Le Cordon Bleu to Shutter U.S. Schools - Global Trade Magazine
  January 8th, 2016 | Written by

Le Cordon Bleu to Shutter U.S. Schools

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  • All 16 U.S. campuses of Le Cordon Bleu North America are projected to stay open until September 2017.
  • Federal regulations make it difficult for career schools such as culinary institutes that have high operating costs.
  • Le Cordon Bleu International will continue activities in Paris, London, Mexico, Japan and China.

Le Cordon Bleu International – the bastion of haute French cuisine since 1895 and alma mater of such culinary luminaries as Giada de Laurentis, Julia Child, Ming Tsia, and Louisette Bertholle – has announced the closing of its 16 campuses in the U.S.

According Career Education Corp., the company that manages the U.S. operations of the Paris-based culinary school, the decision was made after its management failed to craft a deal with the right buyer.

The company said in a statement that it was “slowly discontinuing the operations of Le Cordon Bleu North America and would no longer enroll new students after the start of classes for the January 2016 session” and that “all 16 U.S. campuses are projected to stay open until September 2017.”

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,” said Todd Nelson, Career Education’s president and chief executive.

“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,” he said.

Le Cordon Bleu International headquarters in France said separately that the decision “would not affect any of its global operations,” adding that the school’s programs “will continue education and training business as usual” in many other locations including Paris, London, Mexico, Japan and China.”