Cook­ing school puts up at mall

Bangkok Post - - BUSINESS - JE­SUS ALCOCER

Le Cor­don Bleu Dusit will tem­po­rar­ily move to Cen­tralWorld as its part­ner Dusit In­ter­na­tional starts ren­o­va­tions on its pre­vi­ous site at the cor­ner of Rama IV and Silom roads.

The French cook­ing school spent 200 mil­lion baht ren­o­vat­ing its Cen­tralWorld lo­ca­tion, which will oc­cupy floors 17-19. The space will in­clude two ad­di­tional sta­teof-the-art kitchens, and ex­pand the school’s ca­pac­ity from 1,000 to 1,200 stu­dents.

“If the school could re­coup its in­vest­ment in three years, it would be won­der­ful,” said Suchada Sthap­i­tanonda, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Le Cor­don Bleu Dusit.

Ms Suchada said the new lo­ca­tion is tem­po­rary, but will be used for 7-10 years while the 36-bil­lion-baht Dusit Thani Bangkok Ho­tel, devel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Cen­tral Group, is com­pleted.

The de­vel­op­ment, which will in­clude a ho­tel, a res­i­den­tial build­ing, an of­fice build­ing and a shop­ping mall, will be ready to move in around 2024, ac­cord­ing to a pre­vi­ous Bangkok Post re­port.

As part of their part­ner­ship with Dusit In­ter­na­tional, Le Cor­don Bleu re­ceived a “friendly rate” on its Dusit-owned lo­ca­tion at Sala Daeng in­ter­sec­tion.

“I don’t know how friendly the new rate is, but it will be be more ex­pen­sive, mainly be­cause of the lo­ca­tion,” she said.

The school is look­ing to launch new pro­grammes to off­set the cost of ren­o­va­tion and make bet­ter use of the new space. The stan­dard cur­ricu­lum runs for 3-9 months, but the school is em­pha­sis­ing its work­shops that run 3-6 hours, which can al­low it to tap a broader swath of the pop­u­la­tion.

Its lo­ca­tion at a mall may be an ad­van­tage for ca­sual cour­ses, which could take the place of a night out for din­ner. The work­shops don’t come cheap. A three-hour ex­pe­ri­ence will set cos­tumers back 4,000 baht, and a seven-day course on bread re­tails for close to 60,000 baht.

As costs rise, the cam­pus is also fo­cus­ing on at­tract­ing more in­ter­na­tional stu­dents.

“We have com­pet­i­tive tu­ition fees and the cost of liv­ing is low. More­over, Le Cor­don Bleu’s Thai cui­sine cur­ricu­lum was devel­oped here,” said Ms Suchada.

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