Sona Bahadur is the winner of the partial scholarship offered by Le Cordon Bleu

07 Jun 2016

Sona Bahadur

Sona Bahadur is the winner of the partial scholarship offered by Le Cordon Bleu International for one of its most prestigious programmes: Hautes Etudes du Goût.

Since 2012, Le Cordon Bleu International offers a partial scholarship towards the Hautes Études du Goût (HEG) programme.

Mrs Colette Padet, Director of Studies for the DUGGAT (University Diploma on Taste, Gastronomy and Fine Dining) at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, Mrs Catherine Baschet from Le Cordon Bleu Paris, Dr. Roger Haden, Academic Director of Le Cordon Bleu Australia and Ms Edwige Régnier, HEG Programme Manager, were involved in the selection panel.

Applicants were to write an illustrated 500-word essay on the topic: What will HEG do for my education and career?

The Jury evaluated submissions on the applicants' expression of vision and aspiration, on their professional projects, as well as on the strength of personal conviction, and was singularly impressed by the depth to which Sona Bahadur took the underlying meaning and responded with heartfelt and passionate views on the world of gastronomy.

Sona Bahadur is an Indian magazine editor, restaurant critic and food columnist with 15 years of experience in print and digital journalism. She holds a MA in magazine journalism from the University of Missouri Columbia, USA, and an MA in comparative literature from the University of Warwick, UK. She lives in Mumbai.

Ms Bahadur is the former editor of BBC Good Food Magazine India, India’s first international food magazine, which she helped launch in 2011. When the magazine was suddenly shuttered by the magazine’s publisher in 2015, she was devastated. She decided to use the time to go deeper into food.

She travelled to countries like Israel and Australia, wrote columns on rare Indian cuisines and became a regular contributor to leading publications like Conde Nast Traveller India, Indian Express, Verve and Mumbai Mirror. Her debut exhibition of travel photography titled Triptych opened to a packed house at Gallery Art & Soul in April 2015.

Ms Bahadur first got to know about the HEG programme from her friend Shaheen Peerbhai, an alumnus of Le Cordon Bleu. “I think it will make you more confident if you study food from different angles. It will help you curate and critique better, ” Peerbhai advised.

Ms Bahadur strongly believes that in the era of Yelp and TripAdvisor, a journalist with a well-developed palate and broader understanding of gastronomy can fill a crucial gap. She wants to change the way people talk about food through a digital magazine that fills the void for an informed and analytical point of view on the culinary world.

“HEG will help me get the big picture on food,” she says. “The knowledge, exposure, and clarity I get from the programme will lay a more solid foundation for my proposed food project. HEG is the perfect place to unlearn and relearn. Winning the scholarship has given wings to my dreams.”

What is she hoping to take away from the experience? An evolved understanding of taste, a finer palate, strategic connections and ideas for her digital magazine, memories of superlative meals eaten with foodie friends, and plenty of inspiration to serve her readers better.

The jury was impressed by the strong interest in this scholarship (numerous applications received from Australia, Canada, China, Latvia, New-Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Tasmania, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom, USA, etc) and found it challenging to choose only one winner.

We wish each entrant the greatest success as they pursue their careers in the culinary world.

Hautes Études du Goût is aimed at all those gastronomy enthusiasts keen to go beyond the know-how and skills which command the world of food.
We have brought together the greatest academics and researchers ready to share their fundamental knowledge and provide participants with a remarkable, stunning and invaluable perspective on the multifaceted dimensions of the universe of taste and gastronomy.

For more information on the programme, click here.

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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