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Le Cordon Bleu News, 01/31/2008
André Cointreau, President and CEO of Le Cordon Bleu Awarded Légion d'Honneur
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La Fondation Alliance Française

Gala for the Launch of the Fondation Alliance Française
and Award of the Insignia of Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur
by Monsieur Jean-Pierre de Launoit Président de l’Alliance Française To Monsieur André Cointreau Président Le Cordon Bleu

Cité du Patrimoine et de l’Architecture, Palais de Chaillot.

At the launch of the Fondation Alliance française, January 23, 2008, Monsieur Jean-Pierre de Launoit, President of the Alliance Française awarded, acting on a proposal from the current Minister for the Economy, Finance and Employment of France, Madame Christine Largarde, the insignia of Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur to Monsieur André Cointreau. This recognition was bestowed upon Monsieur Cointreau for his contributions and accomplishments as President/CEO of Le Cordon Bleu and for his unique educational concept.

A direct descendant of the founding family of the Cointreau liqueur and Rémy Martin Cognac, student of Hattmer and Franklin, graduate of Hautes Etudes Commerciales (Higher Business Studies - HEC ’72), in Political Sciences (S.P’74), Paris I and IX graduate, Monsieur André Cointreau began his career with Unilever and later The American Express Banking Corporation.

In 1977, Monsieur André Cointreau joined the Groupe Cointreau. Continuing his career in the world of spirits and cognacs, he became chairman and managing director of the company Pagès and secretary general of Cognacs Frapin. As a determined director, he will be involved in the holding company created to govern the family-owned assets of Rémy Martin and Cointreau.

In 1984, as part of a diversification policy and with the world of gastronomy linked with wine and spirits, one branch of the Cointreau family took over l’Ecole de Cuisine et de Pâtisserie Le Cordon Bleu that was established in 1895. Monsieur André Cointreau became president of Le Cordon Bleu and transformed it into an international group which today is present in more than 15 countries with nearly 30 schools and training 20,000 students of over 70 nationalities each year. Le Cordon Bleu operates several ancillary operations: publishing, gourmet products and tableware, consulting and licensing. All of which make up a vast network of “ambassadors” of culinary know-how and French art-de-vivre encouraging cultural exchange.

In 21 years, Le Cordon Bleu, member of CampusFrance, has become one of the most extensive world institutions with programs ranging from culinary training to university curricula in food and beverage, hospitality and tourism. Its programs award certificates, diplomas, Associate degrees, Bachelor degrees, Masters through MBAs and Le Cordon Bleu contributes to research chairs. For example, Le Cordon Bleu also operates “Signatures”, an observation internship restaurant in Ottawa, which is currently one of only 63 restaurants in North America to have been awarded a Five Diamond rating by the Canadian/American Automobile Association. Le Cordon Bleu Casa de Francia has also been granted Four Diamonds. Located in the former French Embassy in Mexico, this is a non-profit establishment made up principally of scholarship students.

Monsieur André Cointreau has also actively participated in the creation of the Science and Food Culture Foundation within the Académie des Sciences, and the Institute des Hautes Etudes du Goût (HEG) in conjunction with Reims University. Furthermore, he is also president of Pierre-Deux French Country, a chain of twenty prestigious boutiques, in the United States and Japan, specializing in French interior decoration and sister company of Le Cordon Bleu.
For many years, Le Cordon Bleu and the Alliance Française have shared a single cultural and educational mission to promote France’s cultural influence and values across the globe. Thus in 2003, Monsieur André Cointreau was awarded “Person of the Year” by the Federation of Alliances françaises of the United States. Monsieur André Cointreau has been on the Board of Governors of the Alliance française since 1993, and is a founding member of the Fondation Alliance française.

Monsieur Jean-Pierre de Launoit, President of the Fondation Alliance française is a highly regarded figure on the cultural stage beyond his commitments in economic world. This foundation, which includes endowments from private sponsors among others, aims to organize and unite the international network of the Alliance Française. Today, the Alliance française spans 133 countries with 1071 schools that teach 450 000 students each year.

The gala evening was organized by the chefs and students of Le Cordon Bleu featuring the same French culinary excellence as it is taught in the Cordon Bleu programs.

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