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Meet Simran Ahluwalia

In this interview, Simran talks about her culinary journey at Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand and how she managed to study both Bachelor of Culinary Arts and Business and Basic Patisserie while helping her parent to run their family business.

Why did you choose to study with Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand?

I was always in love with the idea of cooking and baking. I knew it would be a passion I would love to pursue. So after a bit of research to what universities were offering, while also looking into the benefits of staying at home, I decided to study with Le Cordon Bleu for its world-renowned reputation and because it offers the Bachelor of Culinary Arts & Business degree programme.

Tell us about your study journey at Le Cordon Bleu so far.

When I took onboard this journey I didn’t realise how much it would grow me as a person. Yes, you learn about the academic side, real life experiences, the industry but also so much about yourself. I’ve gain some of my closest friends through this journey. It’s been a roller coaster at times, with long hours and assessments. But the wealth of knowledge is irreplaceable. I love how your learn a broad span of things from food and wine, to marketing to leadership, to planning and managing your own events. 

Why did you decide to study Basic Patisserie and the degree programme simultaneously?

I’ve been interested in patisserie as a kid, I love baking growing up and saw that Le Cordon Ble New Zealand was offering a 7-week short course for patisserie. I was very keen to revisit the fundamentals. I then discovered that if I did three more weeks it would be considered under NZQA certification so I thought it would be a nice addition on the C.V.

What challenges did you face while studying both programmes at the same time?

I definitely learned more  about time management and multitasking during these two programmes. It would be difficult when timetables would clash. It also meant long hours and a full on week. It was worth it in the end as I gained a lot of information and key skills. 

How does your training at Le Cordon Bleu help you run your family business?
Our family restaurant, Bikaner, was brought over around the time I was about to start my journey at University. Having the exposure to Le Cordon Ble New Zealand Brasserie has definitely made me more confident and improved my customer service skills. 

What are your culinary goals/dreams for the future? 

My future aspirations would be to own my own cafe or dessert bar. I would love to travel after I graduate, and would be keen to work as well to gain experience and then come back to New Zealand to set up a business.

What would you say to anyone who shares the same passion as you?

Follow your dreams. It’s tough at times but the key is to have a clear goal and determination to succeed. Also have fun! It’s important to love what you’re doing. Life isn’t perfect, your bound to not get everything right in the beginning but it’s also important to not let those lessons dampen your spirit! 

Learn more about the Bachelor of Culinary Arts & Business and Basic Pâtisserie.