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Pastry schools


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#31 patsikes

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 09:28 AM

Hi Desiderio,

My wife will be doing the Pastry Arts program at Culinary School of the Rockies in October (as long as she get accepted).

I took a home class there a few years back. It was their Chocolate Extravaganza class. Three years later, we are one year into our own chocolate business and our next step is to open a chocolate café here in Fort Collins so one of us need some real pastry education.

My wife currently works at Whole Foods Market in the bakery and one of her co-workers went through the program and loved it.

We went to the open house they had two weeks ago and got to meet the staff and Chef Elizabeth the pastry instructor.

It does seem a little high, but wen you think about it, you are getting uniforms, books, knives, ingredients for 23 days, plus you put on a graduation pastry buffet for all your friends and family. Classes are limited to 12 with two instructors.

I don't know, my wife and I just get a good vibe from there.... Hope this helps.

Patrick
www.PSILoveYouChocolates.com

Edited by patsikes, 21 April 2006 - 09:31 AM.

Patrick Sikes

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PS I Love You Fine Chocolates

#32 Desiderio

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 10:25 AM

Hi Desiderio,

My wife will be doing the Pastry Arts program at Culinary School of the Rockies in October (as long as she get accepted).

I took a home class there a few years back.  It was their Chocolate Extravaganza class.  Three years later, we are one year into our own chocolate business and our next step is to open a chocolate café here in Fort Collins so one of us need some real pastry education.

My wife currently works at Whole Foods Market in the bakery and one of her co-workers went through the program and loved it.

We went to the open house they had two weeks ago and got to meet the staff and Chef Elizabeth the pastry instructor. 

It does seem a little high, but wen you think about it, you are getting uniforms, books, knives, ingredients for 23 days, plus you put on a graduation pastry buffet for all your friends and family.  Classes are limited to 12 with two instructors.

I don't know, my wife and I just get a good vibe from there....  Hope this helps.

Patrick
www.PSILoveYouChocolates.com

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Ohh thats great Patrick!!! You guys are just close to me ( well I am in Mead ).
I will give it a try and go myabe to one of their open house , leave my info to the web site for info I guess.
Will it be ok if I stop one of these days to visit you guys at your shop, I would love to see your place, I am dying to get out of my old job and get to the chocolate life ( not because I think I will get rich of course ) only because you know how it is , gotta follow your guts , I just love making chocolates.

Thank you so much for your fedback, I hope I will meet you guys soon then .

Vanessa :smile:
Vanessa

#33 patsikes

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 09:26 AM

Hey Vanessa,

It has been a busy week. We do not have a shop yet, just the website, some really great repeat customers, and wholesales to places like The Cupboard in Fort Collins.

We will be doing production this Saturday for Mother's Day if you want to stop by... Email me if you are interested.

Patrick
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A new chocolate review community

PS I Love You Fine Chocolates

#34 Desiderio

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 10:42 AM

Hey Vanessa,

It has been a busy week.  We do not have a shop yet, just the website, some really great repeat customers, and wholesales to places like The Cupboard in Fort Collins. 

We will be doing production this Saturday for Mother's Day if you want to stop by...  Email me if you are interested.

Patrick

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Thank you Patrick sorry I can immagine how buisy , I only do little production for few costumers at the moment and have a full time job like you guys , its hard to keep up :wacko: .
Thank you I will keep in touchh :smile:
Vanessa

#35 Debbie S

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 08:03 AM

I wanted to add that I took a Bread Techniques 5-day "vacation class" at the Culinary School of the Rockies a few years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed the class and learned so much. My instructor was Elizabeth Perreault who had worked as a pastry chef in a variety of restaurants in Boulder. We had about six students in the class. Other students had come from Michigan, Oklahoma and New Mexico and most had taken more than one class at the school. The people working at the school did seem very friendly. I am wondering if you could go over and talk to the teachers about your experience and plans for the future. They have a variety of different classes and programs and could recommend the right one for you. Another possibility is that in our breadmaking class we had a teacher assistant who took the class for free in exchange for helping the teacher find things and clean up. Maybe you could see if they still have this assistant program. I hope it works out well for you.

--Debbie S.

#36 Desiderio

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 02:56 PM

I wanted to add that I took a Bread Techniques 5-day "vacation class" at the Culinary School of the Rockies a few years ago.  I thoroughly enjoyed the class and learned so much.  My instructor was Elizabeth Perreault who had worked as a pastry chef in a variety of restaurants in Boulder.  We had about six students in the class.  Other students had come from Michigan, Oklahoma and New Mexico and most had taken more than one class at the school.  The people working at the school did seem very friendly.  I am wondering if you could go over and talk to the teachers about your experience and plans for the future.  They have a variety of different classes and programs and could recommend the right one for you.  Another possibility is that in our breadmaking class we had a teacher assistant who took the class for free in exchange for helping the teacher find things and clean up.  Maybe you could see if they still have this assistant program.  I hope it works out well for you.

--Debbie S.

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Thank you Debbie for you fed back . That actually sounds very very interesting, I probably will take few days off work in may , and I think that will be a good chance to go and talk to them see around and have a feeling for it.
Thank you :smile:
Vanessa

#37 aughmag

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 03:41 PM

Hello. I'm so pleased to have found egullet. I'm a new member just getting acquainted with the site. Partially inspired by Neil Robertson's amazing pastry pictures, I've applied to The French Pastry School in Chicago. This is a career switch for me so I'm going in mostly blind. If accepted, I'll have 6 months before the program begins. I would really appreciate any advice regarding preparation (reading, projects, etc.) Thanks so much!

#38 ChristopherMichael

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 04:39 PM

Get a job in a kitchen before you pay money for schooling in this field. You will find out before hand if you're cutout for the industry. I see a bunch of people spend a ton of money on school and then when they graduate and start working in a kitchen, they decide this isn't the career for them. Now they're 40k in debt with no job and a $600 monthly payment on schooling that they will never use.

So do yourself a favor and work in a kitchen before you spend thousands of dollars on schooling. If you have already worked in a kitchen, then get a job specifically for pastry. In other words, there's no better preparation than working in a professional kitchen.

#39 Tiny

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 04:40 PM

The best prep you can do in the next 6 months is to get a job in a pastry kitchen or bakery.....Pastry is a great field to get into if you are made for it. You need to know that it's nothing like TV, it is hard work, long hours, little pay and a lot of repitition. On the other hand it can be very creative and not much feels better than a customer telling you how much they enjoyed something you made. Desserts are a cause for celebration and as a pastry cook you get to be a part of that celebration, from a distance.

Good books to read are the CIA's baking and pastry book, bo friedberg's books, on food and cooking by harrold magee. Peter Grewling's book on chocolates and confections is AWESOME! Alton Brown's book on baking is good too.....Baking is a science and the more you know about the ingredients and what they do, the better.

#40 aughmag

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 04:46 PM

The best prep you can do in the next 6 months is to get a job in a pastry kitchen or bakery.....Pastry is a great field to get into if you are made for it. You need to know that it's nothing like TV, it is hard work, long hours, little pay and a lot of repitition. On the other hand it can be very creative and not much feels better than a customer telling you how much they enjoyed something you made. Desserts are a cause for celebration and as a pastry cook you get to be a part of that celebration, from a distance.

Good books to read are the CIA's baking and pastry book, bo friedberg's books, on food and cooking by harrold magee. Peter Grewling's book on chocolates and confections is AWESOME! Alton Brown's book on baking is good too.....Baking is a science and the more you know about the ingredients and what they do, the better.

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Thanks very much for the recommendations!

#41 alanamoana

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 08:25 PM

that would be Bo Friberg, Harold McGee and Peter Greweling...a little easier to search using the proper spellings

#42 reenicake

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 08:13 PM

I would really appreciate any advice regarding preparation (reading, projects, etc.)  Thanks so much!

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The best preparation you can have for professional pastry is to get a job or stage at the kind of place you really want to work at... not the corner bakery/cafe if you want to do four-star restaurant plated desserts, or the other way around.
Read, especially egullet, books (in addition to those mentioned, Becoming a Pastry Chef and Becoming a Chef) and blogs -- there are many people in this industry who are generous about sharing their current work and ideas. But given that, the most common irritating thing about students in pastry school (I know this because I teach at one) is that they think they know all about everything because they read about it. You actually have to do it (thus the recommendation to work also) to have questions or an opinion about it. sorry, personal opinion coming through.

#43 John DePaula

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 01:07 PM

Just FYI (old but relevant): 2 Portlanders file class-action suit against Western Culinary Institute
John DePaula
DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#44 DanM

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 02:38 PM

I went to culinary school last year and quickly discovered that the school is more interested in making a profit rather than educating students. The admissions standards were so low that several people in the class could not do basic arithmetic or follow simple instructions, but they passed them through based on effort, not on results. One of the chefs told me straight out that they give praise to students to boost their esteem even if the products were unacceptable. The director of education has a philosophy that everyone has the right to an education and to work in this industry. I told him to his face that he is naive and foolish. Granted, everyone should have access to an education, but that does not mean you have to educate everyone. By allowing the lowest levels into the school, he is lowering the standard of education for everyone. Just because I want to take courses this fall in Nutrition does not mean that I should be able to walk into Yale and start taking classes. I need to meet their standards first. Secondly, not everyone in the culinary industry needs an formal education. We still need busboys, dishwashers, and people to man the fryers at McDonalds.

Its needless to say that I felt that I did not get my money's worth going to Connecticut Culinary.

I recommend that you ask serious questions about their academic standards before selecting a school.

Dan
"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

#45 alanamoana

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 02:04 PM

Secondly, not everyone in the culinary industry needs an formal education. We still need busboys, dishwashers, and people to man the fryers at McDonalds.

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While I don't disagree with you about the quality of some students or the reasons for allowing them to attend school, I think Thomas Keller and any number of chefs would take offense at this considering they did not receive a "formal" education in the culinary arts. This argument is the dead horse that has been beaten over and over. Take what you can from your education and the situation and overlook those other students. Trust me when I say that very few employers that are hiring for entry level positions in kitchens are worried about where you got your education. They are much more concerned with how you actually work in a kitchen.

The assumption that the only positions available to people without a formal culinary education are dishwashers, busboys and McDonalds workers is ridiculous.

I just wonder what someone like Bill Gates could have done with his life had he actually finished attending Harvard... :wink:

Edited by alanamoana, 01 May 2009 - 02:05 PM.


#46 DanM

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 02:10 PM

Secondly, not everyone in the culinary industry needs an formal education. We still need busboys, dishwashers, and people to man the fryers at McDonalds.

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While I don't disagree with you about the quality of some students or the reasons for allowing them to attend school, I think Thomas Keller and any number of chefs would take offense at this considering they did not receive a "formal" education in the culinary arts. This argument is the dead horse that has been beaten over and over. Take what you can from your education and the situation and overlook those other students. Trust me when I say that very few employers that are hiring for entry level positions in kitchens are worried about where you got your education. They are much more concerned with how you actually work in a kitchen.

The assumption that the only positions available to people without a formal culinary education are dishwashers, busboys and McDonalds workers is ridiculous.

I just wonder what someone like Bill Gates could have done with his life had he actually finished attending Harvard... :wink:

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I'm sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I was busy with the JBF awards as a volunteer most of the weekend.

You are 1000% correct. I totally agree that a formal education is by no means a requirement to become a chef. An education by fire is often better than what is available in local culinary schools. Both of the chefs that I worked for this past weekend are field trained and respected enough to be recognized by the James Beard Foundation.

What I was trying to get at was that not everyone who wants to train as a chef, formal or otherwise, should. Schools should attempt to assess the kill level of applicants before admittance. Some of these applicants only have the skill level to be dishwashers, busboys, etc...

There was a student in my class who was segregated from everyone else and provided independent instruction due to poor skills and constant sanitation problems. They passed him through based on effort. The worst part of it is that the school knew full well of his skill level and sanitation problems because he already went through the ACAP program and was fired from his internship at the big mouse for sanitation problems.

Dan
"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

#47 John DePaula

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 07:12 PM

Hello.  I'm so pleased to have found egullet.  I'm a new member just getting acquainted with the site.  Partially inspired by Neil Robertson's amazing pastry pictures, I've applied to The French Pastry School in Chicago.  This is a career switch for me so I'm going in mostly blind.  If accepted, I'll have 6 months before the program begins.  I would really appreciate any advice regarding preparation (reading, projects, etc.)  Thanks so much!

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I cannot recommend highly enough the French Professional Pastry Series v1 - 3.
John DePaula
DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#48 gfron1

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 07:25 PM

John, I just want to clarify that you're talking about the books by Roland Bilheux and Alain Escoffier and not the Bo Friberg books.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#49 John DePaula

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 04:07 PM

John, I just want to clarify that you're talking about the books by Roland Bilheux and Alain Escoffier and not the Bo Friberg books.

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Yep, here's one: Doughs, Batters, and Meringues (French Professional Pastry Series)
John DePaula
DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#50 gfron1

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 05:35 PM

Thanks.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#51 gfron1

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 07:08 PM

I'm curious if anyone has plans on buying the series John mentions, or might have recently added it to their collection.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#52 chocolategirl

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 04:57 PM

Just found this new website of the this new pastry school in vancouver called Pastry Training Centre of Vancouver, pretty nice website www.vancouverpastryschool.com looks like a resonable alternative to those big cooking schools in Vancouver, good prices too. Their chef seams to be a very well rounded pastry chef with lots of experience in top hotels in Canada and Asia.

#53 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 09:10 PM

Just found this new website of the this new pastry school in vancouver called Pastry Training Centre of Vancouver, pretty nice website www.vancouverpastryschool.com looks like a resonable alternative to those big cooking schools in Vancouver, good prices too. Their chef seams to be a very well rounded pastry chef with lots of experience in top hotels in Canada and Asia.

Chef Marco is amazing and I'm so excited that he's back in Vancouver! I had the pleasure of taking a number of short courses with him a few years ago when he was at North West Culinary Academy of Vancouver. He's passionate, inspiring and very approachable. I can't wait to take another class and will drive 1-1/2 hours each way to attend.
Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden