Students Experience the Niceties of Culinary Arts as Interns at the Portland,Oregon Restaurant Bleu

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Career Education at Western Culinary Institute includes hands-on experience in the restaurant world Midst the bustling local scene in the heart of a city known for its unmatched natural beauty and sumptuous dining, Western Culinary Institute (WCI) in Portland operates a classically styled restaurant, Bleu, to provide practical experience for their advanced culinary arts and restaurant management students. Located in the historic Galleria Building downtown, the student-operated restaurant features classic and contemporary gourmet cuisine.

Dining downtown on gourmet food would usually be quite an expense and perhaps even cost prohibitive for many citizens, especially seniors. At Bleu, the price is right and the offerings are scrumptious. The menu changes daily, with new entrées, and four or five desserts to choose from. The students create and prepare their own recipes for salads and appetizers each day. Recently they fashioned Ceviche, coconut shrimp with sweet chili sauce and soy, curried Indian Pakoras, and Braised Rabbit for the first course.

Restaurant manager Shannon Thompson finds the local community quite excited about the meals they offer. “Because we are downtown, many business people come in,” says Thompson. “We also get a lot of seniors who enjoy the experience of a five-course gourmet meal at an affordable price! The Red Hot Society loves us and we get huge groups in here all time.”

And the experience is just as rewarding for the students. Thompson feels, “The restaurant management students learn management skills and the culinary students get general knowledge from working all departments. They work appetizers, desserts, entrée, and even serve. They experience it all.”

Bleu is located on Morrison Street downtown, and is open Tuesday through Friday for lunch and dinner. Lunch is available at $14.95 and dinner is available at $24.95. Reservations are recommended. 503-294-9770

WCI strives to ensure that the teachers and programs are current with progressive styles, foremost skills and modern technology used in the culinary world. It has a partnership with the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu, which was formally established in Paris in 1895, The WCI program combines the expertise and refinement of Le Cordon Blue with the vigor and quality curriculum of an American school with their Culinary Arts Program, Hospitality and Management Program and Pâtisserie and Baking Program. The result is a host of innovative and successful young chefs making their impact on the world culinary and hospitality industries. Opportunities for graduates of the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts, Le Cordon Bleu Hospitality & Restaurant Management Program, and Le Cordon Bleu Pâtisserie and Baking Program are growing in the ever-expanding hospitality industry.

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Janine Carnel
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