Today, many pastry chef schools provide high-quality instruction and hands-on training. Each has the power to change you into the pastry chef you’ve always wanted to be. There are, nevertheless, a select few top-notch pastry chef schools. These universities are renowned for their success in giving each culinary student an outstanding education. Additionally, if you graduated from a reputable pastry chef school, your chances of finding a career in the culinary industry increase.
Traditional culinary disciplines such as baking and pastry go hand in hand. Thus, you often choose one to specialize in. A modern pastry maverick today might design chocolate sculptures for arena competitions or bake gourmet bread in a restaurant kitchen. The pastry chef position is no longer hidden in a dingy kitchen rear corner.
A professional specializing in desserts, including cakes, cookies, and many other pastries, is known as a pastry chef. The paramount duty is to bake, prepare, or pair baked goods with orders, menus, hot or cold beverages, or even wines suggested by the head chef if they work in a fine dining establishment.
How to Become Pastry Chef?
An experienced pastry chef is essential. The standard entry qualification for this line of work is often a high school diploma or equivalent, yet it is necessary to work to develop experience. The majority begin in various kitchen professions and progress as they acquire further on-the-job training from bakers or other pastry makers they may work with.
You can also enroll in a technical school or community college to learn about nutrition, fundamental math, and food safety while earning credentials. Some colleges even offer specific pastry-focused degrees that include a lengthy apprenticeship.
Best Cooking School for Pastry Chef
Here are some of the best pastry cooking schools:
Melissa Coppel Chocolate and Pastry School
Location: 9001 West Sahara Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada 89117
The School was established in 2016 by renowned chocolatier Melissa Coppel with the mission to host only the best professionals in the world, to keep the course offerings evolving, and to make students feel at home with a welcoming staff that welcomes everyone with excitement, homemade food, and empowering energy because they believe that real learning only occurs in a relaxed environment.
Pastry Program: The intensive 2- to 8-day hands-on classes at Melissa Coppel Chocolate and Pastry School cover a wide range of topics, including pastry, ice cream, gelato, healthy baking, viennoiserie, plated desserts, and sugar showpieces. They also cover all facets of chocolate making, including bean to bar, enrobing, spraying, ganache formulation, and panning. For individuals genuinely interested in delving deep into the world of chocolate, the School will begin offering lengthier programs in 2021.
Location: Via Tagliamento 78. Pianiga (Venezia)
It is advertised as a hub for testing and studying novel pastry design techniques, but it has two classes. The main one has 16 “stalls” or fully furnished work rooms for practice. The second, which can accommodate 24 people, includes demonstrations and classes for experts and beginners given by many other top pastry chefs, including Frank Haasnoot, Claire Damon, Philippe Conticcini, and Nina Tarasova, and Cécile Farkas.
Pastry Program: Three months of intensive training with world-class pastry chefs are required for the Master of Pastry Innovation degree. This course covers a variety of desserts, including panettones, macarons, petits gâteaux, and choux pastry—Workshops for both experts and beginners.
Location: Via Giuseppe Lazzarin 68 / C. Conegliano (Treviso). Italy
Leonardo Di Carlo established Pastry Concept in 2015, a training center, to continue formula research and knowledge sharing with all those professionals who want to improve their performance and grow their business. Leonardo has more than 25 years of experience in the field of pastry and has spent more than 20 years traveling the world teaching in companies and international schools.
His partner Michela Ballina, who is in charge of management, sales, and marketing, is in charge of directing and working behind the scenes. Leonardo offers classes in a state-of-the-art classroom to small groups of no more than 12 pupils to impart his enthusiasm for the industry directly.
Pastry Program: In addition to scientific pastry courses where you may experiment with the ingredients and their properties and pick up fundamental physics and chemistry concepts along the way, Pastry Concept also offers classes for pastry professionals who wish to broaden, share, and update their knowledge. Numerous consultation services are also provided.
Location: Plaça Pons i Clerch, 2. Barcelona (Spain)
To provide the most effective instruction possible to aspiring pastry cooks, the 100-year-old Escuela de Pastelera del Gremio de Barcelona established a pastry school in 1975. With theoretical-practical classes, the methodology is taught to the more than 400 students who enter its classrooms each year. Courses that help with presenting and understanding pastry goods are also frequently held. Olivier Fernández is in charge of the faculty, which comprises highly regarded specialists.
- Three courses per year (9 months) + 1 additional year to obtain the Higher Diploma in confectionery. The annual courses make up a four-year training itinerary in which display case pastry is made, with decorative pieces and advanced formulations. The content is exclusively traditional artisan pastry, with theoretical and practical subjects such as pastries, tea pastries, puff pastry initiation, and chocolate.
- The Culinary Institute of America in New York and the University of Puebla UPAEP collaborate with teachers from internationally renowned chefs to teach the intensive three-week master’s degree that has been prepared for years and is dedicated to chocolate, the main ingredient in pastry. Each year, there are two calls for the Master’s Degree: one in Barcelona at the EPGB’s facilities and the other in Mexico at the UPAEP.
The EPGB offers a more than 400 square meter workshop with cutting-edge technological machinery and equipment, a certified laboratory to conduct the most technical training, and an R&D classroom where the Spanish team won the 2011 Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie trained.
The Culinary Institute of America
Location: Hyde Park, New York, USA
The well-known institute is one of the world’s most outstanding pastry chef training programs and has graduated many prominent cooks in the field. The two programs the CIA provides are the Baking and Pastry Arts AOS or Associate in Occupational Studies and the Baking and Pastry Arts Management Bachelor of Professional Studies.
Pastry Program: The first is a 21-month curriculum that focuses on the knowledge and abilities you’ll need to become a good pastry chef; it also includes an 18-week externship and a 6-week practical experience at the Apple Pie Bakery Café. While the latter is a 38-month curriculum, it teaches you how to run your pastry shop.
Divertimenti Cookery School
Location: 33-34 Marylebone High St, London W1 4PT
227-229 Brompton Rd, London SW3 2EP
Le Cordon Bleu
Location: Paris, France
The most esteemed institution for pastry chefs is Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. The college has locations in Hollywood, Pasadena, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami. They provide diploma programs in baking and pastry, in particular. The services offer in-person instruction that can be finished in as little as 30 weeks.
Pastry Program: In several of their schools, there is also a 15-month associate degree program. Le Grand Diplôme, a rigorous and systematic curriculum combining the Diplôme de Pâtisserie and the Diplôme de Cuisine in traditional French culinary methods, is regarded as the key to a world of job prospects.
What to Look for in a Culinary School?
Different culinary schools have other teaching methods. Various culinary schools suit different types of pupils. You can select the best program for you with a bit of research. Take into account the following items on your to-do list:
- Visit the cooking school to see classes in action.
- Talk with students and faculty.
- Compare the curriculum and course descriptions.
- Find out if the cooking school is accredited.
- Compare the student-to-faculty ratio.
- Make sure the cuisine focus matches your interests.
- Check for flexibility in class schedules.
- Check for externship opportunities.
- Ask how many graduates find jobs after graduation.
- Find out if the graduates are working where you’d like to work.
Differences Between Programs
Different types of cooking schools offer different kinds of training:
- Culinary Institute: Culinary institutes offer cream-of-the-crop education for those serious about becoming certified culinary professionals. They generally offer degree, diploma, or certificate programs, ranging in length from two months to four years.
- Cooking School: Cooking schools are smaller versions of culinary institutes for cooks who want specialized training. They generally offer certificate or diploma programs, and program lengths range from two months to four years.
- Cooking Classes: While cooking classes don’t award certificates or diplomas, they are great for serious cooks who want to learn more about cooking. Short seminars range from two days to two months.
To become a certified pastry chef, you must complete advanced training in a pastry chef’s School. You need to be able to do more than bake delicious bread and beautiful pastries. It would help if you chose from the best pastry chef schools to become well-known in the sector and win the respect of professionals in the field.
The first semester of a traditional pastry and baking degree covers many fundamental cooking procedures and techniques that a chef-in-training learns. The pastry chef may operate as one of several station cooks in some kitchens and may have a tiny workstation where they create a variety of baked goods and sweets on the menu. The pastry chef position can be on par with that of executive chef in some kitchens.