Originally from Japan, Chef Hideko Kawa had always been interested in cooking and from an early age she wanted to develop her skills with formal training. Knowing that London had a dynamic culinary scene, and that Le Cordon Bleu was the best culinary school in the world, she tied the two together and came to study.
Since graduating with a Grand Diplôme® Hideko has worked in some of the capital’s best restaurants, including six years at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Royal Hospital Road. Joining the brigade in 2003 as a trainee chef, she worked her way up to become Head Chef. In 2009 she longed for a new challenge, which led her to take a position at The Connaught Hotel as Sous Pastry Chef.
In November 2010 she joined the team at the three Michelin Star The Fat Duck as Head Pastry Chef. Her unique skills and love of experimentation with desserts has made this an ideal role. Responsible for the running of the pastry department, she also works closely with the Development Team on new desserts and chocolate work. In 2014 the multi-award-winning Pastry Chef launched her own company, The Sweet Art Lab, acting as its Consultant and Food Designer. Since embarking on her culinary journey, Hideko has returned to Le Cordon Bleu London to host a modern demonstration to an audience of 80 students. Creating a sweet version of a cheeseburger and chips she highlighted a selection of innovative skills and advanced pastry techniques.
Her inspirational demonstration enlightened students to the type of career that may lay ahead and also helped the students to recognize that she still uses techniques that she learnt as a student at Le Cordon Bleu London.
Why did you choose to come to Le Cordon Bleu London to study Grand Diplôme®? "Le Cordon Bleu is the best in the world and I've always wanted to learn cooking, especially professional training. I was aware of such a great reputation and I really wanted to learn there. I have such wonderful memories at le Cordon Bleu. Being back here is great.
"The most important lesson was hard work, punctuality and team work, spirits and organisation."
How has Le Cordon Bleu helped you progress your career? "I got the opportunity to be head pastry chef for The Fat Duck, where I spent 4 years and at the end it led me to become the Head Development Pastry Chef for Heston Blumenthal's empire.
"I just feel fortunate to be honest. I didn't imagine I'd get to this level 12 years ago, and I've really just been enjoying learning.
"I really appreciate what I learnt at le Cordon Bleu because I could open the door to enter the world's best restaurant scene, to work as a professional chef."