Can you describe your background?
My name is Nuno. I am Portuguese, and I am 33 years old. I was originally a doctor in Portugal, but when I was 30, I decided to change careers. I left my country and came to France to follow my passion; my dream and I became a student at Le Cordon Bleu Paris institute in October 2018.
What pastry level did you have before coming to Le Cordon Bleu Paris?
Zero! I was fortunate to grow up in a family that loved food. My mother and grandmother cooked a lot and I think this passion comes from my childhood. During all my free time, I would bake cakes, and then one day I realized that I wanted to turn my passion into a career.
Can you tell us more about your professional background?
I had the dream and the goal of one day working for Chef Cédric Grolet and his team. I did it! I did my internship at Le Meurice luxury hotel in Paris for 6 months where I had the opportunity to take on a wide variety of assignments. I did everything in production, set-up and finishing of the cakes, meal service in the Dali restaurant, breakfast and room service, preparing teatime, brunch and other events. I also worked for the palace boutique. It was amazing and I learned a lot. At the end of the lockdown in May, Chef Cédric Grolet, Chef François Deshayes and Chef Yohann Caron, the head of the boulangerie-pastry-tearoom at Cédric Grolet OPÉRA, decided to hire me. So now I work there as a commis pastry chef. I mainly take care of the service, I help in the shop, and I also work in the laboratory where I participate in preparation, set-up and decoration. A new experience just as magnificent! I am very proud of my entire career.
What memories do you have from the institute?
Very good memories! For me, Le Cordon Bleu was about more than theory and practical lessons. I told myself that since I was in the best culinary arts institute in the world, I should make the most of every opportunity. From the start, I volunteered to work with the Chef Instructors and in the preparation kitchen, helping at events, and it so happened that I started spending all my days and free time there! Every day I progressed, I learned new things. It was a dream.
What does a typical day in the Pastry Diploma programme look like?
Generally, each student takes part in theory or practical courses. Since I was willing, I always arrived early to help the Chefs and contribute to the many activities around the institute. Each day was different and it was more than theory and practical lessons.
What advice would you give to students who wish to study at the institute?
Take advantage of everything the institute has to offer, be happy and motivated! The more motivated you are, the more you will progress. You need to study, give it all you’ve got and work hard. But you also need to make the most of things and be passionate, always work with passion. The key to success is being passionate about your work!
What are your plans for the future?
I want to continue doing what I love and continue being so passionate. Now that I am working with Chef Cédric Grolet, I must keep learning and be very conscientious. I am fortunate to work with the best and hope to continue growing. I would also like to build my own identity so that one day I will have a chance to become a great pastry chef. And finally, I want to continue making cakes to share them with people and see what they like: that is happiness.
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