French Pastry Schools

Written by Ingrid Chen
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Much of modern gourmet cuisine is based on French methods of cooking and organizing. In the late 1800s, the venerated French chef Georges Escoffier popularized now-common French cooking techniques and kitchen lingo, such as "mise en place" (preparation of ingredients). Pastry, a decidedly classic technique, is one of these fundamental French basics.

Pastry is its own specialized field because of several reasons. It is said that it takes a different person to work with pastry than a regular chef. Oftentimes even the most famous of chefs will admit to weakness in the area of pastry. It involves dealing with simple but sensitive ingredients that react to each other in a very specific way. By manipulating these ingredients, one may successfully create sweets and desserts based in the classic French tradition.

Pastry chefs, once they've honed their skills, can go on to great success and regard in the culinary world. Many high-end restaurants list the name of the pastry chef alongside the dessert menu items, just like a playbill. It is a respected occupation, and a difficult art to master.

French Pastry Training

Learning the skills requires not only practice, but also help from the most skilled of instructors. Although it is possible to pick up these skills on one's own, most culinary professionals suggest attending culinary school to gain the proper skills to make the perfect puff pastries.


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