After the cuts and burns, countless dirtied towels and aprons, flooded sinks, months of ironing that uniform, hours learning just how to tie that neckerchief, and—of course—after all the added pounds acquired during nine months of study—my time at Le Cordon Bleu is officially over. Yes, classes concluded in December, but graduation ceremony was this past weekend so my family and I made the trek back to Pasadena; and for the last time, I wore my uniform, but this time to accept my diploma.

I could never have achieved what I have without the support of the Le Cordon Bleu chef instructors and Le Cordon Bleu staff. I look to them with gratitude for their shared knowledge and mentorship. I could never have achieved what I have without the support of my family and friends. Again, I look to them with gratitude for that support and for helping share the burden of eating everything created in class and brought home to them.

I once learned in a literature course during my university days that the French are not only known for their impeccable culinary expertise. The classical techniques for cooking and baking have survived the centuries, but so have the wonderful literary works of many French writers including Victor Hugo’s Les MisĂ©rables, Antoine de Saint ExupĂ©ry’s Le Petit Prince, and Voltaire’s Candide—to name a few. There is one quote from the humanist writer and philosopher Voltaire that is particularly appropriate as I look back on my experience at Le Cordon Bleu.
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing; it makes what is excellent
in others belong to us as well” (Voltaire).
Because of the excellence of those who have come before, I feel so honored to take part in the Le Cordon Bleu heritage; and I hope, as an alumnus of the school, to show appropriate appreciation by accepting the challenge and responsibility to uphold that standard of excellence that came with the diploma we graduates earned and received this past weekend.

Since this is my final Le Cordon Bleu post, I wanted to do something really special. I have always loved to express the way I feel through music. I've been playing the piano ever since I was six-years-old and have always loved to write songs on the 88 keys. Well, since I no longer have a piano in my home, I've been "forced" to learn how to play the guitar and write for the six-stringed instrument. So, along with this graduation picture slideshow I have included the first song I have ever composed and recorded for the guitar. It's a little rough because (a) I'm not good at playing the guitar, (b) I had to play the different parts and mesh them together, and (c) I've never used the Garage Band software before; but for the first song, it will do. It is dedicated it to my family, friends, and chef instructors who have been there for me during the last year as I embarked on this new and exciting path. So please, sit back, relax, and enjoy!