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L’Art de la Boulangerie Graduates Profit from Their Passion
The French Pastry School |
August 14, 2012
New Alumni of the Professional Bread Baking Course Take Pride in Their New Specialty

Chicago, Illinois (August 14, 2012) – The heady aroma of bread fresh from the oven heralded the graduation of L’Art de la Boulangerie, the Professional Bread Baking Course at The French Pastry School.  Fourteen students from around the country and world celebrated the conclusion of their eight week experience with a lively ceremony and impressive buffet of expertly-baked breads and breakfast pastries.  The festivities were joined by The French Pastry School’s guest speaker, Michael Garbin, Executive Chef of Union League Club of Chicago who imparted words of wisdom on the graduates about the realities and joys of working in the food industry with their newly-acquired, specialized knowledge.  The new graduates of L’Art de la Boulangerie will follow their predecessors by opening their own businesses and working in bakeries across the country.

The second session of L’Art de la Boulangerie course began in June 2012 with career changers, recent high school or college graduates, and alumni of The French Pastry School’s full-time certificate programs, L’Art de la Pâtisserie and L’Art du Gâteau looking to expand their skill set in the realm of artisanal baking.  After spending eight hours a day, five days a week mixing, shaping, proofing, scoring, and baking recipe after recipe, the diverse group of students developed dexterity working with all kinds of dough and turning it into flavorful finished products.  They were taught by experts who answered their questions at every turn: Chef Pierre Zimmermann, World Baking Champion and Dean of Baking at The French Pastry School; Chef Johnathan Dendauw, Master Baker; Chef Didier Rosada, Master Baker and Vice President of Operations at Uptown Bakers; and Jeffrey Hamelman, Master Baker and Director of King Arthur Flour Bakery.

Beyond the recipes, the students learned about the importance of maintaining artisanal principles.  The students learned how to develop natural starters, use organic flours, understand bread baking traditions from all over the world, and create depth of flavor through proper fermentation and baking methods, all while maintaining an organized and efficient production schedule.  “The point of being a baker is not to produce faster and cheaper,” explained Devin Davis, the Boulangerie student who spoke on behalf of his classmates. “It is to make the very best product that you feasibly can.  It’s not about taking unnecessary shortcuts, but holding yourself to a higher standard so people all around will respect what you do.”

Both Chef Garbin and Chef Zimmermann expanded on this sentiment by emphasizing the need to stand by what you love and believe in to be successful and fulfilled in a career in food service.  “We have all embarked on a profession that for the rest of our lives will make us proud, keep us passionate, and, more importantly, keep us employed,” Chef Zimmermann expanded.  “The craft you learned is good for life…Fifty years from now people will still crave and buy the same delicious breakfast pastries.  How many other industries can make that claim?”

Out of four basic ingredients – flour, water, salt, and yeast – students in the course will make a lifelong career for themselves.  Alumni of last year’s session have gone on to work in bakeries and open businesses.  Holly Loomis ’11 owns Boulangier Olivier in Hernando, Mississippi and Sean O’Mahony ’11 opened Breads on Oak in New Orleans, Louisiana this June.  Their classmate, Alice Park ’11, is in the process of starting her business, Park Baker & Sons in Los Angeles, California.

The next cohort of L’Art del a Boulangerie students will begin their own baking journey at The French Pastry School on June 17, 2013.  The school also looks forward to welcoming L’Art de la Pâtisserie and L’Art du Gâteau students who start class on January 7, 2013 and September 4, 2012, respectively.  The school is accepting applications for both programs.  For more information, please visit our website, www.frenchpastryschool.com or contact us by email at info@frenchpastryschool.com or by phone at 312.726.2419.

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