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Any French Pastry School (Chicago) Grads here?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I've been toying with the idea of attending pastry school for some time now, but after reading lots of info online and attending a few information sesssions at some of the culinary schools in my region I realize that I don't want to learn all about other desserts and puff pastries, I just want to do cake. Nothing else, just cake!

I know it would be great to have a well rounded pastry education, but that's not what I want. I already have a Bachelors in Business Administration so I'm considering the new program being introduced by the French Pastry School in Chicago. Nick Lodge mentioned it at a demo that I attended a few weeks ago. After doing my research, it really seems like the program for me. It's focused solely on cake decorating. There's no other program like it in the country. It's accelerated, only 4 months and it's $16000.

have any of you attended the French Pastry School? I'm thinking of flying out to chicago in January to tour the school and area and get more info. Any reviews or information on their programs would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
post #2 of 23
Oh my Lord....I am in love with the syllabus! WOW!

I'm going to keep watching this post.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
it really seems like an awesome program, but I'm trying to connect with some current students or alumni to help me gain a better understanding of the school as a whole.
post #4 of 23
I would love to go there. If your only interested in doing cakes don't waste the $$$$. Take a class from some of the bigger name decorators, and you'll be further ahead.

Remember though if you don't go you'll never know why your cake sank. icon_biggrin.gif

Mike
post #5 of 23
Hey there. I'm looking into the cake program there too! But having a hard time finding out much additional info about it aside from whats on their site. I guess its hard to find since the cake program is new. But lets keep in touch if we find anything else out.

I'm planning on going in March to see the school and interview. Are you planning on being in the class that starts in Aug?
post #6 of 23
Babeebk~ Have you enrolled yet? Or anyone else for that matter?

I'm considering as well but was hoping someone can fill us in on what's really happening there. You can do a tour but it's $75 for the tour????
post #7 of 23
Im going there in March for an interview and tour. I dont think they charge for the tour.. at least I hope not! They didnt say that to me. Maybe its for a class to give you an idea about the school?!? I dont know. I can let you know how it goes when Im back.
post #8 of 23
Very excited for you Tickled! I was just looking on thier website under the Come Visit tab. Kind of confusing, is it the tour or the French Pastry Experience that is $75.

Keep us updated!
post #9 of 23
Thanks! Im excited to go and see it. I actually live in NYC, so Im not sure how realistic it would be for me to pack up and go for 4 months- but I figured it was worth looking into. Always good to know options!

I will let you know for sure my thoughts on it. Let me know if you end up interviewing too.
post #10 of 23
I was going there next Saturday February 27th for The French Pastry Experience just to check out the facility. I am interest in the 16 week program in the AM. Quite a commute for me from the burbs, but its only four months. Let me know if any of you decide to go for that particular class. Of course you have to be accepted so none of us know for sure, but it would be nice to get to know some people that were signing up for the program and a fellow CC member. I had the pleasure of attending a demonstration in Libertyville with one of the instructors Chef Mark Seaman. A very laid back nice guy. Everything he teaches has a story behind it. You can tell he really enjoys his work.
post #11 of 23
Hey great. Lets keep in touch for sure. Im interviewing March 12... so I will let you know how it goes. I think if I get in I will likely do the afternoon class, but who knows.

Talk to you soon!
post #12 of 23
I was in search of culinary schools last year specifically baking and pastry arts. My first Choice was I.C.E in NY, and I still would attend if NY wasnt such a huge move for me amongst other reasons. But on my annual trip to Chicago, I stumbled across The French Pastry School the day before I left.

I toured the school on my last trip to Chicago in November 2009. The staff were warm and inviting. After several attempts to try and register online unsuccessfully, I called and they added me to the list the evening before. When I got there, they told me dont worry do the tour and worry about payment later. The tour was led by a current student, I was able to ask him questions from a student perspective and he was very happy with this school and the instructors. They showed us work done my Master Cake Artist Nicolas Lodge, the chocolate room with show pieces made by the students and the storage rooms with the various culinary tools.

After the tour, we sat in on a demonstration while being served croissants and coffee and pastries. At the end, we were able to sample the desserts from the presentation and received gift bags with fresh french bread and other goodies baked/made by the students.

We were able to speak with the staff, the Co-Owner Jacquy Pfeiffer, the financial aid counselor and the admissions rep and have all our questions answered. I was invited back to come and sit in during a class the following monday but my flight prevented me from doing so.

As of January 1st I decided to enroll in the program. The L'Art du Gateau (cake decorating prog) is new and they didnt have much info when I was there in November but I will be starting that course first come August 2010. I will then do the L'Art de la Patisserie starting January 2011.

I was highly impressed with the school, its location in the Loop and it helps that Chicago is one of my favorite cities. (I visit every year).

The financial aid counselor is great and patient! being out of school for over 10 yrs she explains everything, answeres my questions, assists in sending me scholarship info, and is very encouraging.

I will be moving from California to Chicago (family and all) this summer.

*I have come across a website though that kinda dampered my spirits in the culinary field but I still am determined, if you want you can read the reality of culinary and not the sugar coated culinary we are fed through TV! http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/blog/ask-a-chef/cooking-school-is-not-for-everyone/ *

actually his whole site is good and informative www.reluctantgourmet.com

so if you have any questions, you can email me directly jasara@ymail.com

hth!

~ www.adayinthelifeofjasara.blogspot.com
I've learned that making a living, isn't the same thing as making a life.
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I've learned that making a living, isn't the same thing as making a life.
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post #13 of 23
Thanks Jasara.. good insight. Maybe we will meet in Aug. Like you, I dont live in Chicago.. I actually live in NYC and toyed with the ICE program... But what appeals to me about the Chicago program is that its just about cakes... nothing else.

So my dilema is, do I uproot myself and husband for 4 months to bein Chicago when there are very good pastry schools here in NYC... just not one that focuses 100% on cake.

I figure I will make my decision when I see the school in March.

Thanks for your input and the very REAL article!
post #14 of 23
No problem! Better to be informed than to go into it blindly!

Yes maybe we will be classmates! I too was impressed that it was a dedicated pastry art school. The fact that Nicolas Lodge teaches there was even more of a bonus!

But do visit the school, ask questions and then debate on the pros and cons. I have 3 boys and my husband im moving and it was a big decision but they all support the move.

Good Luck and let me know how it all goes!

~Jasara
I've learned that making a living, isn't the same thing as making a life.
Reply
I've learned that making a living, isn't the same thing as making a life.
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post #15 of 23
Wow, a whole family to move! My husband works from home and can easily work anywhere there is internet connection... and we have a dog. Much easier to transplant than kids! Good luck with it and who knows, maybe we will be classmates!

Lets keep in touch!
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