London Calling | Le Cordon Bleu, England

Le Cordon Blue, London | Chef Alumni Event

Le Cordon Bleu, London was a goal I set after graduating from the Culinary Institute of Jersey City, New Jersey.  I knew I wanted to learn more about French cuisine and have the experience and the opportunity to work in London.  Back in the nighties London, England was becoming the center of a vibrant food scene and I wanted to be apart of it. Chefs such as Marco Pierre White, Anthony Worrall Thomson, Alastair Little, Nico Ladenis, Michel and Albert Roux, and Antonio Carluccio to name a few.  For any aspiring chef at the time the idea of leaving your comfort zone and heading out to learn from famous chefs and to learn their cooking secrets was a burning desire. 

Le Cordon Bleu | London, England

Therefore, London was calling and calling me in a big way.  My friend Joe (far left in the photo) from the culinary program in Jersey City also had the same idea and together we headed to London to continue our chef journey. It was the first time either of us ever left the country but London was definitely calling, as the song goes, and so we flew over the great pond for an experience of a lifetime. 

Once in London, we lived in a hotel located in the Earl’s Court area, and from there we did our apartment hunting. It took a few weeks of getting used to but we knew London was eventually going to offer a great culinary adventure.  Eventually, we found a flat and began school.  As the weeks unfolded the pastry instructor told me that the world-renowned Dorchester Hotel was in need of pastry chefs.  I was fortunate enough to get hired by this 5-star hotel and work in the pastry kitchen and also in the temperature-controlled chocolatier room.  As if that wasn’t enough, a few weeks later I was hired at a restaurant called SoHo-SoHo a French bistro where all was made in-house.  Can you guess where in London this restaurant was located?  You guessed it! It was located in the SoHo section of the city.  The head chef was from France and he was open to giving young culinary aspiring chefs an opportunity.

At the end of my time in London between Le Cordon Bleu, Dorchester Hotel, and the SoHo turned out to be a great culinary training ground.  Also, it was an overall experience of a lifetime that turned out to be more than ever imagined.  Many years later I was contacted by my old school in London and asked if I’d be interested to be their featured alumni chef.  This was a great acknowledgment and I happily said yes.  You can read more about this alumni event here.  However, if it wasn’t for what happened in the video below none of the above would have ever happened.