After completing a Diplôme de Pâtisserie, and before starting the Diploma in Culinary Management, David Vincent undertook his internship at Paul Rhodes Bakery. Recently graduated David, took some time out to speak to us about his life as a Le Cordon Bleu student and his work experience on the Internship Pathway.
Tell us a little about your background, where you’re from, your previous studies and work experience.
After a Master degree of Marketing, I started to work at Carrefour in France (one of the largest supermarket chain in the world) as a deputy manager in IT department. I’ve been working in this industry since, in different companies and at different positions, the last one being European Retail Sales Manager at SanDisk. I always liked working on new products development. During my career, I participated to the commercial launch of new technologies such as LCD and SSD (Solid State Drive) and I always found very exciting to try and convince customers to move to these products and explain their usage.
Why did you choose to study Culinary Arts, Internship Pathway and Diploma in Culinary Management at the Le Cordon Bleu London institute? What were your aspirations?
I always enjoyed cooking. I started when I was a child with my grandmother in France. She was always cooking very traditional French meals. I then learned to cook Vietnamese with my mum who learned herself from her mother-in-law. With my mum and my dad coming from 2 countries where cooking is really important, it seems very natural for me to follow this path and keep on mixing the 2 cultures and cooking all sorts of ingredients.
During the last few years, the idea of changing fundamentally my career grew on me and it had to be connected to the food industry. I wanted to get my own business where I could invest my time and my energy developing it. To test my idea and my determination, I followed the 4-day pâtisserie course that Le Cordon Bleu were proposing and I really enjoyed it. I also worked a week at my friend’s bakery in the south of France, waking up at 4.30 am and working the same way his employees were doing. It was great and I did enjoy to learn how to make bread.
I thought that one of the fundamental keys to succeed in my project was to get a very strong base of knowledge and practice and that’s the reason why I’ve chosen to apply for the Diplôme de Pâtisserie with Culinary Management Internship Pathway. The courses fitted perfectly with what I needed and Le Cordon Bleu’s large network made the courses very interesting and helped me getting my internship. The internship was a very good way for me to get some valuable experience.
How did you find your studies at Le Cordon Bleu London?
I really enjoyed my studies at Le Cordon Bleu London, the diversity of the courses, the quality of the chefs. We spent a lot of time practicing but theoretical knowledge was not forgotten. I learned a lot of different techniques, it opened my mind on new trends and it gave me a lot of confidence in my ability to cook.
Where did you do your internship?
I have done my internship at Paul Rhodes Bakery that supplies caterers and foodservice companies from hotels to restaurants, bars, retailers, delis, and small independents. Despite the size of the company, all the products (breads, cakes and viennoiseries) are all handcrafted.
What were your duties during the Internship Pathway?
I’ve worked at the viennoiserie where we produced all the croissants, pains au chocolat etc. but also the cookies, tart casings and some savory pastries. I had the opportunity to work at all the stations. The duties consisted in mixing of dough, shaping or cutting and baking.
It was the traditional duties in a bakery and for this type of product. After a short period of time, I was able the work independently and was included at the team rotation.
I would warmly recommend the Internship Pathway
for any new student at Le Cordon Bleu London
How did Le Cordon Bleu support you with your internship?
Le Cordon Bleu supported me in many ways. I’ve had different classes about writing CV and covering letters redaction but also had a job interview training. These courses were adapted to my experience. Le Cordon Bleu London provided also a large list of restaurants, hotels where I could potentially carry out my internship. And finally, it was great to get the support of the Internship manager, Nitin Radhakrishnan, as he was catching up with me regularly, ensuring it was going well.
What did you get out of the work placement?
Obviously, it was a big step for me as it was my first professional experience in this new industry but more importantly, this internship brought me a lot of confidence and reassured me as I was confident in making the right choice for my future.
Would you recommend the internship programme to a potential student?
I would warmly recommend the Internship Pathway for any new student at Le Cordon Bleu. It is the appropriate complement to the patisserie diploma and it gives you the opportunity to work with the best companies in the food industry.
What advice would you give to a student just about to begin their internship?
My only advice for them is just to enjoy these 3 months and make sure they take advantage of every moment to learn from the best.
Have your career objectives changed? What are your goals in the near future?
My objectives haven’t changed. Since the end of my courses at Le Cordon Bleu London, I’ve been working at Paul Rhodes and I hope to open my own business in the near future.