Tomohisa Hagimoto oversees commercial production and product development for Globridge ltd. inc., which produces and operates a series of dining establishments domestically and abroad. Hagimoto, still in his twenties, graduated Le Cordon Bleu Tokyo with a Cuisine Diploma in 2005, primarily works to improve management practices of dining establishments and facilitate their success through engaging meaningfully with chefs.
Hagimoto dreamed of being a chef since he was young and he was particularly drawn to French cuisine. Deciding this was what he wanted to do, he moved from this hometown of Kumamoto to the capital and enrolled in the Tokyo school.
On the pace, intensity, and sheer volume of information in recipes and classes, Hagimoto’s prevailing comment was, “Class was so fun!” His sentiment extends even to Practical classes, where chefs take a back seat to let students rely on their wits to handle culinary mishaps: “It helps you grow.”
It may seem a grueling experience to a bystander, but it was not the least bit trying for Hagimoto whose sole passion is culinary arts. “We worked with high-end ingredients from start to finish and our instructors were top-notch chefs, who are constantly there to teach you the best.”
Hagimoto’s moved to his current job whilst working as cook when he was 20. Fellow graduates of Hagimoto started their own establishments only to have them shut down soon after. These were talented chefs who had the technique, produced quality dishes, but their places simply didn’t last. Hagiomoto changed careers because he wanted to understand why and how he could change this. Working in product development and management in the food and beverage industry has not only broadened Hagiomoto’s perspective on food and food business, but has also influenced his professional goals for the future.
Currently, “food and beverage consultants” such as Hagimoto are highly sought after. In a restaurant, it is obvious that a chef is determined to make it succeed. However, this is determination alone is often not enough and it is for this reason that Hagimoto seeks connect management practices with chefs to facilitate the success of an establishment. “I can help dining establishments by bridging the spirit of chefs with management techniques. And since I was a chef and I love the industry, I believe it’s something I’m capable of.”
Are you happy you chose Le Cordon Bleu?
I am and more than anything, it’s because I learned truly authentic French cuisine. At the beginning, I caught myself thinking that we were making completely outdated dishes, but I came to realise it was necessary to build a foundation of technique. I know, especially now, the importance of the experiences I gained at the Tokyo school.
How are you utilizing what you learned at Le Cordon Bleu at your current job?
Classes were structured so that we were exposed to a stunning range of dishes and we learned the trends of each generation: from traditional and home-style to contemporary preparations and French culture. Learning a breadth culinary knowledge and technique has built a strong foundation for me; I feel that no matter what type of dish I’m making, I can freely make it my own.
What would you say to prospective students considering Le Cordon Bleu?
Work hard for what’s in front of you. If you do that, you’ll begin to plant different seeds of possibility that you can nurture into competence eventually blooming into opportunity. Le Cordon Bleu provides a learning environment that is remarkably rare. You should take advantage of this amazing chance to learn.