Article: The French Pastry School celebrates 20 years and salutes Chef Sebastien Canonne, M.O.F., knighted in the Order of the Legion of Honor | The French Pastry School

Article: The French Pastry School celebrates 20 years and salutes Chef Sebastien Canonne, M.O.F., knighted in the Order of the Legion of Honor

The French Pastry School celebrates 20 years and salutes Chef Sebastien Canonne, M.O.F., knighted in the Order of the Legion of Honor
The French Pastry School |
September 1, 2015

On Monday, August 24th, 2015, The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College at City Colleges of Chicago hosted sponsors, colleagues, industry associates and dignitaries in a special celebration commemorating the 20th anniversary of the The French Pastry School and honoring Chef Sébastien Canonne, M.O.F., knighted in the prestigious Order of the Legion of Honor. The evening began with a reception featuring sweet and savory samplings from FPS friends and graduates.  Guests were treated to delicious alumni-prepared treats like raspberry and pistachio bonbons and cocktail-inspired macarons as well as savory creations like crab bruschetta and shrimp with black truffle by award-winning Chicago chefs showcasing their talents.

Honored guests in attendance were Susan Morrison, the Executive Pastry Chef at the White House; Susana Mendoza, the Chicago City Clerk; Vincent Floreani, the Consul General of France in Chicago; Jean-Jacques Dietrich, the Honorary President of Académie Culinaire de France; Philippe Urraca, the President of Meilleurs Ouvrier de France and Hervé de la Vauvre, the President of the Alliance Française de Chicago.  
White House Executive Pastry Chef Susan Morrison with Chefs Jacquy and Sebastien; Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza and David Szostak

Vincent Floreani, Consul General of France in Chicago, welcomed the crowd of over 350 guests and congratulated Chef Jacquy and Chef Sébastien on their success. “The French Pastry School not only contributes greatly to the objectives of the City of Chicago and of the State of Illinois in terms of education and business development, but the school and the chefs also help me in one of my priorities to further the links and mutual understanding between France and the U.S.  What you are showing and spreading is French traditions in food and French entrepreneurship at its best.”   In the last 20 years, over 100 graduates of The French Pastry School have opened businesses both locally and abroad. Many of those graduates were present at the event to honor their mentors.


Consul General of France in Chicago Vincent Floreani

Jean-Jacques Dietrich, Honorary President of Academie Culinaire de France and Philippe Urraca, President of Meilleurs Ouvrier de France also addressed the guests, underscoring how the chef’s dedication, knowledge and meticulous instruction continue to turn out the best pastry professionals in the business.  As Dietrich shared, “Chefs, you are men of conviction, you have always worked in favor of our products, our savoir-faire, our profession and our country, and you are both  praiseworthy ambassadors of our culture.”


Honorary President of Academie Culinaire de France Jean-Jacques Dietrich ; Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer with President of Meilleur Ouvriers de France Patisserie, Philippe Urraca

The evening culminated with Worldwide President & CEO at Griffith Laboratories and President of the Alliance Française de Chicago, Hervé de la Vauvre, presenting the Legion of Honor to Chef Sébastien, bestowing him a 'Chevalier dans l'Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur.' De la Vauvre spoke about the history of the Legion of Honor and the nobility and distinction associated with the award. The Legion of Honor was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to recognize outstanding accomplishments of service. This order of merit is the highest decoration a civilian can receive from the country of France granted by the French President.  


Chef Sébastien Canonne receiving the Order of the Legion of Honor

“It is an incredible honor for me to accept his award, this recognition from my home country, and I will certainly do all I can to make sure it is not an achievement, but a continuation and a clear recognition of doing and share more with others,” expressed Chef Sebastien, accepting the colorful red-ribboned medal.

“You don’t get what you wish for, you get what you work for.”  Canonne added, a message that is made very clear to each student of The French Pastry School. Co-founder Jacquy Pfeiffer commented, “It is important that each of our students leaves us with a firm understanding of pastry of course, but more importantly, that they leave here with an understanding that attitude is everything. A positive attitude and a willingness to work harder than anyone else is what makes a chef, and what makes our graduates so successful.”

Chef Sébastien and Chef Jacquy closed the celebration by expressing their heartfelt thanks to the long list of mentors, friends, the city of Chicago and colleagues who have supported the school and its mission to achieve excellence in the art of French pastry.

Thank you to the generous chef participants of the evening. Greg Biggers of Café des Architectes; Andrea Bonitatibus of GT Fish & Oyster; Jose Castellanos of Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy™; David de Quay of de Quay; Meg Galus of BOKA and Swift & Sons; Scott Green of The Langham, Chicago; Gina Hartwig of Lovely, A Bake Shop; Joshua Johnson of The American Club Resort; Elizabeth Madden of Rare Bird Preserves; Greg Mosko of NoMi, Park Hyatt Chicago; Carrie Nahabedian of NAHA; Yves Roubaud of Shaw’s Crab House; Daniel Rowe of Hinton Cannery; Adriana Saldaña-Meadath of Flùr; Paul Virant of Perennial Virant and Vie and Rieko Wada of Chocolatines.