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Archive for June 6th, 2008

I just got a news headline from Decanter.com that surprised me: “Student at Le Cordon Bleu threatens suicide” and then saw it also on the Mail online as well. What?! They reported that a 28 yr. old French-Algerian man who spent his entire savings on the course, had failed an exam and demanded to retake it. When he was refused, he grabbed one of his school knives and threatened to kill himself. Police in full riot gear were called and they closed off the tiny lane to the school and eventually Tasered and knocked him down and arrested him. What a chaotic scene that must have been in such a tiny building!

Why am I writing about it on my blog? Because I have emotional connections with that school. I am an alumni of the London school and I have very fond memories of my time there. I am wondering whether this type of publicity is negative or positive for Le Cordon Bleu. It is already one of the oldest and most recognized cooking schools in the world but does refusing to allow a student to retake the exam make le Cordon Bleu too strict or does it make the school appear to be elite? Hmm…

I do feel sorry for the student because he has poured all of his money into the courses (it is very expensive there). What puzzles me mostly is HOW and WHY did this student fail his Intermediate Cuisine exam? If he passed Basic Cuisine, he surely would have had enough experience by now not to fail any subsequent exams – unless he burnt or dropped his dish. I don’t know how it is at present but we were given THREE hours to prepare and present a dish for our exams and that should be enough time for him. What I’m trying to say is, it is actually hard to fail an exam!

What is the real story here? I wonder what really happened to cause this man to get so enraged and to threaten to kill himself? Bizarre…

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