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Meet Nina de Bouyalsky

Diploma in Culinary Management 2019

Nina de Bouyalsky

After graduating with a Pastry Diploma, and with her sights firmly set on opening her own catering concept, Nina de Bouyalsky continued her training with the Diploma in Culinary Management. She went on to open Esperluette, in Bali, a unique concept which combines the flavours of the idyllic island with French pastries.

Could you tell us about yourself?

My name is Nina de Bouyalsky and I am 20 years old. I am French but lived in Belgium before moving to Bali just under a year ago. As far back as I can remember, I was fascinated by food, and pastry quickly became my passion. I struggled during 6th form and pursuing something I truly loved gave me a goal. I followed my heart when I chose Le Cordon Bleu Paris, as it reflected my personal values. Today, thanks to my training, I have opened my shop Esperluette.

What is Esperluette?

Esperluette is the dream I imagined creating from the word go, initially in my mind and then in reality. It is a pastry shop, where you can sample fusion pastries made using French techniques and local ingredients. You can also sit down for a coffee, breakfast, lunch, or afternoon snack.  I wanted to combine the friendly coffee shop atmosphere with the more refined side of pastry, which I love. Having carried out my internship in a 100% vegan & gluten-free shop, I make a point of having vegan, lactose-free, and gluten-free options. Everything we produce is made using fresh and seasonal ingredients to ensure maximum respect for our amazing planet.

How did the Chef Instructors support you during the Diploma in Culinary Management?

I have never felt so at ease and this was largely thanks to the Chefs and the atmosphere they create! They have a wealth of expertise and a much wider perspective than just teaching. They are not only there to teach patisserie, boulangerie, or cuisine: they respect us, get to know us, encourage us to think outside the box and give the very best of ourselves. The students are very lucky to be surrounded by several Chefs. Being able to discuss ideas and hear different points of view is invaluable. Our future is in their hands and they treat it with great care!

What did you learn during the diploma ?

When I began my pastry diploma, I was not sure which direction I wanted to take. The theory classes are really interesting and provide a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes, without being thrown in at the deep end. Watching the Chefs work is a fun way in which to learn precise techniques whilst understanding the finer details. As for the practical classes, they are the best way to get regular training under the watchful eyes of the Chefs and understand just how much you are improving. It is a great opportunity to progress in the best possible learning environment with, for example, the finest ingredients and equipment of outstanding quality.

What memories do you have of your time at Le Cordon Bleu Paris institute?

The months I spent at Le Cordon Bleu Paris institute are full of great memories. Except perhaps… burning my fingers when working with sugar! On a more serious note, it is an experience which makes you grow. You gain a real understanding of the discipline required in the profession, whilst having fun, and you will meet some amazing people during your studies. The institute’s goal is to give students unique and unforgettable experiences. Examples are the student meals organised in magical settings, the Guest Chef demonstrations which are so inspiring, and the trips which open new horizons.

Did you have any previous experience in pastry?

Absolutely not! I only made pastry during the weekend, holidays, and in my spare time but nothing that could be considered professional. I started watching videos to improve my techniques when something went wrong, or I was not happy with the result. I then looked for pastry workshops in the area where I lived. I did around ten, but they were mainly focused on having fun. It was when I realised that I wanted to make a career out of it that I chose Le Cordon Bleu.

What advice would you give to someone interested in the Diploma in Culinary Management?

Firstly, do not hesitate to take the plunge! I would then add “if you know what you want!” It is an excellent programme for learning all the fundamental knowledge for opening your own culinary concept. However, if you do not already have a clear business idea, it could be difficult to really focus on achieving your goal. It is challenging to explain something which is not clear in your own mind to someone else. However, the Chefs and other teachers are the best people to guide you!