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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 located in the south of France.

At present, he thoroughly enjoys working as a Pâtisserie Chef lecturer; sharing his expert knowledge and skills with budding chefs. Thomas explained that "when you are starting your Patisserie career you should always learn the foundation techniques from experts, this will in turn give you a Passport To Success!”.

Michel Rocton | Chef de Pâtisserie

Chef Michel Rocton grew up in the little city of Angers in the Loire Valley, where his father owned a pastry shop. His career began there at the age of 6 helping the family business unmoulding chocolate Santas. At 17 he passed the Certificate d’aptitude Professional and moved to Paris to work in a luxury pastry shop opposite Louvre Museum and furthered his education with a pastry master.

He then moved to Surrey, England, the Caribbean, the Middle East and now New Zealand. During his travels, he had the opportunity to cook for the rich and famous including, Prince Andrew, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Naomi Campbell, Denzel Washington, and many more. He also operated his own company in St. Lucia in the Caribbean running a pastry/bistro and supplying high-end hotels and restaurants with baked and pastry 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.

Gabriel Chambers | Chef Lecturer

Born and raised in the Wairarapa, Chef Gabriel developed a love for classic French cuisine at a young age. He entered the professional kitchen at the age of 19 and quickly realised that this was his calling. Over the next 17 years, he worked in fine dining restaurants in New Zealand and Australia as well as spending time at Chapter One restaurant in Dublin Ireland. During his time spent here, the restaurant was awarded a coveted Michelin Star. Upon his return to New Zealand Gabriel was offered a position teaching professional cookery for London City and Guilds. In 2014 Gabriel was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts which was an addition to his certificate in education. Gabriel now joins the Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand as the next progression in his career combining his love of New Zealand produce, Classic French cuisine and modern concepts in 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.

Chantal Pillay | Lecturer

Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts, Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education, Master of Education.

Career Highlights: After 10 years in the IT industry, Chantal Pillay decided to branch out and join a hospitality institution where she gained invaluable experience and began to understand that you can’t learn about hospitality from a book.  She was soon appointed as the Senior Lecturer, where she gained valuable operational and managerial skills and a good understanding of human resources. She was also the Managing Principal of a prominent Hospitality Institute in South Africa. She spent 5 years in that position gaining not only academic and business tools but also what it takes to build and design a restaurant, hotel and school.

Why Le Cordon Bleu?  "I wanted to be part an exciting and professional international new school and I felt I had experience and knowledge that I could share with students and hopefully make a difference in student’s lives. I grew up in a world where good education was not readily available and I had to work hard to get through my degrees but without my education, I would never have gained so many wonderful opportunities. I love to see people reach and surpass their  goals and to be a part of this is hugely rewarding."

Why New Zealand? "For Safety, security and peace of mind and of course the wonderful people."

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."

Dr. Mark Krasnow | Lecturer

Qualifications: PhD in Crop Plant Physiology, recognized expert in Viticulture & certified cheesemaker.

Career Highlights: Since completing his PhD, Dr Mark Krasnow taught classes in Botany, Plant Physiology, and Viticulture in California and New Zealand. Most recently was an Associate Professor of Culinary Science at the Culinary Institute of America. He published international research papers on topics ranging from grapevine diseases, vineyard sustainability, chicken stock, brining of poultry, sous vide cooking, roux, and chocolate. He is a passionate cook, and is constantly amazed at the transformations brought about in the kitchen. Currently He is the director of Thoughtful Viticulture Ltd. and co-director of Crazy Bay Beer Ltd.