It was the elite of the elite and I was walking amongst them. Great chefs from around the world had gathered in this building to learn the art of French cooking or pastry making... and I was now one of them. I didn't have a semester to master the skills that were going to be shared, instead I had just one day to learn and reach 'Master' status.
Under the instruction of Chef Instructor Arnaud Bonnefoy, our small group participated in a cooking demonstration 'Le Cordon Bleu student'-style. Monogrammed pencil in one hand and recipe card in both French and English in the other, as Chef Arnaud talked we were to write our own processes down like every other student.
Le Cordon Bleu's both in Ottawa and around the world offer many short courses, whether it be a day, three days or longer! Starting at CAD$79 for a full-days tuition seems like a bargain when learning from people - like Chef Arnaud - who'd worked in Michelin starred restaurants around the world.
Ottawa's school is also home to 'Signatures', a restaurant that offers lunch and dinner services by the students of the school. A three course lunch by for $26 is a bargain in my book.
Perhaps I wasn't a 'Master' student like I'd so hoped when I left, but I did learn a number of techniques that I will be applying to my pastry making when I get home and if all off fails - I have the souvenir of an apron to make sure I look like a real pro!