Graduating in 2017 with a Grand Diplôme® with Culinary Management, Le Cordon Bleu London alumnus Assem Abdel Hady has spent much of his life influenced by the culinary arts. His love for it may have sprouted from growing up in the midst his family’s farming business in Egypt. Here we find out what it was like to study the programme and what he has been up to since.
Tell us a little about your background, where you’re from, your previous studies and work experience. Originally, I am from Egypt but I grew up in the United States. After having spent 11 years working in Egypt in my family’s commercial farming business, I enrolled in the Grand Diplôme® programme at Le Cordon Bleu London in September 2016. With regards to my education, I received a B.A. in History from the George Washington University in 2005 and an M.B.A. from the American University in Cairo in 2015.
Why did you choose to study Culinary Arts, Internship Pathway and Diploma in Culinary Management? What were your aspirations? I chose Le Cordon Bleu because of its reputation as a premium learning institution in the culinary arts. I was also very much interested in the culinary arts because it was what I was looking for in my upcoming career. The first being that I wanted to do something I loved, and the second is that it’s an industry that is open to entrepreneurial opportunities. My ultimate goal is to open my own food business, so taking the Culinary Management programme and Internship Pathway allowed me to learn key skills from people with incredible experience in the industry, and to hit the ground running once I eventually open my own business.
How did you find your studies at Le Cordon Bleu London? Studying at Le Cordon Bleu London was a phenomenal experience. Upon enrolling I kept one objective in mind - which was to learn as much as possible, however, the experience far exceeded my expectations! During my studies, I noticed that the teaching chefs genuinely care about each student and one cannot help but form long-lasting bonds with them. The lessons are interactive, and you receive as much assistance as you need with the practical sessions. Lastly, some of my fellow students have become friends for life, those who have studied at the school can understand that it has an atmosphere where strong friendships are formed.
Where did you do your internship? I completed my internship at Berner’s Tavern popular for their contemporary British cuisine.
What were your duties? I was a Demi Chef de Partie, responsible for the cold larder section. The mise en place included making dressings, cold emulsions, mousses, purées, gels, oil infusions, pickling, cold starters and salads. On weekend shifts, I would do the larder service for brunch, which involved cold larder, toast, selected hot dishes such as the schnitzel, as well as all the bar food.
How did Le Cordon Bleu support you with your internship? It supported me in several ways. For example, it helped me develop all the necessary skill sets and knowledge required to succeed in the work environment in which I was placed. Fortunately my placement really suited both my skills and personality, also Nitin Radhakrishnan often checked in on me and visited me on site which was always useful.