Meet Cédric Martin, Grand Diplôme® 2021
At 45 years of age, during the height of the Covid-19 health crisis, Cédric Martin’s professional life took a 360° turn. After a career in the construction industry, he decided to follow his passion for the culinary world by registering for the Grand Diplôme® in 2020. He currently works as a restaurant manager for a club hotel on the Côte d’Azur and explains how his adventure at Le Cordon Bleu Paris institute enabled him to return to full-time employment.
Could you introduce yourself?
I spent many years studying science combined with business management before embarking on an unusual career path as a sales engineer in drilling for the construction industry. I went on to climb the ladder over a 20-year period, moving into sales and management roles in several sectors including finance and heavy industry. This diverse career path enabled me to have some amazing experiences, but I went through a difficult period, with company mergers, restructuring, financial crisis and unemployment… At the age of 45, during a period marked by Covid-19, I wanted to give meaning to my working life and challenge myself to get up every morning and do something I truly love. I am extremely passionate about cuisine and pastry. Why did you choose Le Cordon Bleu Paris?
During my working life, I learned the importance of a network and reputation. That is why I chose Le Cordon Bleu Paris; an institute recognised around the globe; the quality of whose programmes is unquestionable. What is your best memory from your time at the institute?
I really enjoyed the teaching method which combines demonstrations by Chefs, all of whom have had outstanding careers, with completely autonomous practical classes. A full immersion from the word go, combined with discovering products, techniques, fatigue, adrenaline and, of course, opportunities to meet interesting people from around the world.What, in your opinion, are the true strengths of the training programme you followed?
I realise that I now have real added value in the professional world. Over several months, I met many people from the restaurant industry and unfortunately, noticed their lack of fundamental culinary know-how. Graduating with the Grand Diplôme® put me at ease, enabled me to rapidly eliminate any concerns and start working in this field worry-free. What is your current job and what does it involve?
I was lucky to find a job working for a club hotel on the Côte d’Azur. I am a cuisine chef, manager and above all, a multi-tasker, capable of replacing team members, training teams, creating menus, placing orders, managing a team of 18 people and, of course, sharing the expertise I learnt at Le Cordon Bleu institute.How did your job search go?
When I was looking for an internship and employment, it was a difficult time due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many employers had huge recruitment needs due to staff making the most of the period to leave their roles and change career. I got some great offers, despite having no experience, thanks to the recognition of my Le Cordon Bleu diploma, which reassured employers. What are your plans for the future?
At 47, I am not suddenly going to launch myself into a frantic race to the top of the kitchen brigade in a luxury hotel, but I encourage those who are younger to do so. My goal for the future is to take over a business or create a simple concept in which I can use excellence – not for working with a high-spending client target – but for standing out from the crowd thanks to a job well done, outstanding flavours, treating ingredients with their due respect, and focusing on a cost-effective, consistent, and simple model.