This morning, the Shanghai Business & Tourism School (SHSMLY) and the Le Cordon Bleu signed an historic cooperative agreement to teach the first French Culinary Arts programs in China. This significant undertaking – the first joint venture between a private entity and a Chinese public school – will provide Shanghai with world-leading training in Western cuisine, a fundamental prerequisite to fulfilling its aspirations as a world famous tourist city.
The ceremony took place in the Conference Center at the SHSMLY in central Shanghai. Mr. Li Xiao Hua, Principle of the Shanghai Business & Tourism School, and Mr. André Cointreau, President of Le Cordon Bleu International, were both present.
SHSMLY stood out as a perfect partner to Le Cordon Bleu, as it is one of China's first national, key-vocational training schools. The school's wholly-owned subsidiary – the Shanghai Business & Tourism Vocational Training Center – has a Class A ranking, with an impressive academic reputation and network. After a number of discussions, SHSMLY and Le Cordon Bleu decided to merge their respective strengths, resulting in an independent legal entity: Le Cordon Bleu Shanghai Culinary Arts Academy.
An elated Monsieur Cointreau said: "The first Chinese student attended Le Cordon Bleu Paris in 1995, sponsored by the Shanghai Tourism Bureau. Today, we are opening our doors to many more candidates in order to bring our knowledge of Western cuisine to the birthplace of Eastern cuisine. Accordingly, our intention was to establish a respectful collaboration, focusing on French culinary techniques, to support local cuisine and community rather than to impose a standalone French cooking school. This is why we were so delighted to find such approachable and ideal partners".
The mission of the Le Cordon Bleu Shanghai Culinary Arts Academy will be to cultivate professional talent in China specifically, and to improve Western cuisine locally with a range of internationally recognized Le Cordon Bleu programs in cuisine, pastry, bread making, and food and beverage service.
The Shanghai Business & Tourism School is made up of two professional subsidiaries: Tourism and Business. The school is most renowned for its Marketing, Finance and Accounting, International business, and Hotel and Tourism Management programs. SHSMLY has two campuses located in the most vibrant areas of Shanghai, where more than 3000 students are taught by 250 university professors.
Established in Paris in 1895, Le Cordon Bleu is renowned and widely respected for maintaining the highest standards of culinary excellence. The academy is greatly esteemed as the home of Western cuisine and as a champion and innovator of French culinary techniques. Each year, more than 20,000 students from 70 countries are trained at Le Cordon Bleu's institutes, which now include over 40 schools in 20 countries, in cities such as Paris, London, Tokyo, Ottawa, Seoul, Sydney, Bangkok, Mexico City and, now, Shanghai.
Recruitment for Le Cordon Bleu Shanghai Culinary Arts School commences in September 2012.