Le Cordon Bleu Logo

Meet the students in our Global Culinary Arts and Management Programme, uniquely combining practical culinary skills and higher education in management. The programme is run in partnership with Ritsumeikan University, in Japan’s very first faculty for gastronomic studies.

Chihiro Hasegawa

Q) Why did you decide to study culinary arts and management in university?
I’ve always loved food and eating, and it’s something I’ve wanted to be a big part of my future career. My dream is to be able to make people happy through food, so this course was perfect for me!
Cooking is something I’ve always enjoyed. Since both my parents worked, I’ve been cooking at home since I was young and fell in love with it then. I try recipes in books at home, but I want to become a chef who can do both cuisine and pastry, so I have a lot of technique to learn!

Q) Were you surprised by anything you learned so far?
I’m honestly surprised how much there is to learn about the kitchen. For example, today we learned about the brigade system introduced by Auguste Escoffier. It’s an elaborate structure of labour division designed to maximise effectiveness and efficiency of the kitchen – I didn’t know so much thought went into it.

Q) What is the biggest challenge in the programme so far?
The biggest challenge for me is learning how to act as a professional in a real kitchen setting. You need to be skilled, but also work under pressure and do it cleanly. For me, washing as I cook is something I still need to get used to, because that’s how pros stay hygienic and get things done on time.
After a week in the course, I’m already more aware of my work station hygiene. I also learned that communicating with my partner better affects how quickly we cook too.

Q) What do you plan to do with what you learned in the programme?
My dream is to open a café restaurant that can be a place where locals can gather and connect. I like large restaurants too, but personally, I prefer to run a smaller, cozier place. I want to create an environment where customers can break down barriers to build genuine relationships over good food.

The food industry is constantly evolving and with it the need for leaders to manage and shape these changes.
This could be you, embarking on a challenging, yet rewarding career with food.