Culinary Schools “Give Back” to New Orleans, Crescent City Farmers Market to Benefit

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Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America Offer Fat Tuesday Menu

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Although it has been over two years since the area was devastated, there is still a great deal to do in order to get the once vibrant culinary community back on its feet

The 14 culinary schools in the Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America family have joined forces to support the ongoing efforts in the Gulf Coast region and New Orleans during the rebuilding process. Beginning Fat Tuesday and through the end of the week, February 2-8, twelve of the schools will feature Cajun and Creole menus in their student-run restaurants, which are open to the public. Three schools will contribute flat donations. Proceeds of the national “Give-Back” project will support the Crescent City Farmers Market, in New Orleans.

“Although it has been over two years since the area was devastated, there is still a great deal to do in order to get the once vibrant culinary community back on its feet,” said Kirk T. Bachmann, vice president of education and corporate executive chef for Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America.

Bachmann, who also serves as serve as the chair for the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Chefs, Restaurateurs and Sommeliers Committee, said the project was conceived in committee following the 2007 IACP Annual Conference, held in Chicago. And, given that the 2008 conference will be held in New Orleans, it “seemed a natural fit”.

Bachmann and his team pitched the concept to the schools and created a suggested menu for the project; the executive chefs, with their students, made the final decisions.

Some schools will offer a Louisiana-inspired menu for lunch and dinner; others, such as Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, in Minneapolis/St. Paul and in Atlanta, will offer a special Pris Fixe Mardi Gras menu all week at both lunch and dinner, and all revenues from that menu will be donated to the project. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Miami has added a kick-off breakfast and New Orleans jazz to the menu.

At each of the culinary schools, with the exception of Pennsylvania Culinary Institute (PCI), students manage and staff a restaurant under the direct supervision of chef instructors. As an academic laboratory, the restaurants provide students with the opportunity to gain experience while managing and operating a full-service restaurant. In lieu of a restaurant, PCI students take full advantage of externships in local establishments.

“Our students in the culinary arts and hospitality and restaurant management program are thrilled to be part of this important project”, said Kelly Bozarth, president of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Miami.

According to the Economics Institute at Loyola University New Orleans, the Crescent City Farmers Market serves has changed the way New Orleanians shop and eat, how they spend their Saturday mornings, and their awareness of their dependence upon regional growers, fishers, and other food producers. Last year, the Crescent City Farmers Market—now open four days a week at four locations throughout New Orleans — directly impacted the bottom line of more than 60 local farmers and fishers, enabling them to achieve an economic stability—and profitability—they once could only imagine.

“The collective commitment of our schools illustrates that our faculty and students are engaged in not only their local culinary communities, but the larger national community as well. The New Orleans area will directly benefit from our contributions and I am honored to be part of the Le Cordon Bleu family as well as a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, who have made this project a priority.”

A complete list of the Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America student-run restaurants is attached.

About Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America
Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America is the largest provider of quality culinary arts education. Few institutions possess the distinguished reputation of Le Cordon Bleu, which established its first culinary school in Paris in 1895. For more information about Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America, go to: http://www.lecordonbleuschoolsusa.com.

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