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