Le Cordon Bleu Cuisine Foundations

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Synopsis: Le Cordon Bleu Cuisine Foundations presents the definitive concepts and techniques of classic French cuisine in an artfully designed package that captures the rich tradition of Le Cordon Bleu in a contemporary, international setting. Extensively researched, this landmark book traces French culinary technique and foundations back through the 20th-century codification by Auguste Escoffier to the earlier innovations of Jules Gouffé, Urbain Dubois, Antonin Careme, and other noted chefs of earlier generations to deliver a truly authoritative work. Illustrated with thousands of highly detailed photographs that reveal the proper cooking and preparation techniques, Le Cordon Bleu Cuisine Foundations passes the exceptional history of traditional, modern, nouvelle, and actual French cuisine on to a new generation of culinarians.

Inside the Book: Sample Techniques

Click on an image to download a PDF.
Zucchini Tonnelet Fumet de Poisson The Grilling Process

Open Letter from the President of Le Cordon Bleu

Le Cordon Bleu is proud to present Le Cordon Bleu Cuisine Foundations and its companion, Le Cordon Bleu Cuisine Foundations Classic Recipes--a project that was two years in the making. We hope that these books will serve as useful culinary references at home or professionally.

Le Cordon Bleu Cuisine Foundations is a compilation of culinary techniques with step-by-step photographs and explanations that allows the user to learn and practice cooking methods that have existed and been respected for more than three centuries. Though cooking has evolved over time with technological advances in cooking equipment, the techniques for food preparation have remained unchanged and fundamental to produce maximum flavor and consistent results.

The companion book, Le Cordon Bleu Classic Recipes, features 169 carefully selected recipes by Le Cordon Bleu chefs that best exemplify the application of these techniques. Each recipe lists the specific techniques applied from Le Cordon Bleu Cuisine Foundations. As you master the techniques, you will learn to improvise--adjusting or adding new ingredients to develop simple variations of these carefully selected, timeless recipes.

Le Cordon Bleu Cuisine Foundation books pay homage to the generations of chefs who have upheld and passed on their passion for cooking. From Taillevent to Ferran Adrià, these chefs represent the patrimony of l'art culinaire--the art of cooking. They are also a response to students and graduates worldwide who asked for a complete reference that would show and explain essential cooking techniques to become better cooks professionally or for their own enrichment.

For more than a century Le Cordon Bleu has upheld the integrity and excellence of French culinary techniques. Students of all nationalities and all walks of life have come to join us in continuing to respect this legacy. Whether you are cooking for loved ones or for paying customers, we hope that you enjoy Le Cordon Bleu's Cuisine Foundations not only as a guide and reference, but as an inspiration.

Amities gourmandes,
André J. Cointreau
President, Le Cordon Bleu International


History of Le Cordon Bleu

For over a century, Le Cordon Bleu has been committed to tradition, excellence, and innovation in gastronomy, hospitality, and management.

Through its team of over 80 master chefs, Le Cordon Bleu has passed on to generations of students a respect and legacy of l'art culinaire, the art of cooking, in its Classic Cycle programs in French culinary techniques. These techniques, codified over 300 years ago, are today applied to cuisines worldwide and inspire innovation in the sensorial, economic, technological, and scientific aspects of gastronomy.

What began as a culinary journal in 1895 and then a culinary school in Paris, Le Cordon Bleu programs today are in 35 schools over 5 continents. The entrepreneurial spirit of Le Cordon Bleu extends its range of programs from short courses for culinary enthusiasts to MBA degrees in international hospitality management for industry professionals.

The origin of the expression "Cordon Bleu" comes from the 1578 founding of the Order of the Knights of the Holy Spirit. Symbolizing this was a cross or medal which hung on a blue ribbon or a "cordon bleu." Due to the prestigious nature of this order and the feasts accompanying their ceremonies, the name "cordon bleu" eventually became associated with gastronomy.

Le Cordon Bleu has attracted students from around the world since 1897 and currently hosts students of more than 70 nationalities. After 1945, Le Cordon Bleu was recognized by the US government for professional training of young GIs, one of whom was a former OSS officer by the name of Julia Child.

Le Cordon Bleu has responded to changing trends and demands by the industry by enhancing its programs with new technology and approaches such as molecular gastronomy, virtual training, and the implementation of new training restaurants. With partner universities, Le Cordon Bleu also supports and participates in industry research and development.

Additional activities by Le Cordon Bleu include the development of restaurants, bakeries and tea salons, a range of gourmet products, cooking magazines, and cookbooks. Le Cordon Bleu also participates in more than 50 international events annually such as gastronomic festivals, professional conferences, and international competitions. Le Cordon Bleu is a proud member of several international culinary and cultural associations.

Today, Le Cordon Bleu is one of the leading providers of culinary arts training and restaurant, hotel, and tourism management education worldwide. It remains committed to innovation while preserving the traditions and excellence of gastronomy, hospitality, and management for future generations of aspiring culinarians and industry executives.


Top Ten Culinary Mistakes

  1. Choosing recipes that require a level of skill beyond your comfort level. Keep it simple and enjoyable. (Use books and resources that outline step-by-step processes.)
  2. Poor time management. Assemble your ingredients in advance (known as mise en place) and review the recipe before you start cooking so that the ingredients are added at the appropriate cooking time.
  3. Not evaluating the nutritional value of a menu. A balanced menu is healthier and easier to digest.
  4. Not adapting a recipe to seasonal produce. Seasonal produce is readily available and often more affordable.
  5. Unsharpened knives and poor equipment. Keep your knives and equipment in good working order.
  6. Using a pot or pan that is too large or too small. The proper pan size aids in producing the desired results.
  7. Fear of using high heat. Using heat that is too low will encourage sticking, especially with starchy foods.
  8. Never use a wet towel to remove a dish from the oven.
  9. Piercing meats while cooking. This releases the juices and dries out the meat.
  10. "My dish doesn't look like the one in the picture!" It's okay. It's your pièce de résistance!

Top Ten Most Popular/Impactful Culinary Tricks

  1. Assemble all of your ingredients before you begin cooking (mise en place).
  2. Always use a sharp knife. There will be fewer risks for accidents.
  3. Apply pressure with your hand to the flat part of the knife blade to crush garlic.
  4. When preparing a mirepoix for soups and stews, the vegetables should be cut to the same size and form to ensure even cooking. (Mirepoix is usually onions, celery, carrots, and sometimes green peppers.)
  5. To keep herbs fresh, refrigerate them in a damp paper towel.
  6. Rub half of a cut lemon on fruits and vegetables to prevent browning.
  7. When boiling eggs, add a handful of coarse salt to the boiling water. The eggs will be easier to peel.
  8. Save the browned bits of sautéed meats and vegetables from the pan to make gravy.
  9. To make perfect whipped cream, make sure that the bowl and beater are cold.
  10. Place a dish towel under the bowl when whipping by hand. This keeps the bowl steady and prevents surface scratches.

About the Author: Founded in Paris in 1895, Le Cordon Bleu has trained generations of the world's best chefs in Gastronomy, Hospitality, and Management. Today, Le Cordon Bleu delivers its celebrated culinary arts education across the globe.

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Title: Le Cordon Bleu Cuisine Foundations
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