Learning how to heat things up

School might have been out for summer, but not for Le Cordon Bleu Las Vegas. The students at the famous culinary school are serving gourmet cuisine at reasonable prices. With instructors’ supervision, students at Le Cordon Bleu Las Vegas offer lucky diners that stumble upon the Café Bleu an up-close and personal look at what it takes to be a cook.

On a recent visit, I was treated to lunch. The kitchen of the café is set up exhibition-style so guests can peer in to see their food being made. Glass windows surround the kitchen with openings to pass the food through. This allows guests to see in with minimal noise disturbance.

Soft shell crab, shrimp Caesar, wood-fired pizzas, fresh pastas and more all come out of the oversized kitchen.

Students get six weeks to prove their skills at the café and practice their mise-en-place (organizational skills), prep and knife skills.

I was impressed with the level of professionalism that came from the students. Each are dedicated and focused on their craft, so much so that it didn’t seem to bother them that I was present—camera, notepad and all.

From the small menu, I ordered a Caesar salad with grilled shrimp. For entrées, my table of guests enjoyed a chicken breast with a sliced egg and mixed green salad and a creamy chicken penne mixed with English peas. For dessert, classic favorites like a molten chocolate lava cake or crème brûlée are creatively presented on a plate.

There are two entrances to Café Bleu, one where you can walk down the corridor of classrooms and see the students creating dishes. On my visit, I saw students taking their final exams. On the other side of the hallway, students were preparing muffins and pastries. The atmosphere at Le Cordon Bleu is fast-paced and exciting.

After all, the future Bobby Flay and Julia Child are taking classes here.

Le Cordon Bleu Las Vegas
1451 Center Crossing Road
Las Vegas, NV 89144