ContactMessage BoardsLinks  Home  
Featured Chefs
Hywel Jones
Christophe Megel
Rob Feenie
Previously Featured Chefs
Gourmet Articles
Environmental Kitchen
Cookbook Reviews
Recipe File
The Wine Guy
Career Center
Ask An Expert
The French Pastry School
featured chefsthe french pastry schoolinterview

Tell us about the Schools programs.

The school runs three programs; The twenty four week pastry program focuses on teaching classic French methods, contemporary aesthetics, and the most cost effective techniques in the industry. From the ground up students are immersed in pastry industry fundamentals and groomed for culinary leadership.

Classes are small, never more than sixteen students, and offer personalized instruction. Our students enjoy intensive instruction in food technology, theory and the technique perfection with individualized chef-instructor attention. The philosophy of the French Pastry School is tohare knowledge and emphasize the latest food technology and simplified production methods. Courses stress cost-effective production methods, highest quality standards and anticipating future industry demands.

Lectures and hands-on courses cover all aspects of the pastry creation, design and production including baking theory, plated desserts, French cakes and tarts, ice creams and sorbets, chocolate work and wedding cakes.

In the second program we invite guest chefs to come to the school and host hands on seminars.

And finally our corporate training program where we design a program directly to the corporations needs. Most recently we ran a program with Ritz Carlton Hotels.

What is the cost of the twenty four week program?

$13,000. This includes uniforms and knives, so that every student has the same equipment.

How do you decide on the subject matter for the program? Are culinary trends factors?

The schools twenty four week program is based on the culinary foundations of the pastry kitchen. Presentation has changed but the skills and techniques remain as valid now as they were twenty years ago.

What is the best piece of equipment you have at the school?

The Koma refrigeration is great. In a four door unit you can fit the same amount of product as a walk-in cooler. The units hold the temperature and if there is a dramatic change in temperature we receive a phone call from Holland (where the company is based) informing us. We then check the unit, it could be that the door has just been left open or that there is a problem with the unit. The units run off separate compressors so there is very little chance of us losing all of our refrigeration. The units have a series of control panels each of which is coded. Koma can tell us which panel is causing us a problem and ship us a new one overnight. We can quite often fix the problem ourselves.

We also have a Koma prover. This can freeze, refrigerate and prove doughs. You can also set it up to turn on the oven in the middle of the night, so when the baker arrives the bread is proved and the oven is ready to go. In a conventional operation this would save you a lot of money.

How does the decision process work between you and Jacquy?

The decision process works very well, we both have our strengths and we allow one another to capitalize on them.

Do you miss working in Hotels?

I miss the buzz and the people but not the B.S

Who are your backers for the school?

The city of Chicago are the backers. The gave us the kitchen space, and some of the equipment. The rest of the equipment was donated. The city wants to develop a pastry program and it is part of the deal that we will help set it up.

What makes a great Executive Chef?

A great chef loves what he or she does and loves to teach.

What should the relationship be between the Pastry Chef and Executive Chef?

The Chef and the Pastry Chef should both be committed 100%. They should spend time together and their food should make sense together.

What was better, winning at Beaver Creek, or France winning the Euro 2000 Soccer competition?

Nothing is better than Cash.......

Back to Top
Meet Jacquy Pfeiffer
Meet Sebastien Canonne
Pistachio Ice Cream
Copyright © 2008