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Basic Pastry Course in Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa (1)

Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa | SilianCakery.ca

Orientation Day in LCBOttawa | SilianCakery.ca

From January 1st to March 31st 2024, I'll be staying in Ottawa for a 3-month basic pastry course in Le Cordon Bleu. Now the first school week is over, it's not too overwhelming yet it's an exciting and brand new experience for me. I'm looking forward to sharing my journey through several blog posts within this period!

In the first class, each of us took turn to introduce ourselves to everybody in class. There are 14 students in the whole course and 3 chefs as instructors. All of the students and instructors coming from all around the world, Bangladesh, Morocco, Canada, China, France…etc Yet what surprises me is, many of my classmates have chosen this program as a pathway to their second or third or nth career, so I’m not alone! 

There are mainly 3 types of classes in my pastry course in LCB.

1-Seminar, information and knowledge based classes, from management, wine tasting, to learn about various ingredients used in pastry. 

2-Demo, chef shows students how to make different “products”, other than showing you how, there’s also explanations of why. Phone’s not allowed in class, so no pictures or videos taking.

3-Practical, after the demo, you are given 2-3 hours of time to work in the kitchen. Within the timeslot, you are working on your own. You are expected to setup your station, measure your own ingredients, duplicate what you’ve learnt in demo class, tasting and grading, and lastly cleanup your work station.

The marking is actually pretty stringent, which is a nice surprise to me.

They are expecting you to wear clean, and full uniform every time in the kitchen. A pair of black long socks underneath, safety shoes, no jewelleries except wedding band, hair net with hat. Jacket and pant should be ironed. Wear a necktie in the correct manner…

With one minor mistake, like you wear short socks instead of long, they will take off marks which contribute to the final grade.

Other than the taste, the technique, and the presentation of the dish, they also mark on health, personal hygiene and safety procedures, wastage and time management, organisation of your workstation thru-out the process, participation and leadership working as a team in the kitchen.

You are given a thick encyclopaedic binder with lots of info inside, you are expected to do your homework other than the contact hours. Some French terminologies to learn as well.

Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa | SilianCakery.ca

Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa | SilianCakery.ca

Full uniform in LCBOttawa | SilianCakery.ca

You are also expected to have no absent in all classes. Arriving 15 minutes late results in not being allowed to join the demo class, which means missing the practical class as well. This is considered as two absences. If you have 5 absences, you fail the course.

So this week in the seminars, we learnt about the knowledge, the behaviour, and the scientific side about basic pastry ingredients like flour, chocolate, sugar, fat, and dairy. In demo and practical, chef showed us how to make simple syrup and variations, how to use different knifes to “properly” cut fruits for fruit salad, sugar water in various stages, and how to make 4 different types of cream (Chantilly cream, English cream, Pastry cream and Diplomat cream).

Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa | SilianCakery.caLe Cordon Bleu Ottawa | SilianCakery.ca

It was a bit tiring for the first day, as I was at school from 7:45am and it ran til 6pm, with 30-45min break for lunch. I was a bit too excited and nervous all the way through. But after awhile, my body clock is adjusting well, and I know how and what to prepare for the short lunch break on the coming weeks.

Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa | SilianCakery.ca

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