The 2009 class united in their passion for gastronomy

08 Jan 2010

2009 session for les hautes etudes du gout program23 participants had been selected to attend the 5th class of Hautes Etudes du Goût. They were all delighted to share two weeks of state-of-the-art courses on various topics focusing on taste and gastronomy.

Beyond their common interest for the culture of taste, cultural exchanges have once again been extremely rewarding, thanks to the very diverse origins of the participants: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, France, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritius, Philippines, Romania, Switzerland and the United States.

14 different occupations were represented, including a sommelier, food journalists and writers, a company manager in fine food events and training, chefs, a trainer with Compass (a world leader in catering services), a restaurant management consultant, a beverage company general manager, a nutritionist, a pediatrician, etc.

The venue for the 1st week of courses in Paris was Le Cordon Bleu, one of the HEG partners. Courses focused on the neurophysiology of taste (Patrick MacLeod, acknowledged as one of the world leading authorities on sensorial analysis), molecular gastronomy (Hervé This), food, culture and society (Claude Fischler), food in the Middle Ages (Bruno Laurioux), child psychology of taste (Natalie Rigal), terroir and quality (Gilles Fumey), wine communication (Frédéric Brochet), etc.

Students also visited the Rungis International Market, the world's largest wholesale market for fresh produce, enjoying comments by Guy Chemla, a geography professor at La Sorbonne University, and an expert in food supply networks for the Paris area.

Most evenings were also dedicated to studying. Several educational meals, directly linked to the classes taught during the day, were part of the program. The Grégoire-Ferrandi School once again organized the medieval dinner – including lots of amazing flavors- with comments by Bruno Laurioux.
The molecular cuisine dinner, under the auspices of Hervé This, was brilliantly executed by Le Cordon Bleu chefs.

A good humored, hands-on cookery workshop, held on the Saturday morning, meant that everyone could take part in the preparation of two recipes for lunch, with tips and advice provided by Le Cordon Bleu chefs.

Courses taught during the 2nd week in Reims provided the participants with a better understanding of the economic and socio-demographic analysis of food consumption with Pierre Combris, sensorial marketing with Caroline Dusautoir, the links between food and human evolution and their implications in terms of taste and food preferences (with Patrick Pasquet), the evolution and trends in the arts of the table (Confédération des Arts de la Table), the concept of food quality (Xavier Leverve), etc.

Fourteen participants of the 2008 class, delighted to be reunited on that occasion, made a return to Reims for a graduation ceremony held on October 19th at the Palais du Tau. They were awarded with their Diplôme Universitaire du Goût, de la Gastronomie et des Arts de la Table, granted by the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne.

The ceremony was followed by a dinner held in the royal banquet hall of the Palais du Tau. Some of the dishes selected for the occasion were replicas of those once served at the banquets for the coronation of the kings of France. The speaker for the evening was Patrick Demouy, a great medieval scholar, and the musical interludes were reminiscent of the coronations narrated by the historian.

Two pedagogical dinners also took place during that week in Reims. The champagne & food pairing dinner, held this year at the Louis Roederer champagne house, included tastings of Louis Roederer Brut Premier, Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 1998, Louis Roederer Cristal 1995, and Veuve Clicquot Vintage Rich 2002.
The wine & food pairing dinner traditionally took place at Les Crayères with superb commentaries by Jacques Puisais. Students took the opportunity to reflect on the way they smell, taste and feel, and to this about the pleasures of combining "solids" and "liquids" enabling each one to develop their own personal enjoyment of good fare.

After the written examination which concluded the program, eleven students had signed in to attend the 2-day optional discovery program which first took them to Cognac at Martell, then to the Médoc at Château Margaux for educational visits and private meals. These privileged moments were described as "exceptional" by all participants.

Each student is to submit his/her thesis by late May 2010.

We wish everyone lots of success!

Institut des Hautes Etudes du Goût, de la Gastronomie et des des Arts de la Table

  • Phone: +33 6 60 46 40 81
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