Vol. VII No. 29 - Tuesday
July 15 - July 21, 2008

Business & Travel
Dining Out & Entertainment
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Updated every Tuesday
by Saichon Paewsoongnern

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Famous French “Cordon Bleu” cooking school comes to Thailand

An amazing night at the Glass Onion

La Gondola re-opens

Famous French “Cordon Bleu” cooking school comes to Thailand

90 years of traditional culinary excellence

Earlier this month on July 5, fifty lucky residents of Chiang Mai were invited to the D2 Hotel to promote the Cordon Bleu courses being held in Bangkok. Cedric Maton, Cuisine Chef Instructor, assisted by D2 Executive Chef Chalong Sakkapalangkul showed the audience how to make 5 dishes including ‘St. Jacques Scallops Mousse’ and ‘Scampi in a Beetroot Vinaigrette’. After the presentation, guests were able to sample the dishes prepared earlier. As an extra-special treat, D2 laid on a three course Cordon Bleu lunch!
Le Cordon Bleu culinary school was first established in Paris in 1895.

Chef Cedric Maton and Chef Chalong Sakkapalangkul creating mouth-watering delicacies at the D2 Hotel.
The name ‘Le Cordon Bleu’ has been synonymous with culinary excellence since the 16th century when, in 1578, King Henry III created one of the most important orders in France, L’ordeur du Saint-Esprit (the Order of the Holy Spirit). Knights of this order were named ‘Cordon Bleu’ after the Blue Ribbon they wore, on which hung the ‘Cross of the Holy Spirit’. According to one story, the group became known for their extravagant banquets. Whilst these dinners ended with the French revolution, the name remained synonymous with excellent cooking.
Back in 1895, Le Cordon Bleu was born as a weekly culinary publication “La Cuisiniere Cordon Bleu” by a French journalist, Martha Distel. Demonstrations with leading Paris chefs were organized for the magazine’s subscribers; later, Le Cordon Bleu culinary school was born. From the beginning, famous chefs of the time came to teach at Le Cordon Bleu, including the legendary Henri-Paul Pellaprat. The reputation of the school spread rapidly worldwide with the first Russian student admitted in 1897 and the first Japanese in 1905. Le Cordon Bleu grew and evolved over the following decades into the leading international culinary institution attracting students from all over the world.
In 1933, one of Chef Pellaprat’s students, Rosemary Hume, established L’Ecole du Petit Cordon Bleu in Victoria, London. In 1945, after the liberation of Paris at the end of World War Two, Le Cordon Bleu was accredited by the Pentagon for professional training of young GI’s after their tour of study. Twenty years after the opening of the London school, the success of the school was confirmed by its participation in preparing the coronation luncheon for Queen Elizabeth; for this, the famous dish ‘Coronation Chicken’ was created. The Paris school was further immortalized in the legendary 1950s film ‘Sabrina,’ staring Audrey Hepburn as a young woman who came to Paris to study at Le Cordon Bleu.
In 1984, owner Elizabeth Brassart, then in her 80’s, sought a successor who would respect the 90 year tradition built by Le Cordon Bleu. Her successor was found in Andre Cointreau, a descendant of France’s eminent Cointreau and Remy Martin families, who acquired the school in 1988 and relocated it to the left bank of the Seine. Under the influence of Andre Cointreau, Le Cordon Bleu International has evolved from a Parisian culinary school to an international hospitality and gastronomy network with 30 schools in 15 countries. With 113 years of teaching experience, it has become one of the world’s most prominent organizations dedicated to Culinary, Hospitality and Tourism Education.
The establishment of Le Cordon Bleu Dusit in Bangkok in August 2007 is the result of a remarkable partnership between Le Cordon Bleu Paris and Dusit International. The school is located next to the Dusit Thani in Bangkok and offers classical French culinary programs and unique teaching methodology with demonstrations and hands-on practical session back to back. Curriculum delivered at Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Bangkok is of the same quality and standard of Le Cordon Bleu Paris and Le Cordon Bleu schools worldwide.
At present, they offer 2 courses; the Diplome de Cuisine and the Diplome de Patisserie. The complete program lasts 9 months and comprises 3 levels- Basic, Intermediate and Superior. Students who have completed both Cuisine and Patisserie will be awarded Le Grand Diplome, in recognition of success in the most intensive and comprehensive training in classic French cuisine and pastry techniques available today. Beginning with the basic use of condiments, herbs and spices to complement the dishes prepared, the course continues at the intermediate level with classic French regional dishes and a more complicated application of Basic level techniques. The Superior level introduces students to techniques and intricacies of dishes at the highest level of contemporary and Haute Cuisine menus. The Patisserie course allows students to progressively learn to prepare a wide selection of the justly famous French cakes, desserts and pastries and how to use their imagination and artistic skills in the preparation and decoration of desserts


An amazing night at the Glass Onion

“Lanna Fundraiser” benefits Mplus+

A special benefit night in aid of Mplus+, a local NGO which works primarily to promote the sexual health of men working in the gay sex industry (MSM) was held on the evening of July 6 at the Glass Onion, organised by its owner, Kris. Mplus+ was founded by USAID in 2006, following reports of increased AIDS/HIV prevalence among the MSM population in Northern Thailand. Although male sex workers (self identified as gay or heterosexual) are their most important target group, MPlus+ also serves the gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender communities.

The Mplus+ dancers at the Glass Onion.

“Lanna Fundraiser” was an amazing night, with a great turnout of people of all ages and all sexes. The dancers and singers wore spectacular costumes, and the party spilled over onto the lawns and the little soi. Lots of great prizes donated by willing and generous sponsors ensured that the raffle was a success, and a photography auction raised a much-appreciated sum of money.
MPlus+ is working to raise money so that it can be officially registered as an NGO. This issue is of great importance because they have just begun a new project in conjunction with the Australian government to compile a multimedia library of HIV prevention materials. Video-based HIV prevention is especially important in the North of Thailand because the group most at risk (male sex workers) is also a group that is made up of non-Thai speakers. Most of the male sex workers in the Chiang Mai area are Burmese or Thai Yai, and did not grow up speaking Thai. Even those who can speak are often unable to read and write in Thai. The HIV prevention literature published in Thailand is in the Thai language and is therefore inaccessible to this very high risk group. MPlus+, together with Dr. Chris Walsh of Deakin University in Australia, is planning to put together an animated video library that will then be dubbed in the native languages of these men: Karen, Shan, etc.
Further details can be found on www.mplusthailand.com or telephone 053 814 487.

La Gondola re-opens

New location at Mee Chok Plaza

Khun Jim (3rd left) welcomes friends and old customers
to the La Gondola celebrations.

There were huge celebrations on the evening of July 6 next to Rimping Supermarket at Mee Chok Plaza on the Mae Jo Road to announce the re-opening of the popular La Gondola restaurant. Formerly situated under Rimping Condo, the new venture is much smaller with 28 covers, 8 of which are on the first floor and are air conditioned.
To celebrate the event, a ‘Street Fare’ (as in food) was held next to the clock tower, featuring lots of different stalls and types of food ranging from hamburgers, through vegetarian curry, Khao Soy, Sushi and masses of Italian food from La Gondola. Also there were Meals On Wheels 4 U, the recently launched foodie web site which will deliver meals from restaurants including Yangzi Jiang, Chez Marco, Tuskers and many other popular Chiang Mai eateries. Check them out at www.mealsonwheels4u.com.
Zonta’s stall promoted its ‘Grandmothers and Orphans Charity,’ dedicated to helping grandmas who are caring for grandchildren orphaned by AIDS/HIV. Zonta’s long and valued association with Khun Jim, the co-owner of La Gondola, assured their attendance! The restaurant itself has, basically, the same popular menu enjoyed by customers for a great number of years; a takeaway service is available, as is the new La Gondola Smartcard. Opening times are from 9:30 am until 9:30 pm, fitting in nicely with the opening times of nearby Rimping supermarket - as the old saying goes - ‘to save money, always shop on a full stomach!’

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