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French Pastry School Class


binitahp
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I have registered at the French Pastry School in Chicago for one of their continuing education courses "Pastry Camp" next week. Just wondering if anyone has taken one of their classes and what their experience was. I'm really excited about the class, but a little nervous as well since I'm a home baker with no profressional training.

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I have registered at the French Pastry School in Chicago for one of their continuing education courses "Pastry Camp" next week.  Just wondering if anyone has taken one of their classes and what their experience was.  I'm really excited about the class, but a little nervous as well since I'm a home baker with no profressional training.

I took Norman Love's "Entremets, Petits Gateaux & Chocolate Decor" class back in fall 2007 and LOVED it. I'm not a pro, either, just a very enthusiastic amateur. I spoke with Chef Love before registering to get a sense of whether it would be a good fit. It was challenging, but not too challenging.

That said, I think a lot depends on the instructor. (The facility and staff are of course amazing.)

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I noticed on the website that the Pastry Camp is tailored for food enthusiasts, not pros so I would think you're OK.

I would be really curious about how it goes for you. I've thought about taking the same course but couldn't get the schedule to work. Also thought it might be a bit too basic for me, but not sure if I would be qualified for the next level up.

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Ruth - thank you for your input. The Norman Love class you took sounds wonderful, as do the entremets on your web-site! It's good to hear that another egulleteer has taken a class there and enjoyed it.

Rickster - I will post and let you know my experience if you'd like. The class is indeed designated for food enthusiasts and like you I've wondered whether it would be too basic for me. I've made most of the desserts they've described and more, but still hope to come away with new tips and techniques (plus it's a nice excuse to enjoy downtown Chicago for a week). They offer other classes which seem more intriguing but they are designated for professionals.

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The school is very well equipped and professionally run. I believe that even if you have made most of the items which you will be preparing in the class, you'll definitely learn better, faster and cleaner methods. Also, while I'm not 100% sure on this, you'll probably get a little more background on the why's and how's. A lot of fairly adept home bakers sort of work using a hit or miss method without really understanding the science behind the baking. When you watch a professional (and please come prepared with a lot of questions) and listen to their explanations, you might learn a little more and your next attempts will probably be improved by your new found understanding.

Everyone's experience will be different in that environment. There will definitely be people of all levels taking the course, you have to sort of adjust yourself to that and keep your eyes and ears open. You'll probably be able to see other things going on in the background of the school (Ask for a full tour of the "campus"!) that might interest you for next time.

It will be great to hear about your particular experience. Bring a camera, sometimes notes aren't enough to remind you how to do something.

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I have registered at the French Pastry School in Chicago for one of their continuing education courses "Pastry Camp" next week.  Just wondering if anyone has taken one of their classes and what their experience was.  I'm really excited about the class, but a little nervous as well since I'm a home baker with no profressional training.

The culinary program at Schoolcraft College offers a continuing ed "Pastry Boot Camp". This is a 4 consecutive evenings course taught by a certified master pastry chef. Great facilities. They're in Livonia, outside of Detroit.

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alanamoana - I will remember your advice about asking lots of questions, taking photos along with detailed notes, and keeping my eyes and ears open. Asking for a tour of the facility is also a great idea!

Ruth - Thank you for the link to the post about the Norman Love class. It was a good way to find out what to expect from a class there.

GaryK - I will check out Schoolcraft College for future pastry endeavors. Thanks for the information.

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