Le Cordon Bleu is coming, with something for visitors

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LAS VEGAS -- Another notch will be carved into Las Vegas' culinary belt this summer when the world-renowned cooking institute, Le Cordon Bleu, opens a branch in the Summerlin area.

There are fewer than a dozen schools in the U.S. bearing this name and fewer than two dozen in the world.

The curriculum is the same as the one offered in Paris but with some Las Vegas enhancements, said San Francisco native Jennifer White, president and motivating force behind the Las Vegas facility.

Assisting her will be the school's director of education, Susan Roe, who brings to the equation experience as a culinary trainer at both Rio Suite and Bellagio.

While their proscribed Le Cordon Bleu program lasts 15 months (a year in school and three months' externship), there still is much that can be of interest to clients.

A retail store will open at the same time as the school and will offer, White said, "chef uniforms, chef pants, both with the Le Cordon Bleu logo, plus cookbooks and textbooks as well as cooking utensils and other kitchen items." The shop also will include a small deli.

Food service for the public will go up a notable notch when the school's full-service restaurant opens at some future date.

And well before that, perhaps this fall, White expects to begin offering single-day classes and spousal programs.

And what if Las Vegas visitors who add Le Cordon Bleu to the itinerary are inspired to sign on as full-time students?

The school can help with housing through an agreement with an agency that arranges discounted apartment living and roommate coordination.

Opening day for this 60,000-square-foot facility is July 14. Tourists and tomorrow's chefs will find it in the Crossing Business Center, 1451 Center Crossing Road, near the intersection of Town Center and Summerlin Parkway. For more information, call (702) 365-7690.

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