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Our Guide to London

w/ Le Cordon Bleu

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Jake Cohen
Editorial and Test Kitchen Director @thefeedfeed. Culinary Content Creator. Nice Jewish Boy.
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Eating Our Way Through London

with Le Cordon Bleu

 
Article and photography by: Jake Cohen
 
 

Team Feedfeed ventured to the other side of the pond last month to beautiful London, England! We teamed up with our friends at Le Cordon Bleu to head to their London campus to get a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to be a culinary school student in a food capital like London. We hit the ground running with a full week of cooking classes and meals at restaurants and bakeries from Le Cordon Bleu alumni!

We threw on our chef whites right away to jump into class where students were learning how to make Salmon Ballotine with Champagne Beurre Blanc, Glazed Vegetables and Puff Pastry. Just a casual lunch, right? After a detailed demo from the chef who made the dish start to finish, the chefs-in-training headed to the classroom to make the dish. One after the other focused on thinly fileting fish before filling with mousse, poaching and serving over the emulsified beurre blanc before bringing to the chef instructor for evaluation. While there was a divide of students wearing faces of joy and disappointment, every single person had a sense of urgency displaying their passion for food and working towards better learning this craft.
This air of drive and epicurean excitement carried on into the second day where we stepped into the realm of pastry. A completely different world, the students were watching their chef demo a modern deconstructed take on creme brulee. This version was set with agar agar, a thickening agent that allowed the mixture to not have to be baked. In addition, it was infused with basil for vibrant flavor and green color! Topped with pistachio cake, a pistachio tuile and raspberry consomme, this dish was equally chic and delicious!! In the practical portion, students divided into teams to conquer this recipe, highlighting the importance of teamwork in the kitchen.

That evening, many of the students stuck around after class as Michelin-starred chef Michael Wignall stopped by to do a demo of recipes featuring caviar to pair with a champagne tasting. Quite the way to finish your day, right?! Opportunities like this happen fairly often for students who get to learn from chefs who visit from all over England (and the world!).


Past our time in the kitchen, we got to experience the incredible food scene in London, highlighting alumni from Le Cordon Bleu cooking and baking up some of the best bites in town! Our first stop was at The Wolseley for an evening of craft cocktails and elevated British fare from Welsh Rarebit, an addictive cheesy bechamel-topped toast, to Kedgeree, a dish from the vibrant Indian community in England of curried rice, flaked fish and eggs. Their kitchen is a hot spot for Le Cordon Bleu students completing internships or working post-graduation to get a sense of working in the kitchen of a boutique hotel. Truly a decadent feast!
The next stop was the magical wonderland that is Peggy Porschen’s bakery! The dessert case was filled with picture-perfect pastries from cupcakes topped with marzipan mushrooms and berry-covered pancakes to the most heavenly slice of vegan carrot cake with lemon glaze.
It was just the sugar rush we needed to get our day going, since the feast continued at Bala Baya, an Israeli restaurant from Le Cordon Bleu alum chef Eran Tibi. Chef Tibi left a marketing job to explore his passion for cooking at Le Cordon Bleu, transforming his education into a successful career creating and running his own restaurant. From fresh pita hummus to whole fried cauliflower and crispy baby octopus, it was a combo of perfect execution with unique and exciting flavor combinations.
The following day, things got fancy. We’re talking afternoon tea fancy!!!! A trip to Cafe Royal is a must for all the scones and tea sandwiches you could eat. We headed to the kitchen where we got to speak to a Le Cordon Bleu student currently doing her internship at Cafe Royal. While the students are pushed in class, nothing quite compares to the rush they get once they hit the line!
Our final meal was a preview of Londonstock, a new restaurant coming to London from three Le Cordon Bleu graduates who’ve teamed up to create a Japanese-influenced tasting menu that covered steak tartare, sweetbreads over a truffle-potato mousse and the simplest tomato-basil consomme that may have been one of my favorite items of the entire trip! Can’t wait to come back and visit the restaurant once it’s done and open next time we visit!

The trip ended with graduation, where we got to see the joy on the students' faces as they celebrated the completion of their programs and got ready to venture into the professional world. It was truly such a wonderful and detailed look at what life as a Le Cordon Bleu student and the incredible food scene in London. We’re definitely hungry for more so we will be back!!


If following along our journey has given you the inspiration to fulfill your dream of a culinary school education, you’re in luck because we’re giving away a scholarship to Le Cordon Bleu! This the opportunity of a lifetime! Head to our contest page for more details on how to enter.
Check out our video recap of our trip!