October 2019 – Le Cordon Bleu, the leading global network of culinary arts and hospitality management Institutes, celebrates its longstanding friendship with the United States of America, as it marks the 130th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, whose home, the Ile aux Cygnes, sits directly opposite the Parisian campus in Paris’s 15th district. During the event, which was held in the presence of Her Excellency Mrs. Jamie D. McCourt, the United States of America Ambassador to France, and Mr. Philippe Goujon, Mayor of Paris’s 15th district, Mr. André Cointreau, President of Le Cordon Bleu International, looked back at the shared history which unites the Institute and the United States.
During his welcome speech, Mr. André Cointreau highlighted the Franco-American friendship as a defining feature of the history of both countries:
From the battlefields of Yorktown, to Normandy’s beaches, the Franco-American friendship is deeply rooted in shared values which are driven by a firm belief in freedom. Le Cordon Bleu advocates these values through education and culture, which encourage freedom of both thought and expression throughout the world.
Gastronomy is a powerful diplomatic tool. Mrs. Jamie D. McCourt highlighted the significance of gastronomy professions, which not only project an image of excellence, but also play a role in strengthening the attractiveness of a country.
She then paid tribute to the mission of Le Cordon Bleu Paris institute: helping to spread the reach of French culture and gastronomy around the world. To achieve this goal, the Institute offers a wide range of training programmes, taught by outstanding Chefs with prestigious backgrounds, which equip students with the means and techniques with which to showcase the culinary heritage of their home countries. Today, Le Cordon Bleu comprises a vast international network, with 35 institutes, and within the region of 18 university partners, across the globe.
Distinguished guests from leading Franco-American institutions, such as the Alliances françaises, the press, and the educational sphere, were also invited to take part in the celebrations.
Following the event, Mrs. Jamie D. McCourt was given a guided tour of Le Cordon Bleu Paris institute, accompanied by Mr. André Cointreau and Chefs Eric Briffard, One of the Best Craftsmen in France (Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France - MOF), and Fabrice Danniel.
The United States, the 3rd largest nationality represented at Le Cordon Bleu Paris institute in 2019
The United States have played a key role in the development of Le Cordon Bleu’s international network. The Institutes have welcomed thousands of American students worldwide, especially in Paris, where this year they are the third largest nationality represented. Famous student, Julia Child, who studied at Le Cordon Bleu Paris in 1951, is to a large extent to be thanked for this success. The first woman to introduce the techniques taught at the Institute to American television, she ignited the interest of American people in French gastronomy. An icon for several generations, she still inspires many to enter the culinary field today.
She is not, however, the only American student to have gone on to achieve success following their time at the Parisian Institute. Elana Karp graduated with a Cuisine Diploma in 2011. She began working at Plated, a meal kit home delivery service, which includes an easy to follow recipe with every ingredient necessary, enabling customers to make a delicious meal in their own home. She recently published her own recipe book entitled Plated: Weeknight Dinners, Weekend Feasts, and Everything in Between, which features recipes which can be tailored to suit individual needs and easily adapted in line with seasonal ingredients.
Following eight years at a professional dance company in San Francisco, Alexandra Newman decided it was time for a career change and registered on the Wine & Management programme. This provided the perfect opportunity to make a fresh start as an entrepreneur in the oenology sector. After graduating with her diploma in 2017, she launched her own oenology club, “En pointe”.
Also of note are brothers Bruce and Eric Bromberg. Having graduated from Le Cordon Bleu Paris institute together in 1990, they opened their first restaurant, Blue Ribbon, in the Soho district of Manhattan. The name Blue Ribbon, the English translation of “Cordon Bleu”, pays tribute to Bruce and Eric’s French culinary journey. The restaurant was an immediate success, thanks to its straightforward and delicious cuisine. Today, the brand is undergoing development and the duo are now at the helm of several bars and restaurants in New York and Las Vegas, some of which have received awards from publications such as Wine Spectator, Zagat and Time Out New York.
Did you know?
L'île aux Cygnes, in the 15th district, has been home to Paris’s Statue of Liberty, a replica of the one in New York, since 1889. Designed by Bartholdi, the bronze statue was donated to France by French expatriates living in the United States, as part of the 1889 Universal Exhibition.
At that time, it was installed facing the Eiffel Tower, with its back to the United States and therefore not to the Elysée Palace. It was finally turned to face downstream during the 1937 Universal Exhibition.