Pámela Pimentel, a graduate of the first ever Restaurant Management programme, was awarded her Diploma in March 2015. She looks back with us on her time at Le Cordon Bleu Paris and tells us all about her internship and her future plans.
Can you tell us what you did before studying the Restaurant Management programme?
Before the Restaurant Management programme at Le Cordon Bleu Paris, I studied architecture in Guatemala and also worked in my family’s restaurants.
What are the strong points of this programme and what did you gain from it?
The Restaurant Management programme is very comprehensive. It gave me all the necessary knowledge to create a business plan for my future restaurant. Moreover, the programme has a lot of practical sessions which, in my opinion, are the best way to learn.
The six-month internship is also perfect if you choose the right place in which to do it. It is the best way to put what you have learnt at the School into practice.
Can you tell us about your internship?
I chose to do my internship at the two Michelin-starred Akrame restaurant. It was very difficult for me at the beginning, even though I already had restaurant experience. Michelin-starred restaurants are a completely different world: They expect no less than perfection from you. However, I was able to take on many different roles, from cleaning to assisting the Restaurant Manager. I also worked on the Chef’s new projects which gave me the opportunity to travel, as I was in charge of organizing all his international events and competitions.
I learned that working long hours is not a problem when you love what you do, and when all that you want is to make the customers happy.
At the end of my internship, I was offered an incredible job, which I unfortunately couldn’t accept as I already had other plans. My family did come to France though to meet the Chef, and we will almost certainly work together to open a restaurant in Guatemala.
What are your plans for the future?
I am currently studying the Grand Diplôme at Le Cordon Bleu Paris and after the programme I would like to carry out my cuisine and pastry internships in Paris. After that, my plan is to travel to gain international experience. In two years, I would like to return to Guatemala to manage my family’s restaurants. But my ultimate goal is to open my own restaurant there, which will be a fusion of French and Guatemalan gastronomy.
What advice would you give to somebody who would like to follow the Restaurant Management programme?
To think seriously about your project and what kind of business you want to open, or at least the one you dream of opening. In this way, you will be able to work on a very specific project during the programme, with teachers and professionals who are widely recognized in their field.
I also suggest carefully choosing the place to do your internship, and to ask yourself the right questions such as: “What kind of place is going to teach me the most and make my future plans and dreams a reality?”
Thank you Pámela, we wish you all the best for the future!