Every moment counts in France – whether in the busy city of Paris, or in the quaint and quiet vineyard countryside. History is appreciated, stories retold and passed from generation to generation. Families tell tales of ancestors, business philosophies are passed from leader to heir, and in the culinary industry, recipes and techniques are passed from master to pupil. If every piece of heritage counts in the eyes of the French, then you can most certainly bet that they do their best to make sure it is all worthy of being passed on.
And the fine, gourmet food so inherent in French culture? Oh, it is absolutely divine – one could almost say it were an art form.
As if the French have understood this all along from as early as the Middle Ages, the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Guiles were formed in the European continent to largely nurture the birth of the arts. This includes classical music, literature, painting, theatre; chief among them, the culinary arts. The royal court envisioned the Guilds as a fraternity of Apprentices, Companions and Masters who received their titles after presenting their masterpieces to the Elders. Some 800 years passed – empires rose and fell, but the ethos of Gastronomy remains intact to this day. The Chaine of this age is now established in 86 countries and has a membership of 20,000. Locally, the Bailliage de Malaisie – the Malaysian chapter, was established in 1977.
By similar inspiration some three hundred years later, came the knight order ‘L'Ordre des Chevaliers du Saint Esprit’, an elite group of French knights known as the “Cordon Bleu” who were synonymous for, among other things, extravagant and luxurious banquets. These values survived through the generations, eventually coming to include special lessons by some of the best chefs in France. By 1895, Le Cordon Bleu had become one of the most élite cooking schools in the world. This heritage of fine food and great chefs remains today; the Le Cordon Bleu name invokes an imagery of grandeur, coupled with a reputation for being one of the largest hospitality education institutions in the world. Owned and managed by a descendant of both the Cointreau and Rémy Martin dynasties, no less, the school strongly upholds the traditions of yesteryear, firmly assertive that there is no way better to cook than the authentic French way.
The school today operates in five continents, serving 20,000 students annually. Its primary education foci are hospitality management, culinary arts and gastronomy. Their Bachelor programs in Hotel Management, Restaurant Management, Food Entrepreneurship and Wine are globally respected. Le Cordon Bleu alumni make it big in the world, and they do it with pride, bearing the rich blue tones that make up the school’s colours.
Consistently French in their values, both the Chaine and Le Cordon Bleu understand the marriage of Heritage and Gastronomy best. Both stay true to their charter of catering specifically to the discerning. Both have managed to stay true to their French-rooted heritage even where they are represented worldwide. Both are leaders in their fields and represent the bench mark of excellence in the industry of the fine, and of the gourmet.
The Chaine and Le Cordon Blue breathe gastronomy by maintaining outstanding quality of their products and services, and as such allow for the recognition of value by others. While induction into The Chaine has always been available only by way of invitation, Le Cordon Blue, dedicated to their role as the leader in culinary education for cuisine and pastry, opens its doors to students worldwide. They maintain their level of quality through small class sizes and renowned teaching methods handed down from master to apprentice, authentically French.
Fine cuisine in gastronomy is also an artist’s take on beauty, presentation, taste and art, applied to all five senses within a functional context such as dining. The Chaine and its events to date have proved this to the T. Collaborations between both The Chaine and Le Cordon Bleu have always strived to showcase such, as was the case in a recent banquet in The Banjaran, Perak. Class and luxury chief amongst the other delectable courses served up in the menu, of course. This further solidifies Le Cordon Bleu’s position as a gateway to the gourmand, a mirror, if you will, of luxurious French cuisine throughout the ages. Through Le Cordon Bleu, students of gourmet find themselves drawn into a world of fine dining and culinary arts, the experience of which is ever distinct and unlike any other.
The Chaine and Le Cordon Bleu have both carefully mastered the art of staying exclusive as well as relevant to the discerning, whilst catering to those like-minded in the field. It is not merely a life of art and elegance and fine foods that one enters where the Chaine and Le Cordon Bleu are concerned – what one encounters is not merely food, nor merely an experience.
It is the heritage of France itself, painstakingly built and improved upon by those who know fine food best.