April 4th is National Cordon Bleu Day. Le Cordon Bleu (French for “The Blue Ribbon”) is the world’s largest school for hospitality education, for both cooks, service and management personnel. Originating in France, it now has 35 schools on five continents.
The inspiration for the school began in 1578, with a group of French knights called L’Ordre des Chevaliers du Saint Esprit. Each member wore the Cross of the Holy Spirit, which hung from a blue ribbon.
The knights became known for extravagant and luxurious banquets, known as “cordons bleus.” The order closed with the French Revolution. In the late 19th century, the name was revived by a French culinary magazine, La Cuisinière Cordon Bleu. It offered lessons by some of the best chefs in France, which eventually grew to become a cooking school. Le Cordon Bleu cooking school opened in Paris in 1895 and became one of the finest cooking schools in the world.
Recipes for Chicken Cordon Bleu and Veal Cordon Bleu emerged: chicken breasts or veal slices sandwiched with ham and Gruyère cheese, dipped in an egg mixture, rolled with bread crumbs and baked or sautéed.
Here’s a recipe for Veal Cordon Bleu:
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