The UMIH criticizes the positioning of the Paul Bocuse Institute – Le Journal des Entreprises
What is happening at the Institut Paul Bocuse? At the beginning of January, the UMIH, the main union of hotel and restaurant professionals, expressed its questions “about the objectives of the new governance” of the cooking school founded in 1990 in Écully, in western Lyon. , today chaired by Gilles Pélisson (CEO of TF1 until February 2023) and directed by Dominique Giraudier (former boss of the Flo group, which owns the Flo, Hippopotamus and Taverne de Maître Kanter breweries). The Institute, to which Paul Bocuse gave his name in 2002, trains 1,400 students each year, on 10 campuses located mainly abroad, in hotel and restaurant management professions. The “management” aspect of training has been strengthened in recent years.
A pedagogy out of step with the expectations of professionals
Problem, representatives of the sector are worried about this “new orientation”, which would not correspond “to the needs of professionals”. The UMIH calls on the management of the Institute to “promote teaching that takes into account the expectations of professionals in the sector, and preserves this French excellence, between tradition and innovation”.
“The Institute must remain the source of these promising young talents”, supports the starred chef Thierry Marx, who chairs the union at the national level. Thierry Fontaine, president of the UMIH du Rhône, explains: “Our sector, under high recruitment pressure, does not need an additional business school for future leaders. Training an elite, yes, but an elite of party leaders, of seconds, to respond to the reality on the ground and the expectations of business leaders.”
A commercial use of the name denounced
This position comes as the training establishment is still in conflict with Jérôme Bocuse. The son of the “pope of French gastronomy” has also criticized the school for several years for the evolution of its educational program. But above all, he disputes the use of his surname, which he describes as abusive.
The contract signed between “Monsieur Paul” and the Paul Bocuse Institute guarantees the right to use the Paul Bocuse name, provided that it is not for commercial purposes. What the chef and entrepreneur from Lyon disputes today. In particular, collaborations, on a commercial basis, between the Institute and Air France, Elior or the Institut de cancérologie de l’Ouest are denounced. In December 2022, Jérôme Bocuse also took legal action for misuse of the name “Paul Bocuse” by the school. The trial is expected to take place in 2023.