Yesterday was a day to fill out forms, listen to the rules, and receive schedules, uniforms, and equipment. The staff seem very nice and the chefs are professional with a pedagogical air. The students are from all over the world...but none from France.
I've actually noticed that not too many French people attend Le Cordon Bleu (LCB), and some don't even know too much about it. Last June I visited the school and got lost on my way there. I was three blocks away and the two people I asked for directions on the way there did not know what I was talking about!
My interest is peaked. I want to know where French chefs train, if they're not doing it at Le Cordon Bleu. Is it more about getting practical experience, and if so, do they take internships at the many fantastic restaurants and learn everything they need to know there, without having to attend culinary school? What I do know is that the chefs we were introduced to at LCB yesterday were the creme de la creme of chefs. They are a big deal here, and are even competing at Les Meilleurs Ouvriers de France this year, which is this country's most prestigious artisans' competition.
LCB Paris students are mostly Asian or from the USA, and actually a few Colombians and other Latin Americans. LCB couldn't possibly be so famous in the US only because Julia Child attended the school, could it? I mean, she did change food culture in the US forever, but the school must have other merits, right? I bet it does, I'm just playing devil's advocate. Has LCB focused its attention on marketing to foreigns countries, or are the French really not that into it? This is highly unlikely since some of the best French chefs teach here. Hmmm...I intend to find out what it takes to train as a chef in France.