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Sébastien Lambert

Technical Director / Head Chef Lecturer Pâtisserie

Born in Ernée, in the North-Ouest of France, Chef Sebastien Lambert began his career in 1992 after completing the Certificat d'Aptitude Professionnelle (CAP) in pâtisserie. He developed his culinary skills while working in France for four years. Then continued his career internationally - in the UK, working as a pâtisserie chef at Butler's Wharf Chop House in London, at the Essence Restaurant in Auckland, and at the Quay restaurant in Sydney.

He then returned to Europe and was appointed Pâtisserie Sous Chef in two of Dublin's finest 5-star hotels - The Shelbourne and The Clarence. He missed the scenic beauty of New Zealand so he chose to return in 2006 and moved to the beautiful Kapiti Coast to open a new European Style Bakery where he was the Pâtisserie Chef Manager.

In August 2012 he joined the select staff of teaching chefs at Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand in Wellington. To this day he states that "It was one of the best decisions I have ever made".

Paul Dicken | Chef de Cuisine

After completing City and Guilds cookery training, Chef Paul Dicken spent 10 years building his career in England, before venturing to New Zealand to work as a chef at some of Wellington's most awarded fine dining restaurants including The White House and Icon Restaurant. In 2000 he opened his own bistro - Trafalgar Square, as the Head Chef he won many awards for his use of beef and lamb. The bistro was also recognised as a category finalist in the 2000 Corbans Wine and Food Challenge Awards.

Francis Motta | Chef de Cuisine

As a young child, Chef Francis Motta learned the importance of quality produce. Both of his parents were in the farming industry, specifically poultry, dairy and as you would expect from the French, Champagne. Growing up in a household that celebrated food and wine enhanced his interest in the culinary arts. After over 35 years of experience in the Hospitality industry, he realized why he chose this career path. "It’s the relationship that you build with your guest through the "art de recevoir"(The art of receiving). For me, being a chef-hotelier is not only a career, it is a lifelong passion".

Thomas Holleaux | Chef de Pâtisserie

Born in Paris, Chef Thomas Holleaux started his career as a Baker, at “Le Grillon D’Auteuil” where he learned the art of French baking. He developed his pâtisserie skills further by working at Gérard Mulot, a prestigious Parisian Pâtisserie located in Paris. Being constantly pushed by his curiosity he furthered his skills as a Baker & Pâtisserie Chef in The Michelin star restaurant Bastide de Capelongue in France. At present, he works as a Pâtisserie Chef lecturer; sharing his expert knowledge & skills with budding chefs. Thomas explained that "when you are starting your Pâtisserie career you should always learn the foundation from experts, this, in turn, will give you a passport to success!"

Michel Rocton | Chef de Pâtisserie

Chef Michel Rocton grew up in the Loire Valley, where his father owned a pastry shop. His career began there at the age of 6 helping the family business unmould chocolate Santas. At 17 he passed the Certificate d’aptitude Professional and moved to Paris to work in a luxury pastry shop and furthered his education. He then moved to England, the Caribbean, the Middle East and New Zealand. During his travels, he had the opportunity to cook for influential people including Prince Andrew, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton & many more. He also operated his own company in St. Lucia in the Caribbean running a bistro which supplied high-end hotels and restaurants with baked goods.

Vincent Boudet | Chef de Cuisine

Vincent Boudet grew up in Cahors in France and after graduating from his Baccalaureat he completed his Certificat d’aptitude Professional specialising in Cuisine. Vincent has traveled extensively and worked in over seven countries globally. His continued interest in Gastronomy and Oenology and his involvement in a wide variety of fine dining restaurants has enabled him to enjoy a successful career in his chosen profession. All his skills and profound knowledge are evident in the level of instruction he brings alive in our learning environment. He has embarked on what we hope will be an exciting and fulfilling career at Le Cordon Bleu.

Evan Michelson | Chef de Cuisine

Evan became interested in education within the Culinary Arts when he accepted an opportunity to teach foundational cookery classes at The New Zealand School of Food and Wine in Christchurch. Over time, he further developed his teaching practices with international students at the Cornell Education Group in Auckland, and most recently, at the Western Institute of Technology in Taranaki. Not only does he see his role at Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand as a wonderful opportunity to integrate his skills and experiences as a chef and lecturer – but also to develop his knowledge and appreciation of the French Culinary Arts.


Julie McGowan

Programme Director

Julie McGowan has an MBA from Victoria University of Wellington. She has been teaching and managing degree programmes for the last 12 years. Prior to beginning her teaching career she was the CEO of two national not for profit organisations, prior to that she worked in advertising.

As a lifelong learner teaching is a natural fit. Once you start teaching it becomes a passion. Working with students to help them learn new things, make new discoveries about not only subjects but also themselves is joyful. Someone once said find something you love and you never have to work another day in your life – teaching is like that for me.

David Burton MA | Lecturer

Qualifications: Master of Arts in Sociology (University of Canterbury), Bachelor of Arts, A life time’s experience as a chef and food writer.

Career Highlights: 2012: appointed lecturer for the Bachelor of Culinary Arts and Business degree course, Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand Culinary Institute. August 29, 2015: witnessed the end of a three year journey , when  the first cohort of students graduated with their BCAB degree. 2004: appointed Senior Features Writer, Cuisine magazine. 2000 –2002 winning four Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for French Colonial Cookery (Faber & Faber, London) and its French translation, La Cuisine Coloniale (Hachette, Paris).1993: the critical reception in Britain for my fifth book, The Raj At Table: A Culinary History of the British In India (Faber & Faber, London).

Why Le Cordon Bleu? "It is the most prestigious culinary school in the world, and because I am both a  Francophile and an admirer of the culinary cultures of Asia."