It was no surprise when Steve England of Kenai Catering and his intern from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Jeremy Hale received 1st Place in the first Chef’s of the Night competition held as a benefit for the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank. Le Cordon Bleu is a world renowned network of educational institutions dedicated to providing the highest level of culinary and hospitality and instruction through world class programs. Hale a 2004 Soldotna High School graduate moved to St. Louis some four years ago where he was working at St. Charles Community College kitchen, “The chef there has worked as a chef all across the world and he became my mentor who has driven me to push myself to grow and learn more and more and eventually last year I became enrolled in the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts and since then my boss has been encouraging me to go and go and do more and more, expanding my culinary knowledge in everything that I have acquired over the last seven or eight years of cooking professionally,” Hale told the Dispatch in an interview.
Jeremy first worked with Steve and Bobbie England when they were at The Crossing in Soldotna where Steve was the executive chef and Bobbie the pastry chef, “The were the ones who pretty much got me interested in the business, so it seemed fitting to come back and work with them at their own Kenai Catering. Their business is flourishing and are probably the best catering business on the Peninsula if not all of Alaska as we get requests from Anchorage to do events their, so it is awesome to be able to come home and work with them and show them what I’ve learned and work beside them rather than being the prep-cook under them. It’s coming full circle and it’s a lot of fun,” said Hale. Jeremy says he’s not sure if he’ll return to Alaska for good his profession is a passport to work anywhere around the world, “It’s a job you can go and do anywhere, it’s a job that’ll never go away, people will always need to eat and they’ll always need people to cook for them so at this point it’s wherever the wind takes us. My lovely girl friend Kim’s job also enables her to go anywhere so wherever the opportunity leads us, my boss encourages me to make a list of places and the work will take you wherever you want to go. Pretty much whenever you mention that you’re from the Le Cordon Bleu School the next thing you hear is ‘Hey do you need a job?’ I think working in France someday would have to be a lifetime experience,” he said.
Le Cordon Bleu applies its distinctive teaching methodology where students gain experience through hands-on learning. Le Cordon Bleu is considered to be the guardian of French culinary technique through its culinary programs that continue to preserve and pass on the mastery and appreciation of the culinary arts that have been the cornerstone of French gastronomy for over 500 years. For more information about Le Cordon Bleu go to www.cordonbleu.edu, to learn more about Kenai Catering www.kenaicatering.com or call 252-0404.