The French Pastry School (FPS) at City Colleges of Chicago is adding 11,000 sq. ft., doubling its size. The additions include a hands-on teaching kitchen, two theater-style kitchens, a research and development center and administrative offices. The expansion will facilitate the addition of a new program, L’Art du Gâteau–The Professional Cake Decorating and Baking Program, which will begin Aug. 30, 2010. Applications to the program will be accepted beginning Aug. 1, 2009.
The new 16-week program will be taught by internationally renowned master chef instructors, including Sébastien Canonne, M.O.F.; Jacquy Pfeiffer; Nicholas Lodge; John Kraus and Laura Ragano. The full-time certificate program is accredited by the Illinois Community College Board and designed to meet the needs of students who want to specialize in the art of cake baking and decorating. This unique, hands-on course will focus on all aspects of creating wedding, celebration and specialty cakes as well as logistical, financial and legal aspects of a cake business. Topics will include a variety of cake decorating, baking and construction methods; flavor and texture profiles; gum paste, buttercream and royal icing decorations; icing, rolled fondant and buttercream; mould-making; airbrushing techniques; and modeling, sculpted cakes and 3-D figures. Traditional, classic British methods and innovative, modern French decorating styles are among the techniques that will be taught. Students also will learn chocolate and sugar decoration work.
“There is no program anywhere in the world that offers all the elements of cake baking, taste profiles, cake decoration and design for the wedding and specialty cake industry,” said master cake artist Chef Nicholas Lodge, one of the program’s instructors. “There is a huge need for a program of this caliber. Students will have a wealth of information that will enable them to successfully set up a wedding cake business. It’s so exciting to be part of a program like this because people really benefit from it.”
Financial aid, career counseling and continued personal attention to students’ professional goals will be available. All topics in the L’Art du Gâteau will be new and in addition to FPS's current, full-time 24-week program, L’Art de la Pâtisserie–The Professional Pastry and Baking Program and the continuing education courses, three- to five-day courses for professionals and food enthusiasts. Details on all programs can be found at www.frenchpastryschool.com.
“All of the new program’s components will allow the students to succeed in the cake business and set them apart from the competition,” said Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-owner and co-founder of the FPS. “The mentorship between students and experts with decades of experience will be vital to their learning and ultimately, their success.”