A snap­shot of to­mor­row’s hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try to­day

Hospitality News Middle East - - IN THIS ISSUE -

To dis­cover more about the var­i­ous pro­grams and de­grees of­fered by ho­tel chains and hos­pi­tal­ity schools, HN spoke to sev­eral key play­ers whose ef­forts are grow­ing the in­dus­try of to­mor­row AN­DRÉ COINTREAU’S SCHOOL OF LIFE

Pres­i­dent and CEO of Le Cor­don Bleu, de­scen­dant of the found­ing fam­ily of the Cointreau liqueur and Rémy Mar­tin Co­gnac,

An­dré J. Cointreau shares his thoughts on the chal­lenges faced by culi­nary in­sti­tutes and tells HN why he be­lieves that re­main­ing true to what mat­ters most is key for any fu­ture en­deavor.

What sets Le Cor­don Bleu apart from other schools?

We are the num­ber one world­wide based on net­work size, which al­lows us to bet­ter un­der­stand diver­sity, es­pe­cially when it comes to the culi­nary arts, given that we are present in more than 25 coun­tries with over 30 in­sti­tutes and part­ner­ships with 18 dif­fer­ent univer­si­ties. This al­lows us to heav­ily in­vest in our aca­demic ma­te­ri­als, which we pro­vide to 40+ dif­fer­ent schools in both print and dig­i­tal for­mats. It there­fore comes as no sur­prise that Le Cor­don Bleu re­cently re­ceived the Gour­mand Award 2016 for hav­ing sold more than 10 mil­lion books.

What is the se­cret in­gre­di­ent to this kind of suc­cess?

We in­vest a lot of time in un­der­stand­ing the cul­ture, his­tory, pol­i­tics and econ­omy of the mar­kets we op­er­ate in. This al­lows us to pro­vide our stu­dents with the most suit­able learn­ing ve­hi­cle. Keep in mind that the French were the first to de­sign a sys­tem ‘cod­i­fy­ing’ the culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence. Be­fore its in­tro­duc­tion, chefs would fol­low a recipe aimed at per­form­ing a func­tion with­out lend­ing the ac­tual process much thought. To­day how­ever, that ‘codex’ can be used as a guide­line to add value to any meal, ir­re­spec­tive of cui­sine. Ev­i­dence to that ef­fect is that we have been ap­proached by gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives of var­i­ous coun­tries ask­ing if we could help them cod­ify their na­tional cui­sine.

How has the role of teacher changed?

Be­ing an ef­fi­cient teacher to­day means hav­ing the abil­ity to lever­age a faceto-face, in-class ex­pe­ri­ence with a re­mote one via screen. In that sense, I fore­see that 10 – 15 per­cent of the ed­u­ca­tional cur­ricu­lum will be­come dig­i­tal and we are pre­par­ing our stu­dents for that. In par­al­lel, the teacher will be­come the en­ter­tainer who mo­ti­vates var­i­ous types of in­ter­ac­tions. Our chefs are fan­tas­tic tech­ni­cal guys who are crafts­men with a wealth of knowl­edge in vocational train­ing of the tech­ni­cal arts pro­grams on of­fer.

How do you ac­cel­er­ate the ca­reers of your grad­u­ate chefs?

The can­di­date(s) must first mas­ter the arts and tech­niques of the pro­fes­sion, which in­cludes the fields of nu­tri t i on, hy­giene, s ani t at i on, tech­nol­ogy, physics and chem­istry. To­day’s stu­dents are also ex­pected to be or­ga­niz­ers, team lead­ers, mae­stros, even chefs d’or­chestre. Lastly, be­cause they will be run­ning restau­rants, they should know fi­nance, mar­ket­ing and ac­count­ing, be front of house en­ter­tain­ers and back of house tech­ni­cians. Most im­por­tantly, and be­cause time is rarely on our side, we are try­ing to give our stu­dents as much as pos­sibl e i n as l i t t l e t i me, which, to my knowl­edge, no other ex­ist­ing school does. cor­don­bleu.edu

Why was Le­banon cho­sen as the site of the first Le Cor­don Bleu in the Arab world?

In 2000 we ex­panded the net­work glob­ally, yet were not present in the Mid­dle East. In 2002, we were in­vited by PM Hariri to es­tab­lish LCB in Le­banon. We then part­nered with USEK to de­liver our BA in Hos­pi­tal­ity, which now we pre­pare stu­dents for at our state of the art culi­nary in­sti­tute at BURJ on BAY Ho­tel in Kfaryas­sine, which will of­fi­cially open May 31, 2018.

We in­vest a lot of time in un­der­stand­ing the cul­ture, his­tory, pol­i­tics and econ­omy of the mar­kets we op­er­ate in

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