Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 63 - The Decline of Le Cordon Bleu

Day 63.

Don't you remember when studying at Le Cordon Bleu used to mean something? You know, back in the good 'ol days, when men were men and women were women (read: couldn't vote). But seriously, women's suffrage jokes aside, I'm talking about the Le Cordon Bleu of the 1940s, a.k.a. the Julia Child era.

Back when the classes were taught by real Fried Chicken moguls...
...and every student was white.
You know what I mean--Le Cordon Bleu ("The Blue Ribbon" in English) was the pinnacle of culinary institutes everywhere. World-renowned for the quality of teaching, as well as the degree of difficulty, Le Cordon Bleu was the crème de la crème* of cooking schools. Madame Brassart doubted that Julia Child could handle the stresses and pressures of becoming a real French chef, so it was a huge accomplishment when Child did, in fact, graduate.

*sticking with the French motif here

But now, it seems as though the prestige associated with the name "Le Cordon Bleu" has been somewhat diluted to say the least. To say the most, over-saturation and widespread expansion of this household name has caused the "Le Cordon Bleu" seal of approval to become completely irrelevant in this day and age. Don't believe me? Watch some of these cheesy-ass commercials. When's the last time you saw a commercial for a good school? Especially after 3 a.m. on Comedy Central?


I'm sure these 17 Le Cordon Bleu "associated" schools in the U.S. are all decent places to go learn how to boil a goose, but seriously? Julia Fucking Child went to Le Cordon Bleu. You have a standard to uphold, here. Can't just be letting every Johnny-come-cheese-grater and Sally-I-own-a-paring-knife into your programs. Plus, they have an "online program" now. Seriously? What kind of real chef learns the trade--something that should take years of intensive hands-on training--over a goddamn website? You might as well waste your time blogging your way through a famous cookbook or some other stupid shit like that.

Also, it's not too late to submit nominations/categories for the Julie/Julia Awards! Send an email to lawrenceandjulieandjulia@gmail.com before I write up the ballot on Wednesday!

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Julie & Julia
Quote of the Day: "She is not the only person I can't stand."

4 comments:

  1. Sandra Lee went to a Le Cordon Bleu "associated" school- and it burns my soul to know that she says she went to Le Cordon Bleu. (If you don't know Sandra Lee, first-girlfriend of New York and food-tv personality, I would recommend you watch her sometime. She's a (drunk) character.

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  2. Great post - keeping it fresh! There are days when I know you will crack and days like today where I have faith that you will make it to the end. You are right about LCB. Boo for those cheesy commercials.

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  3. I'm seriously threatening to sue the culinary school I went to for doing the same thing-franchising out and cheapening the meaning of my degree. But, Le Cordon Bleu is a decent packaged culinary program for any tech school and community college that wants to offer one; I've worked with dipshits and professionals coming from the most prestigious schools down to the worst; it's all in what you make of it. And they are all for-profit schools, so as long as you got the money, you're more than likely getting a degree-it doesn't matter if you actually learned anything.

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