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Le Cordon Bleu Partners with UCOL

Le Cordon Bleu Partners with UCOL

Universal College of Learning (UCOL) today commented on the Minister of Economic Development's announcement about the establishment of an International School of Cuisine in the Wairarapa. UCOL's Chief Executive Paul McElroy, said UCOL is delighted to announce a new partnership between UCOL and Le Cordon Bleu to establish an iconic International School of Cuisine in New Zealand, based in the Wairarapa.

"We are very fortunate and delighted to have Le Cordon Bleu as a partner" said Mr McElroy. "The partnership brings together two very successful educational institutes, and is a significant milestone in the establishment of the proposed International School of Cuisine.

UCOL is one of New Zealand's largest and most successful institutes of technology and Le Cordon Bleu one of the most revered culinary institutes in the world. "Both have years of experience in creating graduates equipped with passion, commitment to quality and real expertise" said Mr McElroy.

Le Cordon Bleu is a worldwide leader in culinary education, founded in Paris in 1895. Today the presence of Le Cordon Bleu encompasses 26 international schools in 15 countries which are attended by more than 22,000 students every year. Speaking on behalf of Le Cordon Bleu from Australia, Rodger Griffiths, Vice President Asia Pacific Development, said they are delighted with the prospect of coming to New Zealand. "The proposed International School of Cuisine is an exciting new development for Le Cordon Bleu and will complement our current operations in other parts of the world. We are working closely with UCOL on a variety of aspects and sharing our knowledge to make this venture a success for everyone. We are very impressed with what we have seen so far of the Wairarapa."

The International School of Cuisine is a central component of the Major Regional Initiative (MRI) developed in partnership with UCOL, Go Wairarapa and the Wairarapa Wines Promotion Group. This MRI initiative, funded by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, serves to create synergies between local government, industry and education to develop the Wairarapa region as a centre of excellence in cuisine and fine wine.

"This is a great opportunity to enhance the Wairarapa region's international and national reputation as a place of fine wine and fine food, and UCOL are proud to be partnering with Wairarapa wineries and Go Wairarapa to achieve this" said Mr McElroy.

"The International School of Cuisine will offer a unique culinary degree level qualification and certificates focusing on culinary and patisserie skills in true French style. It will look to attract international and domestic students across a range of programmes including professional upskilling of people in the culinary industry" said Mr McElroy. UCOL is working with Le Cordon Bleu on the curriculum and going through approval processes with New Zealand education authorities.

"The International School of Cuisine is very much in its formative stages. We are in the process of conducting further work before we turn our focus onto where it will be located and the necessary up-market facilities" said Mr McElroy. "We look forward to building strong relationships with the Wairarapa region and its people as we work towards making the International School of cuisine a reality".


For more information please contact:
Fiona Chard, General Manager Strategic Projects, UCOL, Ph 06 952 7000 or
Clare Crawley, Acting Chief Executive, UCOL, Ph 06 952 7000 or
Christine Beech, PR & Communications Manager, UCOL, Ph: 06 952 7001 extn 70789

Rodger Griffiths, Vice President, Asia Pacific Development, Le Cordon Bleu, Australia, Ph:+61 8 8348.3044


Additional information on Le Cordon Bleu (LCB)

Le Cordon Bleu (LCB) is a worldwide leader in culinary education, founded in Paris in 1895. Today the presence of LCB encompasses 26 international schools in 15 countries which are attended by more than 22,000 students every year.

LCB is one of the most revered culinary institutes in the world. Their experience in creating graduates equipped with passion, commitment to quality and real expertise is legendry. Some of the world's greatest chefs have been trained by LCB. Their founding philosophy of achieving excellence though constant practice and refinement remains the same even as the industry grows to meet the needs of the culinary and hospitality industry.

The NZ International School of Cuisine proposes to offer a three year Bachelor qualification as well as qualifications at Certificate and Diploma level. The content of the proposed degree is unique to the NZ International School of Cuisine and is not found elsewhere in the country. UCOL will work through New Zealand's academic approval processes.

Why UCOL has partnered with Le Cordon Bleu (LCB)
LCB offered a number of strengths to the proposed New Zealand International School of Cuisine. Some examples of these strengths are:

The proven brand power and their ability to attract international students
The alignment of LCB's course content with New Zealand framework levels
The willingness of LCB to work with UCOL to tailor a culinary arts degree
The structure of the course
The network of international markets that UCOL will gain access to through a partnership with LCB
The strategic vision of LCB to establish a destination school of cuisine
The extensive portfolio of courses that LCB has to offer
Brand recognition both in New Zealand and internationally

Le Cordon Bleu International Profile

History: Founded in 1895, Le Cordon Bleu has always been synonymous with excellence in the culinary field. The academy's programmes provide training in cuisine and pastry techniques as well as more recently courses in the hotel, restaurant and event management fields.

Le Cordon Bleu is an active member in cultural and culinary associations such as the Alliance Franaise, the Chane de Rtisseurs and the various Culinary Associations and Academy's throughout the world. Le Cordon Bleu International organises and participates in more than 80 events annually including culinary promotions, chef festivals and professional conferences. The academy presides over examination juries and competitions. It hosted several culinary events at embassies and official bodies in the United States, South America and Asia.

In 1927, Le Cordon Bleu was described by the English newspaper Daily Mail as The Tower of Babel, given the diversity of nationalities it gathers in its 26 schools represented in 15 countries throughout the Americas, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Europe.

The teaching method at Le Cordon Bleu combines both demonstrations and hands-on practical experience. The faculty of teachers and chefs include university professionals, industry veterans, specialists in the tourism and hospitality sectors, and more than 80 master chefs.

Additionally, Le Cordon Bleu is launching an accredited MBA in International Hotel Management in Paris in January 2006 and a Bachelor's Degree in Madrid in 2006. "These programmes will position Le Cordon Bleu as one of the largest educational establishments in the world," says Patrick Martin, VP, International Corporate Executive Chef, Culinary School Development. "We are interested in any opportunities for the international development of Le Cordon Bleu in developing countries and elsewhere," says Martin.

Expertise in printLe Cordon Bleu, which celebrates its 110th anniversary this year, publishes several magazines and books for professionals in the industry. The academy's last series, Le Cordon Bleu Home Collection, has been translated into 20 languages. 'Professional Cooking' and 'Professional Baking' have become "the official textbooks in the American culinary educational system." In the same context, Le Rve de Sabrina (Sabrina's Dream) was the first classical French cookbook series to be translated into Mandarin and Korean.

These publications regularly receive national and international awards including several distinctions at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. The school technical books won the gold medal at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

In brief:
Date of establishment: 1895
Number of schools: 26
Number of students: 22,000 per year


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