From 24 to 28 October 2016, Pastry Chef Jean Barcha, winner of the 2016 Horeca Beirut competition accompanied the Le Cordon Bleu Chefs here. While here, we asked him a few questions.
How did you start your career as a chef?
I started my career at the age of 17. At this time, my dream was to work in 5 stars hotel in Beirut.
And I did it. I started as a pastry commis at Le Metropolitain palace hotel as a pastry commis but Charles Azar, my chef liked the way I worked and asked me to join his team as chef de partie for the opening of the Habtoor Grand Hotel Convention Center and Spa Lebanon.
Why did you choose pastry?
I have always wanted to make something unusual and special plus I liked to draw, but drawing didn't make me special. It was not the thing that could take me to another place, a place where I could feel peace, joy and passion in the same time, until I started my pastry career. Then I realized that pastry is what I will spend my all life doing.
What do French culinary arts represent to you?
French pastry is a starter and beginning of each chef who wants the make success in his work.
I think that French pastry is the number 1 in the world!
What are your best memories of your experience at Le Cordon Bleu Paris with the Chefs?
What I can tell you?! Just ‘wow’!
Being in Le Cordon Bleu Paris institute for a week made me realized that my job as a pastry chef is not a job, it's a hobby. The place is so pretty and organized. The classes are spacious and professional. I just loved my experience at Le cordon Bleu with the Chefs. I loved Paris too!
What would be advice for our students?
You are so lucky to be in Paris! You should work hard and should know that you are so lucky to study at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. This is the dream of every pastry chef.
Paris is the city where you can pass by a lot of pastry shops like Pierre Herme, Fauchon, Michalak, ... You have the chance to be in touch with the most prestigious chefs in the world, take all the experience you can.
If I can add a little something, I would like to thank Mrs. Catherine Baschet and the Chefs for their warm welcome.