Le Cordon Bleu

Day One

March 29, 2012

4:38… Not yet.

5:28. A little while longer.

And then, finally, the alarm went off at 6:15, and I jumped out of bed for my first day of school… The school of my dreams. The school for which I was awarded the James Beard Scholarship. First. Day. Today.

So excited was I, I kept taking photos (never mind the stares in the Métro) at every turn to make sure I documented my first day of school well enough. How could I not? I’ve waited for this for a long time, and I couldn’t belive I was on my way to Le Cordon Bleu.

I hopped on to the RER and then the Métro and finally reached Vaugirard in the 15th arrondisment at 8:45. I wasn’t supposed to be in class until 9:30 so I popped into a Carrefour and bought an apple for breakfast and then walked to 8 Rue Léon Delhomme.

After quickly checking my name off the list and being assigned a group number for the day, I was seated in the second row in the demo room for the orientation. Four hours of orientation included long winded speeches from the school director and people from the administration on the rules, receiving our class schedule for the entire course, a tour around the school, admission verification, meeting a few of my new classmates, and best of all: we got our cookbooks, uniforms and (even better) a Wüsthof knife kit. All this, while snacking on pain au chocolat, cheese and grapes.

Although we could leave all our things in the locker, I was excited to bring it back home and show my uniform and shiny new knives to Arjun. I got back home, chopped a few onions with my new knives for the heck of it (does anyone need me to chop their vegetables?) and read through my books.

It was a lovely day.

PS: My first day of school was on Monday, March 26th. I’d written most of it then, but finally got down to putting my photos together for this post after altering and hand-sewing my two chequered trousers for school.


  • Reply Sunbula March 29, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Reading your post, I am so excited for you, Shaheen! Live your dream and inspire many more like me!

  • Reply pRiyA March 29, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Wow. What fabulous experiences. Look forward to your posts and beautiful photographs although most of them just leave me feeling very very hungry.

  • Reply Sara from Texas March 29, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    What an amazing experience you are going to have! Reminds me of my first day in culinary school. We made French Apple Tart. Felt like I was floating in the clouds. Can’t wait to hear more!

  • Reply Priyanka March 29, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    So exciting! You inspire to dream of this beautiful dream :)
    Thank You!

  • Reply Leo James March 29, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Awesome :) :)

  • Reply Mallory March 29, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    What an amazing experience! Something pretty amazing to be living out a dream! Congrats and good luck!

  • Reply sarah March 29, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    So incredibly excited for you (Along with being a wee bit jealous). Would love updates & more pics so I’m able to live vicariously through you!
    Enjoy… EVERYTHING!

  • Reply ADL March 29, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Exciting times. Congrats and can’t wait to read more about it.

  • Reply Arch March 29, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Wow Shaheen ! Thats so lovely and its wonderful that you are sharing it with us…Really living your dream…All the very best !!

  • Reply noelle March 29, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Shaheen! I am so, so excited for you! I did the Cordon Bleu pastry program here in CA so this is bringing back a lot of fun memories for me. But those pants are not one of them, haha!

  • Reply Karuna March 29, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Way to go!! Shaheen..
    Happy for you :)
    I wish the road ahead is increasingly exciting, enriching and fulfilling..

  • Reply Maneesh March 29, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    You sound like a schoolgirl here! :)

  • Reply Tina Rajan March 29, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    :) Congratulations. Looking forward to read your experience.

  • Reply Ève Rachael Aloysius March 29, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    So proud of you…..Keep up the good work….Looking forward to more of your posts and amazing photographs. :)

  • Reply Gourmet Secrets March 29, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Wow what a nice post.I am felling glad on this post.Can you more share with me.I will come back as soon.

    Thanks for more info………

  • Reply ritu March 30, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    Congrats Shaheen!!Can actually feel your excitement!!
    Good luck!!

  • Reply Archana March 30, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    Oh wow Shaheen,

    Had goosebumps reading through your post, Live ur dream, Goodluck gal;

  • Reply Shwetha March 30, 2012 at 4:26 AM

    Oh wow! So excited for you! Good luck to you!

  • Reply Abhi March 30, 2012 at 5:41 AM

    Hi Shaheen,

    It’s so wonderful to read about you living your dream!! Huge congratulations and wish you lots of amazing experiences!!

  • Reply Jennie March 30, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Yay!!! :) :) I love your description of the day. You must be a whiz with those knives now!

  • Reply Meenakshi March 30, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Congratulations (again) and all the very best for the days ahead! Those are some fierce looking knives, by the way. And you hand-sew things in addition to cooking, photographing and illustrating? Really…is there anything you can’t do? :P Hope you will share more posts about life at LCB with us!

  • Reply Janet March 30, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Congratulations and Good Luck!

    Fellow Baker!

  • Reply Onil Gandhi March 30, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    wow. eagerly awaiting each post, each day

  • Reply baker in disguise March 30, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Lucky girl.. living your dream!! your excitement is infectious!!! all the luck!!

  • Reply Asma March 30, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    happiness defined!!!
    i live it through u…so keep us posted!

  • Reply Dana Ross Martin March 30, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Way to go, Shaheen!
    And there’ll be so many MORE stories about this adventure. Please share them ALL with us.

  • Reply Anita Menon March 30, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Congrats Shaheen!! So happy and excited for you.

  • Reply Yeo March 30, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Wow this sounds so exciting.. Reminds me of Julie & Julia.
    It’s something I always wished I could do.. Soo happy for you.

  • Reply HeatherT March 31, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Congratulations!!!!!!!! How exciting for you.

  • Reply Evi March 31, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Very excited for you!!! Can’t wait to hear more adventures!

  • Reply Aeshna April 3, 2012 at 7:41 AM

    Sounds sooooo exciting! Can’t wait to know more.

  • Reply Dad and Mom April 3, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    So happy to read your account of the first day at Le Cordon Bleu. We are proud of you Shaheen. God Bless You.

  • Reply ileana April 3, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    How exciting!

  • Reply Bobin Cherian April 3, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    DAY2! DAY2! DAY2…..!!!

  • Reply The Purple Foodie April 3, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Thank you so much, everybody for all your thoughtful wishes. Really appreciate it. Thank you.

  • Reply Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet April 4, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Just stumbled upon your blog and read about your first day and James Beard Scholarship. Congratulations and best of luck to you! Sounds like an incredible journey!

  • Reply Tina April 5, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    Congratulations! I even went to the website just to see your name! That’s awesome – there was such a small number of people who won scholarships, you must be so excited about such an amazing achievement! I always send my friends to your website; they have all tried your baked garlic fries and love them! Looking forward to more great recipes and writings about your food adventures. :)

  • Reply Kajal April 6, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    This is awesome Shaheen!! Knock yourself out! :)

  • Reply Radhika @ Just Homemade April 6, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Awesome! Congratulations! Shaheen..
    This post pours out your excitement.. Good Luck and Great Success!

  • Reply The Purple Foodie April 9, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, everyone! =)

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  • Reply Anusha Pinto April 25, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    Oh you got me all excited as I was reading your post! 1 month down the lane, hope things get keep getting better and better for you. I’m always proud of you and so happy that I know you! Cheers Shaheen. You inspire me :)

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  • Reply mathura temple March 21, 2016 at 10:09 AM


  • Reply Rocky Murasing June 9, 2016 at 4:35 PM

    I must say “You are a lucky person Shaheen”. To become a chef was always my hidden desire. And it’s so much pleasing to see and read experience of others about becoming a good chef. Thanks for the beautiful experience you have shared with us.

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