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Cordon bleu

1. A method of cooking veal, whereby an escalope is stuffed with ham and Gruyere cheese, and quickly fried.

2. During the reign of Louis X1V (the Sun King - 1638-1715), a court favourite, Madame de Mantenon, opened a school for orphaned daughters of titled army officers.

One subject taught was cookery, and the school in time became well-known for its cooking lessons. Since each graduate wore a blue ribbon as part of her costume, the "Cordon Bleu" became the emblem of a good cook.

When a school dedicated to "la haute cuisine" opened in Paris in 1895, it took the name Cordon Bleu.

In France, the "Grand Diplome" of the Cordon Bleu Cooking School is the highest credential a chef can have; even "Le Cértificat Elémentaire" commands respect. The school is at Rue Champ de Mars in Paris"s Seventh Arondissement; its classes are conducted entirely in French.

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