Me chef

My very own Diplôme de Cuisine from Le Cordon Bleu

Well after all that, my exams are done. J’ai fini. Where did the time go?

I applied to Le Cordon Bleu in December. I started in March. And now, after 6 months, I’ve passed. Just in time for Oktoberfest in Munch. Funny that. It’s like it was planned. What better place to truly celebrate?

I put up probably my best looking plates for the rabbit and red mullet. But the next 12 hours were punctuated with staccato Dohs! as I suddenly realised all the small things I’d forgotten to do. DOH! I was nervous about how I’d be marked and I had to wait 3 days to find out. But it was all good. The written exam was trickier than expected and covered Basic, Intermediate and Superior Cuisines. All along the French cooking terms constantly threatened to appear on the written exams and never did. Until now. It’s like they saved them all up.

A Mention Bien for Superior Cuisine

The marks for my kitchen practicals and written exam were not available at the debrief so I had to wait until graduation to find out how I’d fared overall. Graduation was yesterday, Friday 13th of all dates. No worries—13 is a bit of a lucky number for me. I was pleased to get a Mention Bien for Superior Cuisine. We’re discouraged from focusing on the marks but I quietly wanted to get a third. Ceremony and celebrations were at the Hurlingham Club. What a lovely day out. Sunny. With my friends. Nice food. Pub afterwards. Late night. A lazy day today.

What a journey. And it hasn’t ended. I’ve just arrived at another beginning. Though my Le Cordon Bleu story comes to a close. The next chapter in my adventure is about to start.

What to do next?

I pretty much put life on hold to attend Le Cordon Bleu so the next 4 weeks are going to be catching up with friends and family. Grow beard. Oktoberfest. Pop over to Vienna. Dine out—a lot. Peckham Festival tomorrow. Hawksmoor on Monday. Goatober here I come. Lose some of the butter belly. Keep some of the beer belly.

Up to Christmas I’ll be cooking every day. To get me going I’m going to cook every plate served to us in demos that we never got to reproduce in the kitchen. I reckon there’s at least 90 of them. I really want to maintain my learning. I will visit more markets around London, take photos, buy great produce on a whim and invent dishes. Host dinner parties, cook-ups and taste-offs. Research for my supper club. Depending on dates, I want to do the 5-day Patisserie course at Le Cordon Bleu. Also the food photography course. It may have to wait until January. And as an alumni, I’d like to help chefs on short courses and public events. I fancy doing some time in a butchers shop and helping out on a pop-up or food truck. We’ll see.