Hello! I know it’s been while since I’ve posted anything here, but I thought it necessary to pen down my experience at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. I remember when I just received my confirmation letter from Le Cordon Bleu, and I was so excited about it, that I started searching for student blogs. I didn’t find many that were informative, so I’m hoping this journaling could potentially help future students who are coming to the Paris campus for the patisserie course. So here we go:
There are a few reasons why I chose to do the intensive course. Firstly, time constraint. I’ve gotta go back to work! Secondly, the cost. The intensive course starts on the 27th of June and ends on the 29th of July. That’s just a month, compared to 3 months if I took the regular. This means a third of the rent and a third of the living expenses, which is A LOT of money saved. Paris is not cheap, and rental, especially around this area, is not cheap. Lastly, the opportunity cost of time. The intensive course is REALLY INTENSIVE. I signed up accepting the fact that I would be in school 6 days a week, for a minimum of 6 hours a day. Some days are 12 hours long, from 8am to 10pm. From what I have heard, the students taking the regular course sometimes have as long as 3 to 4 days between classes, and that’s really a waste of time in my opinion. Having worked at The Sweets Factory before, I can say quite safely that I should be used to the long hours. At least we get to sit down during demo classes. At the factory, it was 8am to 6pm, with only time to sit for lunch, briefly.
My mum and I arrived in Paris on Friday, 3 days before the start of my intensive basic patisserie course. I rented an apartment through Airbnb which I now really love because it is super cozy and most importantly, it is just a 8 minute walk to the new Le Cordon Bleu campus. So yes, I have the honour of being the first batch to attend classes there! I did a little recce on Saturday and honestly, the school didn’t even look completely done up. However, I have to say that it looks really good, and very modern. On Saturday, I also brought my mum for the free walking tour by Sandemans. It was about 2.5 hours long, and very different from the free walking tour I took back when I was here before exchange. Nonetheless, still really good.
Orientation started at 9am and we were brought around the campus. There are demo rooms and practical rooms, all very nicely done up, all very modern looking. The course structure is as such: a demo, followed by a practical. If you fail to attend the demo, then you cannot attend the practical either. They are also very particular about punctuality. We are advised to be properly attired and wait outside the classrooms at least 10 to 15 minutes before class starts. If you are late, you are marked as absent. We were also given our lockers.
A few speeches were made, and the rules given; followed by an introduction to some of the chefs and staff members. Finally, we were handed our uniforms, knife set and other equipment. The uniform consists of the chef jacket, trousers, neckerchief, tea towel, chef’s cap and apron. Everything can hardly fit into our narrow lockers. And the locker room is always super crowded, it’s difficult to manoeuvre around. Anyway, as all petite people should know all too well, the small sizes will still be too large or too long and we will hardly ever look as polished as others just because the clothes don’t fit well on us. Blame the genes!
I lugged home my knife set and trousers so that I could engrave and hem them respectively. However, I couldn’t find any tailors that were open – because Monday. Neither could I find a place to engrave my knives. So I had to lug them back again for our first class which was at 3.30pm. We were advised to mark our equipment as it is easy to get them mixed up during practicals.
The first class was just a general one about rules, safety, roles etc. I went home immediately, having only spoken to just one person that whole day. That was really disappointing ): Hopefully I make some new friends soon.
Day 2 would be the official start with our first demo and practical class. But I’ll save that for another post. I promise to post pictures of my work!