Cooking up a storm

Chef wannabes get stuck in at new school

Last updated 14:39 08/10/2012

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Both teacher and students had the same sense of ''first day of school'' nervous excitement as Wellington's new Le Cordon Bleu culinary school held its inaugural classes this morning.

The prestigious, purpose-built $13m Cuba St hospitality and cooking facility has a role of about 50 students, many of them international, including 26-year-old Brazilian Rodrigo Schulz who came to New Zealand from Rio de Janeiro to brush up on his English.

Now he will spend six days a week studying a double diploma in patisserie and cuisine.

''It's really exciting just to get started - I've got butterflies,'' Mr Schulz said.

He expects the intake of 16 cuisine diploma students will work together to help each other learn as well as taking direction from Wellington chef and Le Cordon Bleu head of cuisine Adam Newell.

Mr Newell runs Mediterranean-themed Wellington eatery Zibibbo and will tutor at Le Cordon Bleu three days a week.

After just a few hours of lessons in the state-of-the-art display kitchen he says a number of his class of 16 could be culinary celebrities.

Commitment seems to be in good supply with many of the budding chefs having left careers to pursue their passion for cooking.

''I reckon there will be potential stars.''

Working chefs are always in the process of training but returning to a purely teaching role has been a boost for the Michelin-starred chef.

''I've almost started testing myself. It's like the first day of school for me too. It's refreshing, it's a jolt in the arm.''

Contact Matt Stewart
Weather, science and environment reporter
Twitter: @smatape

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- The Dominion Post


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