Courting Le Cordon Bleu Love, Laughter and Tears in Paris at the World’s Most Famous Cooking School

Presented by
Kathleen Flinn
Author, “The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry”
(Soon to be a movie!)

Podcast courtesy of WBEZ’s Chicago Amplified

Come join us to learn about the history of the venerated Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and about one student’s personal history at this Paris culinary icon. Kathleen Flinn was a 36-year-old middle manager trapped on the corporate ladder–until her boss eliminated her job. Instead of sulking, she took the opportunity to check out of the rat race–cashing in her savings, moving to Paris, and landing a spot at THE cooking school of cooking schools. Kathleen will recount the history of the fabled institution (Julia Child was also among the browbeaten graduates), and will tell us about her own struggles in a stew of hot-tempered chefs, competitive classmates, her own “wrtechedly inadequate” French–and how she mastered the basics of French cuisine. Her story is filled with sensual details of the markets and avenues of Paris. Kathleen will sign copies of her food memoir, with all profits funding the Culinary Historians of Chicago. A sampling of one of her favorite recipes will be served.


Kathleen Flinn has been a writer and journalist for 20 years. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, USA Weekend, and Smithsonian, among many other publications. She divides her time between Seattle, WA, and Anna Maria Island, FL.

Program hosted at Chicago History Museum.