We met with Madison Huang to gain her impressions of our six month Diploma in Wine, Gastronomy and Management which she attained in March 2015 at Le Cordon Bleu London.
What is your background?
After completing my Bachelor’s Degree in Restaurant Operations and Hospitality Management at the Culinary Institute of New York, I was a chef in New York and San Francisco Bay, before moving to Paris to further my studies in pastry.
After I completed my course, I moved to Miami to work at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and then for a two-Michelin starred chef. I eventually moved to London to begin my Diploma in Wine, Gastronomy and Management.
Why did you choose to enrol for Le Cordon Bleu’s Diploma in Wine?
I really wanted to come back to Europe, so this was a great incentive for me. I already held a WSET qualification, which I could develop on if I took this six-month intensive course, and it meant that I could continue my studies within the global family of Le Cordon Bleu.
What has been your biggest learning curve throughout the course?
I think the course was definitely more intensive than I ever thought it would be, it’s an incredibly comprehensive course, and it’s fantastic that we even go into statistical analysis.
What do you consider to be the greatest feat that this course allowed you to achieve?
I think it would have to be mastering the deductive tasting method. To actually analyse a wine’s colour and smell, then be able to come to a reasonable conclusion of its producer, grape and its origin, is quite remarkable. Matthieu Longuere, Master Sommelier has taught me how to be a detective of wine, so when I stood in front of a well established sommelier in my exam and was able to speak confidently about a wine… It felt amazing!
Has the course improved your confidence when talking to winemakers and other wine professionals?
This course has been a fantastic introduction to the trade. It has made me so much more confident in speaking to other wine professionals, as we have been taught to understand what it’s like to be in their shoes.
Would you do the course again?
For sure! I really would. I originally began a wine education through the WSET and I thought one day I would go back to complete my studies. When I looked at this course I thought it would just be a stepping stone, but now that I’ve completed the Diploma in Wine, Gastronomy and Management, I don’t need to return. This course has taught me everything I need to know and I’m confident in all the skills I have gained.