About our Faculty and Administrative Staff

 

  1. Who can attend The French Pastry School? 
    There are no background requirements for becoming a great baker. That fact is reflected in the diverse group that makes up our student body: some have culinary experience; over half are career changers. We have admitted lawyers, actors, cooks, police officers, students, bus drivers, chefs, consultants, and homemakers.  All students are required to submit a high school or GED transcript upon applying; from there, we mold your raw talent and drive. Your selection is driven by your desire to learn the venerable art of French pastry with some of the finest chefs in the world.  
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  2. Do you need experience in the food industry in order to apply? 
    No experience in the food industry is required to apply for our full-time program.  No matter your experience level, the chef instructors at The French Pastry School will start from the basics and you will continue to grow throughout the programs.  Half of our students are career changers who are starting to pursue their second calling in life or recently graduated college of high school students looking to pursue their first.  This creates a dynamic group of students ranging in age, experience, and social background.  
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  3. When was the school founded?
    The French Pastry School was founded by Chefs Jacquy Pfeiffer and Sébastien Canonne, M.O.F. in 1995 as a resource for intensive pastry education. 
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  4. Where is the school located?  Are there other locations?
    The French Pastry School is located in the heart of downtown Chicago (226 W Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL, 60606) across the street from one of Chicago’s most iconic buildings, The Willis Tower (formerly The Sears Tower).  This is The French Pastry School’s only location but our chef instructors frequently travel all over the world to teach brief seminars at other internationally-recognized institutions.
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  5. Where do I park when visiting the school?
    The French Pastry School, located at 226 West Jackson Boulevard, on the northeast corner of Jackson and Franklin, is conveniently situated near a parking garage that provides a discount to our visitors.
    Traders Self-Park at 326 South Wells Street is less than a block from the school. There are entrances to this garage from Wells (just south of Jackson), Van Buren (in between Wells and Franklin) and Franklin (just south of Jackson). See map.  Day-long parking is normally $18 to $23 per day, but with the school discount, visitors pay $15 a day (up to 12-hour period) and $7 on evenings and weekends (after 3:00pm M-F and all day weekends). Contact us to learn how to obtain the required pass for your discount.
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  6. When can I come for a tour The French Pastry School?
    Please contact an admissions representative at admissions@frenchpastryschool.com in order to schedule a weekday tour or inquire about other opportunities.  We recommend visiting during the business week (Monday – Friday) either during the morning or early afternoon so you can observe students in class and meet our chef instructors.
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  7. In the program, how much time is spent in the kitchen, and how much time in the classroom?
    Over 90% of the course is spent in the kitchen.  We believe in teaching most of the theory in the kitchen, where the chefs demonstrate, tell stories and show you examples of success and failure.
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  8. What times are the courses taught? Are there any exceptions?  
    L’Art de la Boulangerie students will attend class from 1:15pm to 9:15pm with a brief break for lunch. 
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  9. What does a typical day at The French Pastry School look like?
    The class begins with mise en place, a French term meaning to prepare for cooking. You will scale ingredients for the day; then, the first demonstration begins, after which you go back to your station and make product for the day. The chef instructor and chef assistant are always on hand to help you. During the class you may observe up to 2-3 demonstrations and make a range of products.
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  10. How many students are in a class?
    There is a maximum of 18 students in each class.  The Chef Instructor and Intern Assistant will always be in the classroom to offer supervised instruction and answer your questions, respectively.  This class size allows our students to get a feel for what it’s like to work as a team in a professional kitchen but remains small enough to also give them access to one-on-one learning experiences with the Chef Instructors.
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  11. Do you have to share equipment with other students?
    Our students work in pairs. Each pair has a KitchenAid mixer, Spring induction stove and a range of small equipment. We have no shortage of equipment to produce your breads and related products. Our teaching kitchens and educational facilities are expertly designed specifically for the art, science, technique and method dedicated to the pastry profession. We offer our instructors great autonomy in their use of top-of-the-line ingredients as they share their knowledge with our students who, in turn, have the rare ability to practice the craft without limitation.
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  12. What do I learn in each program?  
    Please see the corresponding syllabus for L’Art de la Boulangerie
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  13. What are the total tuition costs?
    Tuition, books and course materials, three full uniforms, complete professional pastry tool kit, all premium ingredients, and use of state-of-the-art equipment. There are no additional fees upon registration confirmation. The application/program petition fee is applied toward the total tuition payment. Admissions are conducted on a rolling basis, and classes fill quickly, so it is in your best interest to apply early to ensure your space in the desired session. Total tuition for L’Art de la Boulangerie is $10,600.
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  14. What does the tuition include?
    Tuition includes the application fee, deposit, a sanitation certification course, all ingredients and equipment to use while at school as well as uniforms, toolkit and textbooks for you to keep.  The main expenses outside of tuition that you would be responsible for are room and board and your own kitchen safe shoes (we recommend Mozo brand shoes). 
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  15. Do you offer Federal Financial Aid and/or scholarships?  
    Currently, there is no Federal Financial Aid available for L’Art de la Boulangerie but we are happy to discuss other funding options with you. 
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  16. Do you accept international students?
    L’Art de la Boulangerie is presently not accepting international students.  For additional information please Contact Us.
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  17. Does The French Pastry School provide housing for students?
    The French Pastry School does not maintain a dormitory for its students.  We are, however, happy to guide you towards comfortable and affordable choices.  You can begin looking at the Living in Chicago portion of our website.  If you have questions about neighborhoods in Chicago, please contact one of our Admissions Team members, all of whom are very familiar with the city.
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  18. Why do you need my high school transcript or GED Transcript?
    All students of The French Pastry School must have completed a high school education or its equivalent in order to be considered for acceptance.  We need your high school transcript in order to register you as a student.  We use it purely for registration purposes; your high school grades are not brought into consideration during the application process.
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  19. Can I work while attending The French Pastry School?
    While we encourage working during the program to gain experience in the field, all students must assess their individual capacity for extra physical and/or mental activity. Students must ensure that working will not negatively impact their performance as students.
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  20. Does The French Pastry School offer career counseling?
    The faculty, career counselor, and administrative team build relationships with each student and offer in-depth assistance with career planning. We partner with our students to target employers, provide introductions, or offer advice to start a business. Even after you leave, these relationships continue as we provide career counseling and advice when you seek it. Using our network and experience to assist our students and help them reach their aspirations is important to us.
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  21. What careers are available in baking after I graduate from the program?
    The French Pastry School offers extensive career education as a part of our curriculum.  There are many career directions that our graduates have taken: working in restaurants, catering companies, hotels, bakeries, food styling, food writing, food sales, teaching, research and development, country clubs, resorts, cruise ships, new business ventures, among others.
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  22. What is the job placement rate for graduates?
    Please see The French Pastry School’s electronic Course Catalog under the section titled “Student Placement Data” for the most up-to-date job placement statistics.  You can find the most recent course catalogs on the L’Art de la Boulangerie page.   
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  23. How do students get experience outside of class?
    Each student is encouraged to get as much experience outside of the class as possible; this can be accomplished in several ways.  We recommend that our students start with stages – job-shadows in a professional kitchen during which you will get valuable hands-on experience and exposure to the industry.  We provide students with over 700 establishments and contacts to get started.   We also offer several volunteer opportunities at various events throughout the pastry and bread community.
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