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Chef Olivier Boudot talks to us about the Boulangerie Diploma

Chef Olivier Boudot talks about the Boulangerie Diploma at Le Cordon Bleu ParisWhy deprive yourself of a good French baguette? How can you resist delicious homemade freshly baked pastries? Just impossible the Boulangerie Chefs would say. They’ve found the best way to teach you though! So shape your dough, ovens on and follow us into the world of bakery.

Not only is bread an essential part of our diet but it is also an important feature at meal times. It demonstrates values of sharing and conviviality, just like the convivial atmosphere you’ll find during one of the boulangerie classes at Le Cordon Bleu Institute Paris. The Boulangerie Diploma course was developed in 2015 by Chef Olivier Boudot, designed to train students in all the techniques of the boulangerie profession. We met with Chef Olivier Boudot to ask him a few questions about his profession and the Boulangerie training he and and his team provide.

How long have you been a Boulangerie Chef?

Since the age of 23, and I obtained my first position as chef with Eric Kayser. You can find out more about my career path here

What does boulangerie mean for you?

It is a profession which involves the senses. At first sight it seems simple and quite limited, yet is actually a very complex trade requiring discipline and skill. This is because the dough is alive and evolves every day, you never make the same bread each time. Even after 30 years in the trade I still don’t know all the ins and outs.

What differences are there between boulangerie and patisserie?

There are a lot, they are two very different but complementary professions.

In boulangerie we work with living substances, with different dough textures containing yeast evolving with fermentation (croissant, brioche and bread doughs). In pastry, on the other hand, the doughs are used for lining (sweet pastry, puff pastry…), that do not evolve.  During the boulangerie lessons students will also explore manual kneading, something that is not taught to future pastry chefs.  

Working in the boulangerie profession still means getting up early?

Still true but things have changed a lot; new equipment and new fermentation techniques mean that a baker can now gain time in his preparation. With a little organisation a baker can now enjoy the timings of a more traditional working day.

What will students learn to make during the Boulangerie Diploma?

As mentioned before, they will learn different techniques in shaping and kneading as well as cooking methods. During the Boulangerie Diploma students will make a huge variety of breads (country-style, rye, leaven, baguettes), freshly baked pastries (croissants, chocolate rolls), as well as decorative elements and artistic pieces.

With the Diploma in hand, could I open my own bakery?

After being awarded the Boulangerie Diploma you have all the necessary skills to open your own bakery. However, to open your own bakery in France you need to pass the CAP in Boulangerie as an external candidate. Yuna, a former student, did exactly that, passing the Boulangerie Diploma in July 2018 and then the CAP as an external candidate. Same thing for Francsco Gilardini who passed it in 2016.

Could you give us an idea of what graduates are doing now? 

They are starting various careers, working in independent bakeries, joining boulangerie teams in palace hotels or even opening their own bakeries. You can follow several of our students here.

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