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Le Cordon Bleu Ateneo de Manila Institute (LCBA) opens its doors: aims to make a unique contribution to the tourism and hospitality industry

Two of the world’s most distinguished educational institutions have merged to open a premium learning institution that will together the finest culinary educational programs with premium business and management expertise.

One of the world’s most highly esteemed culinary institutes, Le Cordon Bleu (Paris), formally inaugurated its first venture in the Philippines on April 5, a joint venture with the Ateneo de Manila University, in an opening ceremony graced by distinct personalities and leaders from academe and the hotel, culinary, and tourism industries. Leading the opening rites were Ateneo President Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin and Le Cordon Bleu President and CEO André J. Cointreau who flew in from Paris to grace the momentous event.

The much awaited inauguration is the fruition of many years of painstaking preparatory to work to set up a world-class education program in the Philippines that will synergize Le Cordon Bleu’s global culinary and hospitality management curriculum with Ateneo’s liberal arts foundation and expertise in entrepreneurship education.


There is undoubtedly a vibrant restaurant industry in the Philippines and a growing interest not just in cuisine but in the broader field of gastronomy.   The Le Cordon Bleu Ateneo de Manila Institute will help to upgrade the skills and expertise of local enthusiasts and entrepreneurs.  But Ateneo’s decision to tap into this rapidly growing field is not motivated by a simple desire to tap into a growing market—- it is founded on a desire to contribute to national development by making a unique contribution to one of the pillars of our national economic development plan:  the tourism and hospitality industry.   Thus its decision to design a unique Restaurant Entrepreneurship program that will not just train professionals for overseas deployment, but rather harness the rich potential of the Filipino entrepreneur to create economic opportunity and jobs right here in the country.


Strong, Compelling Partnership

This partnership between Le Cordon Bleu and the Ateneo de Manila is a natural offshoot of their shared hundred-year old traditions of service and excellence, and commitment to quality.   Founded in 1859 by the Society of Jesus, the Ateneo is one of the oldest universities in the Philippines. Le Cordon Bleu was founded in 1895 and is the oldest culinary school in the world.

These shared values provide the strongest of foundations to ensure an enduring partnership that can make a difference in the Philippine hospitality industry.


The LCBAI combines the Ateneo’s strong liberal arts tradition and expertise in management and entrepreneurship education with Le Cordon Bleu’s expertise and global perspective in cuisine, gastronomy and hospitality. The Institute will tap into the international network of Le Cordon Bleu not just for curriculum development, but also for faculty recruitment, graduate placement, and international internships.


Creating the Premium Learning Experience

The Ateneo de Manila will be investing in excess of Php150 million for the two campuses planned for this joint venture effort, sparing no cost in infrastructure development, and the acquisition of top-of-the-line equipment for the two campuses


The first facility, inaugurated on April 5, 2019, occupies over 1,000 square meters on the ground floor of Arete, in the Loyola Heights, QC campus of the Ateneo.  It currently includes a variety of cuisine and pastry kitchens, demonstration rooms and lecture rooms.   A teaching restaurant and wine bar are slated for opening later this year. 


A second facility, slated for construction in the latter half of 2019, will sit on another 1,000 square meters, this time in the Ateneo Professional Schools building in Rockwell Center, Makati City.


The size and scale of the facilities being constructed for LCBAI will ensure that every student’s learning is maximized because of a one-is-to-one correspondence of student to kitchen work station, something most culinary schools are unable to provide.



Fostering a Culture of Excellence

The institute’s talked about top-of-the line facilities is just one part of the equation. The other, more vital half is the leadership team who are the institute’s driving force in pursuing its mission of excellence and service.


Le Cordon Bleu Ateneo de Manila Institute (LCBAI) is an undertaking of the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, through its Center for Continuing Education.   Under the leadership of Dean Rudy Ang, day to day operations of LCBA will be managed by its Institute Director Liza Morales, and its Technical Director, Master Chef Thierry Le Baut.


LCBAI further sharpens its vision/mission and alignment with industry requirements through an Advisory Board made up of highly esteemed and seasoned industry leaders:

  • Chef Myrna Dizon-Segismundo, Owner and Executive Chef, New Manila
  • Chef Robby Goco, Executive Chef and Managing Director, Cyma Group of Restaurants
  • Olivia Limpe-Aw, President and CEO, Distilleria Limtuaco
  • Chef Josefina “Jessie” Sincioco, President and CEO, Chef Jessie Restaurants
  • Steve Tamayo, Owner, Tamayo's Catering
  • Joseph Tanbuntiong, Country Business Group Head - Philippines, Jollilbee Foods Corporation


Undergraduate Degree Program

As its initial offering, LCBAI will be offering a four-year undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Restaurant Entrepreneurship through the John Gokongwei School of Management of the Loyola Schools of the Ateneo.  This program embeds the international Le Cordon Bleu curriculum within the Ateneo liberal arts curriculum.  It will focus on integrating theory and hands-on practical experience with a strong management and service orientation.   It will teach tools and techniques, but maintain Ateneo’s tradition of formation of the total person.  It will provide a global perspective into cuisine, gastronomy, and hospitality management, and is targeted at young men and women who would like to set up their own restaurants and food-related businesses.

The Restaurant Entrepreneurship program has the same requirements for the degree as in Le Cordon Bleu’s equivalent degrees anywhere in the world. It carries the same same core, holistic, and formative liberal arts curriculum that is the bedrock of the Ateneo college curriculum and that is also required for every other Ateneo degree. All applicants must pass the Ateneo college entrance exam, and go through the same rigorous Ateneo admissions process as everyone else.  Consequently, students will receive two diplomas at graduation:  one from the Ateneo, and a second one from Le Cordon Bleu.

22 students are already currently enrolled in the program, with a new, much larger intake of freshmen projected for August 2019.


Professional Diplomas and Certificates

With the Center for Continuing Education of the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, LCBAI will also be offering a wide variety of professional diploma and certificate courses, including some specialized and lifestyle-oriented courses, with durations running anywhere from one day to 15 months.


The institute primarily targets those interested in professional studies in culinary arts and patisserie. At the same time, the institute is also opening itself to hobbyists, entrepreneurs, and recreational cooks. All drawn from Le Cordon Bleu’s international portfolio of programs, future courses will include Cordontech; Diplomme de Cuisine; Diplomme de Patisserie; and Grand Diplomme.  Watch out for the launch of these programs soon!


Many of the leaders of the hospitality industry in the Philippines are graduates of Le Cordon Bleu programs—- programs that they had to take in one of its global campuses, in Paris, Tokyo, Australia, or somewhere else in the world.  Now, these world class programs are available right here in Manila.  Welcome to the Philippines, Le Cordon Bleu!