Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa
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Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa

Part of the world-famous Cordon Bleu network, Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa offers internationally recognized certificates and diplomas to a diverse base of aspiring culinary professionals. With a world-class education in French culinary techniques, graduates from Le Cordon Bleu launch careers in gastronomy as well as hospitality and management.

Underpinning the success of Le Cordon Bleu – which many consider to be the world’s premier culinary arts institute – is a century-long tradition of excellence. As a student, you’ll earn certificates and diplomas through a mixture of intensive coursework and hands-on time spent in world-class practice kitchens.

This is upheld by outstanding faculty members and top-quality chefs with impressive credentials and work experience. And the fact that the student-to-faculty ratio at LCB Ottawa is 15:1 means that these educators can offer one-to-one attention, doubling as mentors in a quest to offer inspiration and lifelong support to graduates. There is, without a doubt, an intimate atmosphere at work here.

One of the most exciting aspects of studying with Le Cordon Bleu is the fact that students are encouraged to build on well-established culinary traditions while keeping an eye to the future. In advanced-level courses, students are taught to embrace their own creative drive, innovating and introducing new technologies and techniques into the kitchen.

For international students, whether from Asia or elsewhere, a diploma from LCB Ottawa is an induction into one of the most exclusive networks in the culinary industry. Graduates have gone on to take executive positions in leading kitchens, restaurants and hotels all over the world, and many are well-known chefs. Backed with a network like this, you’ll be ready to launch an exciting culinary career.

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Pic: LCB Ottawa.

A diverse campus

LCB Ottawa is a standout culinary destination for students from Asia. Today, roughly 45 percent of the student body hails from outside of Canada, and many of these are from Japan, China, Thailand and Korea.

Part of the reason this campus is so popular with students from Asia is that Canada’s visa requirements are refreshingly friendly. In fact, Canada issues around 130,000 student visas every year. For students from Asia who excelled in secondary school and have strong English skills, getting a student visa to Canada is relatively simple.

Once accepted by Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa, students will receive a welcome letter which they submit with their visa application. This is only the first of many helping hands the institute extends to international students. Representatives from LCB Ottawa meet international students at the airport, show them around the city and help set them up with accommodation near campus.

Cordon Bleu Bistro @ Signatures

Housed in LCB Ottawa’s beautiful training centre is Le Cordon Bleu Bistro @ Signatures. Signatures was a five-star restaurant housed in this marvelous 130-year-old building. Cordon Bleu Bistro is a more casual reincarnation of Signatures that serves as proving ground for students enrolled at LCB Ottawa.

Students studying for the Grand Diplôme or taking either of the superior level programs spend plenty of time here. They gain experience in the front of the house taking orders, running wine services and handling bills, then log a total of 10 weeks in the kitchen honing their skills.

Comprehensive culinary programs

Le Cordon Bleu welcomes students from all backgrounds. Some come through the doors with a bit of culinary experience behind them already; others transition from other industries. But regardless of where these students come from, they leave LCB Ottawa with some of the most respected certificates and degrees in the culinary world.

The programs on offer are designed prime students for success in a variety of culinary fields, whether in restaurant management, catering, food service, restaurant kitchens, food styling or even journalism.

There are four major types of programs available at the Ottawa campus:

Diploma Programs

The diploma programs at LCB Ottawa are recognized and respected around the world. There are two major divisions that, when taken together, make up the Grande Diplôme.

The Cuisine Diploma: is awarded after achieving certificates in basic cuisine, intermediate cuisine and superior cuisine; the entire process takes nine months if completed in one stretch.

The Patisserie Diploma: like the Cuisine Diploma, is a set of basic, intermediate and superior certificates; students completing this nine-month course master the art of French pastry and baking.

The Grand Diplôme: is awarded to students who achieve both the cuisine and patisserie diplomas; it provides students with all the skills needed to hold court with the world’s leading culinary professionals.

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Certificate Programs

Several certificate programs are also available at the LCB Ottawa campus. These are the foundational skills programs that culminate in the diploma programs. Each of the following certificate programs takes three months to complete:

  • Basic Cuisine – introduces French cuisine and focuses on knife handling, stock crafting and classic cuts
  • Intermediate Cuisine – focuses on French regional cuisine, including seasoning, texturing and presentation
  • Superior Cuisine – encourages creativity by bringing students into the 21st century through training in haute cuisine
  • Basic Patisserie – an introduction to French pastry covering basic doughs, introductions to creams and viennoiserie (brioches and croissants) and basic decoration
  • Intermediate Patisserie – encourages students to master techniques through repetition and segues into decoration techniques
  • Superior Patisserie – brings the previous two certificates together and encourages students to personalize their desserts

Grand Diplôme Professionnel

This is a new Le Cordon Bleu program that is only offered at the Ottawa campus. The coursework takes 10 months to complete and goes beyond the Grand Diplôme by adding theory, certification and an 11-week internship that builds important professional experience.

Short Courses

Short courses take anywhere from one to four days, and they are intended for aficionados and food lovers rather than career-bound students. The following demonstrations and workshops take anywhere from three hours to four days to complete and are just a few of the dozens on offer:

  • Passport for Pastry
  • Chocolate Techniques
  • Cooking with Game
  • Sauces
  • French Regional Cuisine (north and south)
  • Boulangerie
  • International Flavors (several on offer)
  • Knife Skills
  • Summer Cooking for Teens
  • Grilling Techniques
  • Charcuterie
  • Cooking with Wine

A full listing of current short courses offered at LCB Ottawa is found on the institute’s website.

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Students at LCB Ottawa study in a a beautiful historic building. Pic: LCB Ottawa.

Living in Ottawa

Ottawa is fantastic place to live – so fantastic, in fact, that it was voted “best place to live in Canada” in 2010. This isn’t Ottawa’s first time on that list either. MoneySense magazine has placed the city here more than once thanks to booming population growth, a low crime rate and plenty of diversity.

And these are just a few of the selling points for living in Ottawa. The city straddles the Ottawa River, which runs the border between Ontario and Québec provinces. This stretch of the country is riddled with striking architecture that shows heavy British and French influence.

With a patchwork of 70 nationalities living, working and playing here, it is no surprise that life in Ottawa is as enriching as it is rewarding. The Rideau Canal Festival is a particularly special time to be in the city, as tourists flood Ottawa to join the celebrations staged on the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To this, add jazz festivals, flower festivals and an exciting winter sports scene, and there’s immediately something to do in every season.

Throw this many cultures into one central business district, and you are bound to develop a heady dining scene. If Little Italy and Chinatown are too ordinary to impress, then try spending a night out in one of the smaller minority neighborhoods. Pockets of Eastern European, Caribbean, African and Southeast Asian influence have produced a mosaic of dining districts.

And this is just the front page of Ottawa’s appeal. For students at Le Cordon Bleu, there is plenty more to get excited about. For example, museum lovers could spend endless semesters making the rounds here. The Canadian Museum of Civilization, the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Nature, with its stained glass windows and gothic arched architecture, are heavy hitters, but these are just a few on a much longer list.

Finally, for those wary of winter weather, Ottawans have a knack for turning cold weather into a reason to celebrate. Ice skate on the Rideau Canal; explore the purpose-built winter wonderland during Winterlude Festival; or simply try your hand at one of a pantheon of winter sports. The truth is that you haven’t seen Ottawa unless you’ve been here in winter; and for students from the tropics, digging in for a winter is a singular, satisfying experience.

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