Our world class Chef instructors at Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa
come from France, Italy and Canada and have trained and worked in some of the finest restaurants and pastry shops around the world. Each having extensive experience working in Michelin-star restaurants, cooking for royalty and achieving prestigious culinary recognitions including Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOF)
. Despite all their origins and experience, our Chef instructors
all have one thing in common, their passion for the culinary world!
We sat down with some of our Chef instructors to know more about their experience in the industry, what influenced
them to become Chefs, advice they would give to aspiring Chefs and their favorite dishes or pastries to make.
Chef Aurélien Legué - Head Cuisine Instructor
Origin: Lille, France
My decision to become Chef wasn’t anything specific, but that I always enjoyed eating well and have fond memories of dining in restaurants when I was young. Becoming a Chef takes, patience, hard work and discipline. You must cook with your heart and be passionate in doing so. It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes a lot of observation and practice before you have the right techniques and knowledge. Nothing comes easy, you must continue to work hard every day. I like to prepare all kinds of dishes but I prefer fish and seafood, which requires a lot more technique and creativity to use the plate as my canvas.
Chef Nicolas Jordan MOF - Pastry Chef Instructor
Origin: Vannes, France
My family inspired me to become a Chef, they always worked in the culinary industry in France and I was able to experience first-hand life as a Chef. You must be curious and think outside of the box to be a good Pastry Chef. Don’t go into pastry to make cakes, but to work as an artist - following the wave is one thing but creating the wave is another! I enjoy making simple traditional recipes like a Baba au rhum with syrup and fresh vanilla Chantilly cream, made by hand.
Chef Cristiana Solinas - Pastry Chef Instructor
Origin: Savona, Italy
It would be easier to answer that I wanted to be a Chef because I loved food and wanted to make people happy with my creations, but it wouldn’t be the truth. I entered this profession because of a tragic event in my life; in that moment, all I could do, or think of doing, was cook. Becoming a Pastry Chef was a survival need at first, which became a natural part of me. Do not let your passion be an obstacle to your own success. Pastry is an exact science that calls for discipline, studies and dedication. The passion for it needs to be tamed and put to good use, for greater achievements! I love to make crispy, flaky, buttery, golden, perfect… CROISSANTS!
Chef Hervé Chabert - Director of Operations & Pastry Chef Instructor
Origin: Lyon, France
My decision to become a Pastry Chef happened when I was very young, my mother was cooking and I was helping her prepare the desserts, every Sunday there is a tradition in France to have a family meal together. I realized working with ingredients and mixing them together created a chemistry that is very special to me. If you love what you do, you will have success, but you must be patient. In pastry, the difficulty is in keeping the simplicity. I enjoy making simple desserts and pastries like apple tart and chocolate cakes.
Chef Jason Desjardins – Cuisine Chef Instructor
Origin: St-Pascal-Baylon, Ontario, Canada
I fell into becoming a Chef, I was born and raised on a farm, where I was taught a lot about produce and working hard early on. I was studying in a different field I needed a part time job and landed in a national chain’s kitchen. This is where I fell in love with the speed and flow of a kitchen. This industry is beautiful. It will never let you down and if it does it will not take long to pick you back up again. With that said you need a lot of self-discipline and be ready to work hard and often long hours. My favorite dish to prepare is a grilled and well-seasoned medium rare rib eye steak accompanied with ratatouille and pomme fondante!
Chef Julie Vachon - Pastry Chef Instructor
Origin: Thetford-Mines, Quebec, Canada
Becoming a Pastry Chef was not a plan, it happened very accidently for me. I started working in a pastry shop and after one year of hands-on experience, I decided to study to move forward in the industry. Travelling was a big part of the journey, working at Jasper Park & Lodge and the Rimrock Resort in Banff was an amazing experience. You should embrace opportunity while you are in culinary world by traveling, meeting new people and learning different cultures. Work hard and challenge your comfort zone. I love to make different types of pastries for my friends and family. All of our Chefs understand what it takes to prepare students for an exciting career in the culinary industry!
Missing from this interview is Chef Stéphane Frelon