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Joey, winner of the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs competition,
has been awarded an Intensive Cuisine Certificate

Joe Baffoe

Chef Joseph (Joey) Baffoe from Chicago is the youngest American to win the “Jeunes Chefs Rotisseurs Competition” in 2023. As the winner, he was offered an Intensive Cuisine Certificate. After this intense 6-week programme, he will return to the United States where he has accepted a position as Chef in one of the Michelin-starred restaurants of "The Alinea Group".

What is your background?
I began cooking in professional kitchens at the young age of 15 and worked my way up in numerous different kitchens. I received a scholarship to Culinary School and was introduced to a whole new world of cooking. I worked at prestigious clubs around the US and continued my training/education however possible. I entered in competitions and won Gold at Regional, National, and International levels. Recently becoming the 2nd American to ever win the International Chaine Des Rotisseurs Young Chef Competition. I just accepted a position with Michelin Starred “The Alinea Group” and am excited to be back in Chicago after my training in Paris!

What did you learn at the institute?
I learned a lot from the institute. Having been from America, seeing techniques I have been taught maybe executed in different ways and also working with products I usually wouldn’t have readily available. Proper sauce work and cleaning of shellfish have been two prominent techniques as well. And lastly, just reinforcing what I already know and really honing in on the fundamentals.

What are your thoughts on the Intensive Programme?
I believe the Intensive Programme is really training students for the industry. It’s well thought out and rigorous and demanding. The Chefs are pushing the students to be better versions of themselves. It’s a great program and I won’t want to leave when it’s over.

Can you tell us a bit about the atmosphere among students?
The atmosphere amongst students is great. I get along very well with all 10 students in my intensive program and the Chefs as well. We help each other out and also push each other to be better.

Is the level high?
I would say the level in the intensive program is higher than what you would find in most culinary schools. The Chefs definitely push us at a higher level, as the food they produce is soigné every time, and they expect nothing less. I would say the program is so intense because of the intensive program. It pushed you to stay organized throughout demos and practicals. Proper note taking and premeditation is required if you want to be successful.

What did you like the most during your training?
I like the standards set by the Chef. If they weren’t holding the students to a certain standard, then there would be no point. I have also really enjoyed the products we use here at Le Cordon Bleu.

How is it to live in Paris?
Living is Paris has been amazing. I love the food scene and the architecture. The location of the school has been very convenient. I like it so much that I want to stay longer and maybe enroll into the Pastry Programme! 

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