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Nearly 100,000 have graduated from Le Cordon Bleu campuses across the country. Their achievements are stories of success, dedication and passion. We are proud to feature a few of our alum who embody the Le Cordon Bleu's standard of excellence. We invite you to read their stories and get to know them through personal interviews.
Chef Paul Qui, Le Cordon Bleu graduate, winner of Bravo’s Top Chef® season 9 and James Beard award semi-finalist, found his passion for cooking while waiting tables at a local restaurant. His interest in the kitchen led him to Texas Culinary Academy (now known as Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin) where his education helped him land a position at Uchi restaurant in Austin, Texas.
A familiar face to many, Suzy appeared as a contestant on Fox TV’s Master Chef – Season 2. It was at the Le Cordon Bleu campus that she was discovered by the MasterChef producers as she was walking down the hall carrying a 3 story gingerbread house. Suzy’s cooking philosophy is “smart cooking” – just good basic food, made with fresh ingredients, that tastes delicious and is presented in a very extraordinary way.
A childhood dream came true for Holli Ugalde, as she followed her goal of attending culinary school, working as a culinary profession, then taking on the challenge of competion. As season seven winner of the FOX tv show Hell's Kitchen, Holli continues to explore new avenues -- developing a product line, working as a consultant and publishing a cookbook.
Dissatisfied with his sales profession, Ron Aleman decided to pursue his passion for cooking by enrolling in the Le Cordon Bleu culinary arts program in Chicago. Following graduation, he joined the Fairmont Chicago Hotel and worked his way through the ranks to his current position of executive sous chef. Along with creating innovative dishes, Ron travels the country assisting in the opening of sister hotel restaurants.
As pastry chef for Walt Disney World Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando, Chef Jade Bowser “believes in the magic” of pastry through passion and training. After losing her job as an office manager, Jade took the opportunity to pursue her lifelong passion – baking. Her advice "Always practice your skills and remember that as long as you love what you are doing, your final products will reflect the same."
A Scottsdale local and owner of two esteemed culinary businesses, Chef Laura Slama recently became the star of her own interactive, web-based cooking show, “Celebrated Cuisine with Chef Laura” on the FoodiesLive network. Formerly, a dissatisfied technology professional, Chef Laura's passion for food led her to a life-changing education.
From beginning a new career to developing fresh, wholesome recipes for the 20 Whole Foods Market stores in the southwest United States, Chef Robert Bellah’s life exemplifies a fresh take on the pursuit of passion.
On the forefront of the green movement, Cantu Designs is involved in developing cutting edge food products, energy saving kitchen wares, and other futuristic concepts – and serves as consultants to some of the world’s fortune 500 companies on product development, franchise opportunities and research and development. The innovative young chef has been written up in numerous publications including Food and Wine, Gourmet, and Fast Company, and has appeared on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America – and won the challenge!
In 2004, Izard opened her Mediterranean-influenced restaurant, Scylla, to rave reviews. Three years later, Bon Appétit magazine named Scylla one of the 10 finest small restaurants in the country. Izard closed Scylla after three years, and in the fall of 2007, she competed on Bravo’s popular show Top Chef ®, where she won the title and was selected as fan favorite.
On any given day, you'll find him in the kitchen. At the same time, Brian practices marketing and public relations like a pro. He made it to the final four on Bravo Channel's Top Chef ®, only to be cut at the finale in Aspen. According to Brian the best part of the Top Chef experience was the opportunity to grow as a chef. His advice: "Have fun and stretch yourself".
Le Cordon Bleu helped Jennifer land an externship in the food section of Oregon's only major daily newspaper – The Oregonian. She also started her own business, Savor Communications, working as a freelance food writer and communications consultant.
Born and raised in Sonoma, California to a family of ranchers and farmers, Chuy’s parents grew their own food in the backyard and always had a pot of something delicious simmering on the stove. Growing up, Chuy spent his summers and holiday seasons in his parents' native Colima, Mexico on the family orchard. It was here that at the age of 8 he decided he wanted be a chef for the rest of his life.
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*Le Cordon Bleu in North America had more culinary graduates in the USA than any other national network of culinary schools, for the years 2006 to 2011. Source: IPEDS.
Program offerings may vary by campus. Not all programs are available to residents of all states. Credits earned at Le Cordon Bleu are unlikely to transfer externally, but Le Cordon Bleu credits will transfer within Le Cordon Bleu if you choose to continue on and pursue a higher degree program with us.
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