On December 17, 2012 at the Four Seasons Hotel Pudong in Shanghai, Le Cordon Bleu announced its support for MasterChef season II, and the official launch of the Le Cordon Bleu Alumni Association in China. Le Cordon Bleu has also announced the official opening of the Le Cordon Bleu Shanghai Culinary Academy on October 9, 2013.
This news strengthens the commitment of Le Cordon Bleu to culinary education in Asia and to the growing network of elite culinary professionals that have graduated with prestigious Le Cordon Bleu qualifications.
Mr. André Cointreau, President and CEO of Le Cordon Bleu International was present with more than 120 dignitaries, celebrities, MasterChef contestants and Le Cordon Bleu alumni including the first Chinese graduate, Wenping Ma, who attended Le Cordon Bleu Paris in 1995. Mr. Ye Chen, Director of Dragon TV and Producer of MasterChef also participated.
As part of the new MasterChef television season, Le Cordon Bleu will be offering a series of scholarship prizes worth more than 150,000 USA dollars. They include full scholarships for a Le Cordon Bleu Australia Bachelor of Business (Restaurant Management), a Le Cordon Bleu London Grand Diplôme, a Le Cordon Bleu Paris Cuisine Diploma and a Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Pâtisserie Diploma.
Mr. André Cointreau also awarded an honorary Diploma to Wei Han, the first MasterChef China winner and Le Cordon Bleu Paris 2010 graduate.
For the next MasterChef season, five Le Cordon Bleu alumni will team up to challenge past and present MasterChef contestants. The competition will be shown early 2013 with the Le Cordon Bleu alumni team cooking classical Chinese cuisine.
The Le Cordon Bleu Alumni will be:
- Weimar Gomez – Executive Chef, Four Seasons Hotel Pudong Shanghai.
- Alexandro Hamacher – Executive Chef, Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre.
- Sammi Chung – Owner, A Palace Italian Restaurant, Taiwan.
- Bonnie So – Owner, Chez les Copains French Restaurant, Hong Kong.
- Daniel Menezes – Director, Regional Development Eurochef China.
Le Cordon Bleu has graduates working all over China, in various industry sectors and with different levels of responsibility, and the aim of this new Alumni Association is bring thousands of graduates from Le Cordon Bleu schools around the world together. A dedicated web portal will soon be launched offering the following services:
- Stay connected with Le Cordon Bleu and fellow alumni.
- Access to career resources and opportunities.
- Invitations to networking events, seminars and celebrations.
- News, research, breakthroughs and alumni updates.
- Online learning resources and opportunities for further study.