn, the Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar, Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill, Brooklyn Bowl, Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya.
Blue Ribbon Restaurants have been recognized with 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 released their first cookbook, The Blue Ribbon Cookbook, Better Home Cooking.
Aharon Politi was born in Haïfa, Israël. After travelling, it was in New York, while studying to become a software engineer, that he discovered his passion for cooking. "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 both to seek excellence and to focus on the essential." For Aharon Politi, it was inevitably Paris and in particular the Le Cordon Bleu school 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 obtained his diploma, a whole new world opened up to him and gave him 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 result, the highly prized savoir-faire, the perfection of each gesture, 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 bistrot menu, or even in a household kitchen.
Today, Aharon Politi is the director of YNRA consulting, culinary consultant for numerous establishments. He heads workshops and demonstrations for the 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.
Alexandro’s culinary journey began in 2003 when he decided to register for the Grand Diplôme program at Le Cordon Bleu Paris.
Mulitlingual Alexandro’s passion for cuisine and discovering other cultures also led him to Italy and Thailand where he obtained diplomas in the Cuisine of these countries.
His first professional role saw him return to his home country where he remained for 2 years before moving to China. In 2008, 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.
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 and fell in love with the place, the Chefs and the friendly atmosphere. She decided to abandon her career, move to Paris and register for Le Grand Diplôme program.
“Since the first day at school, I felt I was part of the “Le Cordon Bleu family”. From the Chefs to the cleaners and the office staff, everyone is glad to have us there. It’s not always easy to do everything we’re supposed to, but we are definitely a team working together to prepare the most delicious food!”
Paula has wonderful memories of her time at Le Cordon Bleu, and she 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 (www.cuisinedesamis.com). She offers cooking courses for adults and children, organizes private and corporate catering events and makes French pastries.
Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Kathleen Marks Roseiro went to The College of Charleston and majored in French. Her passion for pastry was inspired not only by her mother, who always cooked and baked 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 obtaining her diploma, she carried out an internship at the Blé Sucré pastry shop. 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, through 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 the pastry department of this luxurious boutique hotel where she also prepares pastries for private parties.
Latest news! Kathleen not only fell in love with French pastry but also with a French man and last August they got married in Charleston. Her wedding was catered for by Cru Catering owned by former Le Cordon Bleu student John Zucker.
Casey Hickey left her job as a fund-raiser with a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization in order to attend Paris’s renowned Le Cordon Bleu thinking she was a “cake lady” and planning to hone her skills for artfully preparing this longtime culinary interest. 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 began dreaming about what she could do with her newfound interest in chocolate, fantasizing about creating artisan chocolates that were as pleasing to the eye as they were to the palate. She knew she wanted to combine high-quality, flavorful ingredients not commonly thought of as coexisting in order to create unusual yet memorable flavors. She and then-boyfriend and now-husband, Mark Meissner, envisioned his 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 earned a Professional Chocolatier certification from 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. Meissner studied wine-making and began his path to sommelier accreditation.
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 the journey toward opening Petit Philippe, a unique retail wine store, tasting room and current exclusive retailer for Twenty Degrees™ Chocolates.
Casey and Mark opened their shop in December 2010, just in time for holiday shopping. Visitors to the shop can choose from approximately 20 different types of chocolate and caramel creations, some traditional and others unexpected, along with seasonal confections. They may also find Casey in her on-site kitchen experimenting with new ingredient combinations. Some of her current selections include Kashmir Pear, a pear, saffron and wine-poached cardamom in white chocolate, The Highlander, a single malt scotch in milk chocolate ganache and Sweet Heat, fresh and dried chilis combined with tropical fruits. Bolstered by the enthusiasm and encouragement of her local customers, Casey plans to begin selling in gourmet food markets and select grocers throughout the Southeast United-States in the coming months.
Gastón Acurio is a chef, writer, businessman, and promoter of Peruvian culinary arts. In 2005, he was named Entrepreneur of the Year by America Economía magazine – the most important business magazine in South America.
During the late 80´s he attended law school. However, his passion for food was stronger, so he decided to leave college and began studying culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. During his time in Paris he met his German-born wife Astrid and in 1994 they founded the restaurant Astrid&Gastón and with it, one of the first restaurants of Peruvian haute cuisine. Initially very French orientated due to their training, Gastón soon found himself experimenting with Peruvian ingredients and taking inspiration from local traditions. In 2012 the restaurant was included as number 35 in the World's 50 Best Restaurants list. With 33 restaurants in 12 countries, the Acurio Organization is leading the Peruvian culinary revolution.
In 2009, the chef received the international award “Prince Claus of Holland” in the category "Collective Memories and Journalism" for his significant contribution in the field of culture and development. That same year, within the framework of Madrid Fusión, he was honored by the panel for defending the biodiversity of Peru and Latin America, and invited as a main speaker for the 2011 edition of Madrid Fusion.
Lima City has become the gastronomical capital of South America, and host of “Mistura” the greatest culinary festival in the region. Acurio led the festival organization for 3 years as president of APEGA (the Peruvian Gastronomy Society) receiving 200,000 people from around the world in 2011. Nowadays, he is still involved in the organization as a member of the board.
Gastón is the main supporter of the Pachacutec School of Cuisine based in one of the poorest areas in Lima which provides underprivileged young people with an institute with leading instructors.
As a writer, he has published 20 books that are all national bestsellers. His latest publication “500 Años de Fusión” (500 Years of Fusion) was considered the best cookbook worldwide at the 2008 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Furthermore, Acurio is the host of a weekly cable TV show “Aventura Culinaria” (Culinary Adventure) and reality show "Master Chef".
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.
Laura, a Spanish native, has always had a strong interest in the world of food, as is demonstrated by her career path. She has worked both as Head of Quality Control in a food company and as a University Professor in Food Technology.
And so, 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 to her.
At the same time as studying at Le Cordon Bleu, Laura also completed an MSc in Wine Management via the O.I.V. (Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin) which put her in contact with some of the best French winemakers.
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 is based in Madrid and 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 in French "art de vivre" in the Spanish capital.
For Laura, 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 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".
Daniela was born in Barretos, in the state of São Paulo. As a teenager she moved to the capital, where she studied before working in the financial markets for more than 10 years.
In 2009, she decided to turn her childhood passion into a profession: she moved to France and signed up for the cuisine and pastry program “Le Cordon Bleu Grand Diplôme”.
Upon her return to São Paulo, she carried out an internship at the D.O.M. restaurant with celebrity chef Alex Atala. She then became associates with Márcio Sylva, an old friend, opening Oryza (Oryza means rice in Latin and is the menu’s main ingredient). Márcio already had a wealth of experience in gastronomy, having worked at the trendy Bouley restaurant in the Tribeca district of New York, in Daniel Boulud’s restaurants, and in Due Cuochi in São Paulo. On the opening day, one of the most important food journalists in Brazil was present and wrote a great review.
“My experience at Le Cordon Bleu exceeded all my expectations”, says Daniela when we asked her opinion on Le Cordon Bleu, “the Chefs are AMAZING, I also learned a lot from my peers, made friends for life and fell in love with Paris!”
This February, Daniela and her brother will be opening a second restaurant in their hometown, Barretos, specializing in Asian contemporary cuisine.
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.
David Laor was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel. Harboring a passion for pâtisserie from the beginning of his professional career, David took up his first culinary position at boutique patisserie and bakery, Ditra and Offer Bakers, in the Judea Mountains. Quickly realising that his ambition was to pursue his passion and become a pastry chef, he decided to enrol at Le Cordon Bleu Paris and study for his Pâtisserie Diploma which he completed in 2009.
“The time I spent studying at Le Cordon Bleu exceeded all my expectations’’ explains David. “I was learning from the best chefs, working with the best possible raw materials and experiencing life in Paris, the world capital of pâtisserie. The experience of walking the streets of Paris discovering new pâtisseries and markets was a hugely important part of my studies, as well as my life at Le Cordon Bleu and in Paris itself”.
Following his graduation, David undertook an internship at MOF Arnauld Lahrer's pâtisserie 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 pâtisserie in the picturesque village of Ein-Kerem, near Jerusalem. He offers traditional French pastries, cakes, chocolates and confectionary all crafted from the best ingredients imported from France and Europe and using the classic techniques he acquired during his studies. In high demand, his products are requested for private events, ordered by coffee shops and gourmet food retailers and sold to visitors in his pastry boutique and workshop.
Mary was the director of the University of Chicago Medical School Alumni association when she decided to study at Le Cordon Bleu and earn her Grand Diplôme. She opened her own restaurant “La petite folie” in Hyde Park (Barack Obama’s old neighborhood) in 1999 and has hired Le Cordon Bleu graduates in her kitchen. A delightful restaurant specializing in classic French cuisine. Her husband Mike manages the front of house and, as a very educated wine lover, suggests the wines to the customers. Recently her restaurant was included in the first Michelin guide for Chicago. It also provides a catering service for private and corporate clients, customizing both menus and services.
When asked to comment on Le Cordon Bleu, Mary said, “In striving to contribute to our clients' joy of life, I realize that in the years since I embarked on this remarkable adventure, the seminal experience that informs nearly every decision I make is the time I spent in Paris at Le Cordon Bleu.”
Mary continued on to say, “…the many words of encouragement, advice and instruction imparted by the extraordinarily talented Le Cordon Bleu faculty serve simultaneously to inspire and to ground me in the traditions of a most honorable metier”.
To find out more: www.lapetitefolie.com
It all started when Weimar Gomez met Patrick Terrien, Le Cordon Bleu Chef instructor, while participating in a gastronomic festival in Casa Medina, Colombia. Inspired by Chef Terrien, Weimar decided to register for the Grand Diplôme program at Le Cordon Bleu Paris.
After receiving his diploma 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 to Eric Briffard, Meilleur Ouvrier de France, and Chef Executive for Le Cinq restaurant and La Galerie, both located inside the hotel.
When we ask Weimar about Le Cordon Bleu school, he says “Le Cordon Bleu has been the starting point of my career. It has opened many doors and it gave me the opportunity of meeting many interesting people in the French culinary field. Now I am part of one of the most prestigious and best restaurants in the world.
Penny was a talented professional performer before she relocated to Paris to pursue her culinary career. Graduating from Le Cordon Bleu with honors she trained at Plaza Athénée under star Chef Christophe Michalak (2005 World pastry cup winner), and with Chef Gérard Mulot. Penny also graduated from the HEG program, a joint master’scertification from Le Cordon Bleu and Reims University in the Champagne region.
On returning to Chicago she worked at MK restaurant as a pastry Chef before obtaining yet another degree in Culinary Management at The Illinois Institute of Art. In May 2010 Penny opened her first venture “Penny’s Pastries” a new catering company that specializes in desserts especially for those with specific dietary preferences: diabetic friendly, organic, gluten-free, and vegan.
When asked to comment on Le Cordon Bleu, Penny said “Le Cordon Bleu was my home away from home and will always hold a special place in my heart. I was not only taught the fundamentals of cooking and baking by exceptional mentors whom I can now refer to as my friends, but I was exposed to many different types of people as well as places through my travels. My experience in Paris made me a better person and very well equipped me to start my own business. For Penny's Pastries, I take recipes I learned at Le Cordon Bleu and transform them into delectables that people with food allergies or health issues can enjoy as well. Le Cordon Bleu helped me to be creative and focus on my passion, baking, which I am now grateful to say I can share with others.”