Le Cordon Bleu - The Blue Ribbon

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Thanksgiving at Mom's.
Thanksgiving at Mom's. | Source

I love to cook. It is a skill that allows artistic and culinary creativity. Each time I cook something, I am thinking about making it perfect. I think about the flavors as well as the color, texture and how it looks on the plate. I want the smell and taste to infiltrate the senses so that my guests or family can truly enjoy the entire meal.

Food is love in my family. Our holidays are centered around the meals, each member bringing a dish to add to the table. The cooks in my family enjoy challenging each other so we have a smorgasbord of appetizers, olives, cheeses, home-made Sangria, Whisky Sour Slushes. We start with appetizers while we graze and catch up, tell jokes and stories. Then we move on to the main event, most of us helping to prepare the final meal around the kitchen island.

Cooking is important in my family and always has been. I have seriously considered going to a culinary arts school. I was invited to attend media night at Le Cordon Bleu in my area recently so I couldn't resist the temptation. I was thrilled and my mouth was already watering!

A Look in the Kitchens

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Our Tour Guides
Our Tour Guides
Our Tour Guides | Source
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Le Cordon Bleu, St. Peters

I attended media night with author and writer Christopher Reilly who regularly contributes to Alive Magazine. They offered a tour of the school and culinary delectables prepared by the instructors and students.

Christopher and I hooked up with Brian and Mitchell for the grand tour. Brian is a senior student at Le Cordon Bleu and Mitchell is his partner in crime. I was so excited that we got them alone! I knew I could be pretty liberal with the questioning. I wanted to find out the nitty gritty about attending Le Cordon Bleu.

"Do you love it?" I asked them while we toured Kitchen 1 where all the bread action happens.

Mitchell blushed, "I do love it."

Brian, the confident senior, also admitted he loves attending Le Cordon Bleu. He took pride in showing us the class rooms, answering our questions which proved to me they were both in their element.

"What's the worst kitchen, "faux pas" you have ever endured?" I wanted to know.

Brian slapped his hands over his eyes and buckled with laughter. Mitchell blushed again and I watched a knowing sort of look pass between them.

"Do tell!" I egged them on. "Brian half laughed and half explained how working as a team one of them misread an ingredient on the whiteboard. The team knew they had a problem when they checked the oven and found small, balls of hard dough. Everyone else had giant, puffy balls. They were embarrassed but also amused about their own mistake.

"It was the salt. We added way too much salt."

Some lessons are learned the hard way but it was obvious to me that neither one of those cooks would ever underestimate the result of over salting.

"Tell me," I begged, "are there any cooks that just can't cook no matter how many classes they take?"

Both students began to laugh. "Yes. They keep on coming and trying though."

I expected this answer. While many people attend art school - it doesn't necessarily mean they will become a well known, or great artist. Le Cordon Bleu, is a cooking school that teaches the fine art of all aspects of cooking food. They teach everything from pairing wines to selecting and serving dishes that are appealing and prepared properly.

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The Blue Ribbon of Fine Cooking

Le Cordon Bleu first opened it's doors in Paris, France in 1895 and has been turning out the finest culinary artists since then. Julia Childs attended Le Cordon Bleu as well as other known greats such as Ming Tsai, Giada De Laurentiis and Gaston Acurio.

Le Cordon Bleu has instructors that offer students a chance to learn the skills necessary to cook among the stars of gastronomy. Some of them excel, some of them falter and some of them outshine the competition because they have talent and creativity that is personal genius. Those are the Ming Tsai's, Julia Child's and Giada's.

The students at Le Cordon Bleu St. Peters were proud of the food they cooked. They served hors d'oeuvres of a magnificent truffle popcorn! I swiped an appetizer of perfectly cooked braised pork served on top of a bed of fried rice noodles and garnished with scallions. The next time she passed by I wanted to take the whole tray and just give one back to her. It was the bomb.

I asked a group of about 30 students if they watched my favorite cooking show, Top Chef. Several of them raised their hands or said, "when I'm not cooking!" Who wants to be on the next Top Chef I asked? Andrew May's hand shot up. I love rooting for a home boy so lets give it up to Andrew! I hope to see you on Top Chef in an upcoming season!

The Next Top Chef?

Chef Andrew May
Chef Andrew May | Source

Showcasing Artistic Talent

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This is gorgeous and he created this technique himself.
This is gorgeous and he created this technique himself.
This is gorgeous and he created this technique himself. | Source
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Interested in Attending a Cordon Bleu?

If you have a passion for fine food and cooking you may be a great candidate for Le Cordon Bleu. They offer classes that specialize in different culinary techniques to the prestigious "Grand DiplĂ´me."

Each Le Cordon Bleu across the nation works with and gives to the communities where they are rooted. St. Peters teamed up with a student who connected them with local farmers to use all the pumpkins left over from Halloween to produce pumpkin puree to help feed the homeless.

I am also excited that Le Cordon Bleu are the official caterers for the St. Louis Rams. You might see their students cooking and serving magic to the crowd at our stadium.

I am proud to live in a community where so many entities work together to utilize our resources collectively. Their director closed with a few words and said his hope was to change the life of one student, who would change one family and in turn change the world to make it a better place. A goal well worth pursuing.

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"Food brings people together on many levels. It's nourishment of the soul and body; it's truly love." ~Giada De Laurentiis

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Comments 33 comments

Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this. After years of suffering her cooking and paying for a high priced culinary academy. My daughter finished her internship at Jardiniere to become a high priced chef.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Really Mhatter99? That would be awesome! My daughter - ALMOST - chose culinary arts - how she skipped over to criminal justice I do not know? lol I really wanted her to take culinary arts (I figured I could poach off her lessons:) but you know how it is - it's best if we allow the kids to pursue their own dreams!

Thanks so much!


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

What a treat this tour of Le Cordon Bleu must have been for you, Kelly. Were the folks there aware they had a RealChef touring the premises?

Your description of that 'appetizer of perfectly cooked braised pork served on top of a bed of fried rice noodles and garnished with scallions' has me salivating. I could make a meal of that, m'luv.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Hi Drbj! You are a fellow food lover! That braised pork was divine. I also tried some chicken from the Stir Fry bar that has made me change my mind about hating chicken! It was seared perfectly with an almost caramelized coating! Yum.Me. Lol

If you get a chance go to an event near you! They'd love to have a wonderful interview with you I bet!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Nice interview, Kelly, and great information. I love to eat, too, but at this point in my life, I don't have the luxury to eat as much as I once did. :)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Hi Bill! If you do have a school near you - I'd bet the farm they would be happy to have some of your Lavender! That's a wonderful cooking ingredient that can be used in so many surprising ways! Herbs De Provence for example! Wait...now I'm just preaching to the choir aren't I? Lol


Janine Huldie profile image

Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

Awesome interview here Kelly and loved learning a bit more about this famous cooking school. Thanks for sharing and have of course voted way up and shared all over, too!!


clark farley profile image

clark farley 4 years ago

great Post (sorry! lol ) Great Hub

Not so into cooking (though I do watch some of the cooking shows for some reason) but love how you brought the people you met with out into a world that I could relate to!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you Janine! I had a really fun night! Well heck you're a mom - I'm sure you'd enjoy being cooked for as much as me:) lol. I'm not sure how Kevin is in the kitchen?


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Hi Clark! I watch cooking shows because daytime t.v sucks! They do not air Anderson Cooper Live or I'd watch that! HA!

Thanks so much!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

It is wonderful that you had the opportunity to tour the Le Cordon Bleu. This was a very interesting interview and I enjoy watching some of the cooking shows but I don't cook nearly as much as I did when I had 3 hungry sons at home. Voted up!!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Hi Pamela! Thank you! I had a great time. I really loved seeing the school and I could tell the students honestly were enjoying what they were doing. Lots of laughs and good food and friends, what could be better?


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

What a fun time. I have to say, when you asked them if there are some students that go to school and still can't cook I started to giggle. Mainly because I know that Eli actually got a chance to attend culinary school when he was in the military. Yet - when it comes to cooking - well, that is still my job. Don't get me wrong, he can prepare some great stuff when he really wants to... but it is an all day event where you take a bite at a time. And in the end...the kitchen is trashed. Sounds like you had a good time!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Stacy are you serious? Eli in the kitchen? Ahahahaha. Yeah I never imagines that scene before! Lol. I have always known you to be the cooker. It's really too bad that military cook training didn't take huh? Lmao

Dave always SAYS he can cook but I live in Missouri - he has to show me to impress me:)


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

This is great, what an awesome opportunity for you. And then to turn it into a hub is so cool. Really enjoyed the recap of your evening. I would have loved being a chef in my younger years when I had lots more energy :)


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

Up and interesting. What a fun night that must have been, especially for a cook. I just want the recipe for a whiskey sour slushy!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Hi Sharon! As too bad you didn't go with me! It was fun, everything about it - up to and including - writing this hub! Thank you so much!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Hey Glimmer twin! Ill give you that recipe! It's SUPER good and a great party drink too because you don't have to worry about icing the drink! HA! It will last all day for the sippers:) lol

Thank you!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri

What a fun interview! I know you were in your element. :-) Out of the technical degrees my daughter is looking into as majors, I still throw out culinary school to keep the idea fresh. She loves to cook, and I think it would be a creative career she would be happy doing for a long time. I guess I could compare environmental biology to that... LOL

Am I surprised you fit the Rams in here?? NOOOO! LOL

You are totally awesome! Great hub! So glad you got the chance to go there and meet the chefs and students! :-)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

It was FUN Susan! I had a blast. I have total kitchen envy now too. I kept looking at the equipment thinking "this would make my life easier!" Haha.

Of course I was so excited about our beloved Rams! They have been doing SO good lately! I love it all!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Can't believe how late I am at reading your hub. It would be my absolute dream to attend a Culinary Arts School. There is a Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Institute in Ottawa but that's about a 5 hour drive from where I am.

This must have been such an exciting and fun night for you. Enjoyed reading all about it.


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 3 years ago from Illinois

Both the tour of the kitchens and interview with Brian and Mitchell must have been a lot of fun. Food really does seem to be at the heart of so many family celebrations, how nice that preparing it is something you love. Interestingly, I have a neighbor who attends a culinary program at the community college nearby. Apparently it's a fabulous program and she explained to me that her teachers often teach at other places like Le Cordon Bleu (Chicago). It's a great way for her to follow her passion , get a quality culinary education and a huge money-saver.


lemonkerdz profile image

lemonkerdz 3 years ago from TRUJILLO, PERU

WoW! what a treat, i would just love to do something like that and get at least a short course in a Cordon Bleu kitchen i think it would raise my cooking game a bit. Since i saw a show on the MOFs of france it has given me an urge to present food so much better. voted shared and the rest. Great Hub


nsd profile image

nsd 3 years ago

testing


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 3 years ago

'Food is Love'...Your family is absolutely adorable - that kitchen looks like it's seen a LOT of food and a LOT of love! Awesome!

Your experience at the cordon bleu sounds yummy - i've been invited to a few of those 'evenings' myself - as my daughter is a chef...although certainly not a red seal chef...yet..lol..

she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when she was 10 and became obsessed with food - food channels constantly..etc..

(she still thinks her mama (ME) makes the best turkey in town..lol)..

btw..a football may as well be a roast to me, dear - i know nothing - and - that's kinda the way i like it...haha...

but..good luck to ya..lol

Still smiling..


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

What a wonderful opportunity, Kelly! You must have been in "Heaven" being able to tour and talk with the experts!......Your love of the culinary arts is very evident.....Why DON'T you consider going to school, or at least take some courses?

Call your local TV station...and offer to do a half hour "Cooking Show!!"

From what I've read in your hubs....you could knock Rachel Ray out cold!...UP++


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Hey Susan! Ha...look how long it took for me to even check my comments! I was in Mexico for a week and back to family stuff...I so hope the year calms down now! Thanks too btw!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Hi ktrapp - there is a community college here - Forest Park - they have a culinary program too and I do believe it is much cheaper. I know a few students who went there and they liked it but I've lost touch. I do love cooking and it's necessary...with 3 kids I'd have gone broke on freezer food:) lol. Thank you!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Hey lemonkerdz - thank you!

I hate daytime TV so cooking shows were abut the only thing I liked watching. It also made me realize what a crappy cook I was:) haha


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Stick me with a toothpick!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank so much ImKarn23! My daughter almost went to culinary school .... She took one semester....then switched to Criminal Justice....so hmmmm...her cooking was criminal? Hahaha. I'd have loved for her to graduate - she lives close:) now I guess I'll just cook while she holds a gun on me?


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Ha! Hey Paula! I've missed you!

I can cook pretty well...I've been practicing what is on the cooking shows for years now:) sometimes I even shout stuff out like I'm on TV....like ill shout "give me a shot of EVOO!" And everyone just looks at me like I'm nuts:) haha


lemonkerdz profile image

lemonkerdz 2 years ago from TRUJILLO, PERU

What a treat. I would love to get to do a Cordon Bleu course. Just as good to get to get to wander through the school and soak up the atmosphere.

That sounded like a memorable event never to forget.

I recently went to a restaurant in cusco by Gaston Acurio who trained at cordon bleu in paris......certainly did him no harm.

Have you ever had chance to see the MOFS of France at work?

INCREDIBLE!

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