Le Cordon Bleu Master of Arts (Gastronomy) alumna Jacqui Newling is putting her studies on show in October in New South Wales with special demonstrations linking gastronomy, history and culture.
It has brought Jacqui back to her studies in 2007 and how it has changed her life and career.
Why did you choose to study the Le Cordon Bleu Master of Arts (Gastronomy)?
I had always had a passionate interest in food, and having decided I was more interested in food culture than having the craftsmanship skills and interest to excel in food service, I chose the Le Cordon Bleu Master of Arts (Gastronomy) which I graduated from in 2007.
Have you always known what you wanted to do? Or could you perhaps tell us about when you realised you wanted to work with food?
Food was something I was naturally drawn to. In my backpacking years in the early 1980s my photo albums were filled with pictures of delis and marketplaces (long before this became the norm). I was in retail homewares and naturally gravitated to cookware (I opened a specialist oriental cookware shop in the early 1990s). When I had kids I took part time work with Herbies spices, and that is probably where my interest in food’s role in trade and global history & socio-politics began. So when I discovered the Le Cordon Bleu Gastronomy program I jumped at it.
What do you think was your favourite moment while you were studying with Le Cordon Bleu?
Getting my first High Distinction for an essay and Dr Roger Haden’s comment ‘printable quality’ for a food in communication paper.
What do you think is the best aspect of studying online?
Being able to manage your own time and not waste time commuting (at first I found it quite isolating but got used to that after a while – and meeting others at residential classes made a huge difference).
What has been the most use to you from what you learned at Le Cordon Bleu?
The program changed my career path but also gave me a real boost to my personal self-confidence. It allowed me to develop skills I hadn’t realised I had a talent for, critical thinking and analytical skills which I value greatly. It opened up a whole new world for me in history and heritage - which I cannot imagine now living without.
What do you think distinguishes Gastronomic Tourism from normal Tourism?
Rather than just sights and sunshine, gastronomic tourism is a cultural experience. Ostensibly it might be about food but ultimately it’s about people, what, how and why they eat what they eat, what they do with food and what food brings to their lives makes it rich and meaningful.
If you had one piece of advice for a new student, what would it be?
Take every opportunity you can to widen your scope and skills - gastronomy opens up a very wide world and often what you go into the course for isn’t where you end up. It’s a collective experience, like enjoying a good meal, each dish and course playing its part, the service, and most importantly the company at table, so that the experience becomes so much more than the sum of its parts.
If you would like to attend one of Jacqui’s masterclasses, please see the details below: