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Cooking in Cannes

POSTED: Friday, March 20, 2009 - 6:34pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:58pm

The Louisiana Culinary Institute has more than just a new look and a new location. Our Kianga Kelley joined Mayor Kip Holden and other special guests as they toured the new multi-million dollar facility.

After months of anticipation, the doors of the new Louisiana culinary institute are finally open. New Orleans Chef Chuck Subra says, “It’s a beautiful building, a beautiful kitchen, everything, great learning.” The 29,000 square foot facility features test kitchens, a baking lab, and seven classrooms. There’s even an herbal and citrus garden planted outside of the building.

Keith Rush, L.C.I. Owner says, “We’ve been here approximately two weeks; construction is still ongoing, and hopefully we’ll be completed and have landscaping in within the next 60 days.” To help celebrate the state’s largest private chef training program’s opening, the institute invited several guests including Mayor Kip Holden to help judge the meals from the final two contestants for the school’s Race for the Cannes Competition, which earns one lucky student a spot as an intern during the world renowned Cannes Film Festival in France.

Celest Gill of Southside Gardens Retirement says, “This makes me want to come back to school and do it all over again.” Remember senior Leann Willingham? We first met her last month during a preliminary round. She says, “I feel like I’ve already won because I got this far into the competition, and there was a lot of talent I had to beat to out to get here. They are going to have a really good opportunity; you know they can come here from around the states.”

But there can only be one winner and that person is senior Trip Illing. Illing says, “I feel fantastic, I don’t know I’m just going to stay in Europe, cook and learn for the next year.” It is a wonderful experience the school hopes to give another student next year.

In the next two months the institute will allow folks to come in for cooking classes. Trip Illing will be experiencing and cooking at the Cannes Film Festival May 13th through the 24th.