Duration/Cost: 3 days/$800
Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy
offers intense practical and theoretical
courses on chocolate molding, enrobing
and sculpting, decorating and flavoring.
Under Jerome Landrieu’s direction, pastry
chefs, both well-established and relatively
new to the field, have the opportunity to
learn in a “dream kitchen” environment,
fully stocked and state-of-the-art.
THE CULINARY INSTITUTE
OF AMERICA (CIA)
Hyde Park, N.Y.; San Antonio;
St. Helena, Calif.
Duration/Cost: 2-4 half-days/$500-$945
The CIA offers a roster of classes on subjects
ranging from professional development for
educators to chocolates and confections and
modern plated-dessert techniques.
Acclaimed pastry chef Stephane Treand
demonstrates for a class in PreGel
Training Center’s 5-Star Pastry series.
“We should always keep in mind that our
daily creations are not meant to impress
other chefs, but are meant to satisfy the
end consumer, the customer,” Landrieu
says. “In my opinion, practitioners in the
field need to focus on preserving the
original flavors of ingredients and to craft
creations that are simple, accessible and
understandable for the end consumer.
Duration/Cost: 2 days/$400
THE FRENCH PASTRY SCHOOL
Duration/Cost: 3-4 days/$525-$1,200
A broad program of continuing education
offerings is available at The French Pastry
School. “Participants in our programs get
the benefit of working with world-champion
pastry chefs, such as Pierre Zimmermann,
a fourth-generation baker from Alsace,
France, who tells it like it is,” says school
founder Jacquy Pfeiffer.
“We don't pretend to reinvent chocolate
bonbons. Instead, we want to make sure
people know what they’re tasting, and,
more importantly, what the process was to
create this bonbon, all the while, of course,
maintaining consistency in processes,
a high level of quality ingredients and
reliably reproducible technique.”
Jam-packed classes are offered at a
changing roster of venues by Swiss
company Felchlin’s corporate pastry chef
Anil Rohira. His “Chocolate Passion” class
focuses on molded pralines, ganaches,
entremets, petits gateaux, macaroons and
small chocolate centerpiece amenities.
Opposite: Master sugar artist Ewald Notter
presents classes on a wide variety of
subjects that feature hands-on production
with a low student-to-teacher ratio.
Under the aegis of Swiss Chalet Fine Foods,
guest chefs, including Stéphane Glacier, who
was awarded the 2000 Meilleurs Ouvriers
de France, share their knowledge. Recently
offered by Glacier was a trend-driven class
on “Tartes, Gouters and Entremets,” which
introduced students to a universe of ideas
and techniques suited to dessert buffets.
“We’re not shy at telling students that the
world of pastry and confection-making is hard
work, not like what is depicted on food shows
on TV,” Pfeiffer says. “It’s a noble profession,
and in a small class—in many cases devoted
to a specific, narrowly focused subject—
students get to experience that intensity.
Participants in the class, many of whom
come from prestigious hotel properties, can
become more of an expert in one area and
bring that expertise back to their job sites.”