: | The French Pastry School


New Professionals are Welcomed to the Pastry Industry
The French Pastry School |
December 22, 2015
L’Art de la Pâtisserie & L’Art du Gâteau Students Graduate from The French Pastry School

On Friday, December 18, 2015, faculty and staff of The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College at City Colleges of Chicago, school sponsors, industry chefs, and friends and family congratulated the graduates of L’Art de la Pâtisserie – the 24-Week Baking and Pastry Program and L’Art du Gâteau – the 16-Week Cake Decorating and Baking Program.   The ceremony was held at the historic Union League Club of Chicago to honor the new alumni at the conclusion of their programs. The graduating class was made up of a diverse mix of students: career changers, recent college or high school graduates, and food industry professionals looking for further training.  Students came from South Africa, Switzerland, Columbia and Thailand and all over the United States to pursue a comprehensive education in baking and pastry arts. 


Their commencement speaker, Vincent Floreani, Consul General of France in Chicago, made sure the students understood the dedication required in this profession.  “Becoming a good pastry chef requires a lot of commitment. This is the commitment you have shown during your training here. I’m sure you will keep this commitment in your future career.”  Floreani started his accomplished career in 1999 with an assignment to the United Nations and has continued to serve and represent the country of France in various diplomatic roles throughout the world, including Kenya, Indonesia, London, Abu Dhabi, and now, Chicago. Most recently, Floreani spearheaded "à la carte Chicago," the first celebration of contemporary French Food, wine and art of living.  Floreani inspired the students to uphold the unique culture and craft of French pastry by offering these closing words to the graduates….“During the weeks and months you spent here, the French Pastry School chefs passed on to you a valuable know-how – “savoir faire”. This is the result of decades of practice and centuries of tradition. This savoir faire is an asset that will contribute to your future success. I’m convinced you value it. You now own part of this tradition. That makes you ambassadors of French pastry making and ambassadors of The French Pastry School. I have no doubt that, by your actions and your success, you will be great promoters of both.”

Following graduation, many of the new alumni will relocate across the country from Colorado to Florida to Pennsylvania, while others will stay in Chicago to work in pastry kitchens in highly regarded establishments like Sepia, Frontera Grill, Little Goat and Spiaggia. The student experiences and reflections from this term were related to the audience by representatives, selected by their peers, from each of the graduating classes. Lauren Ocello, Dana Lee and Holly Poe represented the L'Art de la Pâtisserie classes while Tiffany Dickerson spoke on behalf of the L’Art du Gâteau class.  Alexandria Waicosky represented the internship program.  Her father, Tom, first began by telling the audience about Alex’s drive and passion for baking and cooking from an early age.  Alex was born hearing impaired and tragically lost her mother when she was only four years old, but despite these setbacks, she never gave up on her dreams  Alex talked about how she pursued cooking as an elective in high school and continued to take her father’s advice and learn from the mentors he placed in her path.  Now having taken the Pastry and Bread programs and completing the internship, Alex is prepared to continue her pursuit for success. 

The ceremony was followed by a grand buffet at the school, showcasing the graduates’ newly acquired skills. Everyone partook in the sweet creations representing a culmination of the students’ intensive training. The grand buffet included breads, breakfast pastries, plated desserts, tarts, entremets, petits fours, chocolate, chocolate and sugar sculptures and a gallery of beautiful wedding cakes. 

The next cohort of L’Art de la Pâtisserie and L’Art du Gâteau students will begin their own pastry journeys at The French Pastry School on January 4, 2016. Be sure to follow their progress on our website and social media outlets. The school is accepting applications for the next sessions of both programs, which start in July and August, respectively. For more information about the programs and how to apply, please contact info@frenchpastryschool.com or call 312.726.2419.

To see more photos from the event, please go to our Facebook album.