By 2017 as much as sixteen cooking schools of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts will be shut down for ever. The downtown Porland campus is included too in the closure list.
According to money-losing, Schaumburg-based owner, Career Education Corp., the campuses will not enrol any further students after January 2016 and the schools will close by September 2017.
The Le Cordon Bleu has fifty schools across the world including on West Chestnut Street on Chicago’s Near North Side. The schools were famous for training child and started with Paris campus in the 1950s. Currently it serves about 20,000 students.
The Paris campus will not be affected with the closure and will remain open as usual. Celeb Julia Child too studied from the Paris campus.
Announcing the closure on December 16, the company said in a press release the students who have enrolled currently will be allowed to finish the classes and they now are in good academic standing.
James Beard Award-nominated chef, Kevin Binkley, said it’s a shame the schools are shutting down.
Binkley graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 1995. He added the cooking business has become tough and it is the same even on the education side.
The celebrity chef further said he as well as other metro Phoenix restaurants will feel the closure impact as most of their employees graduate from Le Cordon Bleu kitchens.
Most of the managers in the industry prefer hiring culinary graduates as the education of Le Cordon Bleu gives them a step up. However, it is hoped other culinary programs may step up in the Valley to fill the gap, mentioned Binkley.
It is also hoped the longtime talented instructors of the school, Jon-Paul Hutchins, may start new culinary instruction programs.
CEO and president of Career Education, Todd Nelson, said “Despite our best efforts to find a new caretaker for these well-renowned culinary colleges, we could not reach an agreement that we believe was in the best interests of both our students and our stockholders.”
In recent past the complaints have mounted up from graduates of Cordon Bleu that the career is not worth the hefty tuition fees of the schools. The fees range from $16,000 to $42,550.
Earlier, former students had sued the schools alleging it is overselling the benefits. In 2013 Career Education finally had to settle it paying $40 million.
Meanwhile, Portland restaurateur Bruce Carey said he was not surprised with the decision of school authorities to shut down 16 campuses of Le Cordon Bleu.
He added the economics no more work for the graduate as culinary degree has lately become more expensive.