Le Cordon Bleu, the school where Julia Child learned how to cook, is closing all its U.S. schools. A notice on the school's website informs students:
As announced in December 2015, Le Cordon Bleu will begin a gradual process of discontinuing operations. As a result, January 4, 2016 will be the last chance for you to start classes at Le Cordon Bleu. Please contact us with any questions about your past, current, or future enrollment and other important student related information.
In a statement released yesterday, the school's owner, Career Education Corporation, announced it will begin a gradual process of discontinuing the operations of its Le Cordon Bleu North America colleges of culinary arts after failing to find a buyer for the schools.
The shuttering of campuses will be a slow process, with the schools remaining open until September 2017. The school is actually accepting new enrollments until January 2016, which allows students to complete their studies before Le Cordon Bleu closes shop. As part of a "teach-out," students who are current with their studies will be ale to earn their degrees.
Todd Nelson, president and CEO of career education, said, “New federal regulations make it difficult to project the future for career schools that have higher operating costs, such as culinary schools that require expensive commercial kitchens and ongoing food costs.
“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. As discussions progressed, we continued to evaluate the decision taking into consideration factors including the economics between a sale and teach-out, impacts to students and stockholders and execution risk. By moving forward with a teach-out process, we are better able to protect student interests and also retain all of the rights that we currently have to the Le Cordon Bleu brand."
The international locations of the famed culinary school, including the flagship Paris location, aren't affected by the imminent closure of the North American branch of the school.
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Career Education Corporation, which also owns and operates American Intercontinental University and Colorado Technical University, plans on refocusing its resources on online university education.
The decision to close affects all of the 16 U.S. campuses, including the South Florida school, located at 3221 Enterprise Way in Miramar. The campus was founded in 2003 and graduates include Alison Rivera, who participated in season 14 of Hell's Kitchen, and Janine Booth, who is currently in the process of opening two Miami restaurants with partner Jeff McInnis.
A call to Miles Mitchell, president of Le Cordon Bleu Miami, has not yet been answered.
Le Cordon Bleu was founded in France in 1895 and its distinguished alumni include Paul Qui, Stephanie Izard, and Brian Malarkey, but its most revered graduate is Julia Child, who enrolled in the Parisian culinary school in 1950 with financing from the G.I. Bill. She earned her diplôme de cuisine in 1951.