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October 15, 2010

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Paula

What fun photos!!!!

Gigi Spinazze

Hi, just found you, lucky me! I was searching for thester to see Kings of Pastry. I live in Saratoga, Ca. Can you help? Must in be in San Francisco somewhere or closer????
Thanks,
Gigi

Kathy

Gigi - I'm glad you found me! Right now the only screening in the SF Bay Area is in Larkspur at The Lark. There is a planned screening in San Francisco but the date is "TBD." I drove from the East Bay to see it. It was well worth it. It's a great look into how much work goes into competing in the MOF. Also, if you love pastries and learning about how they're made/assembled, this is a great film.

Here's the link from the Kings of Pastry website showing all the screening locations and dates:
http://kingsofpastry.com/screenings/

Corinne @ Gourmantic

You are killing me with this post! I want one of each. And now Mr G is looking over my shoulder...

How did you manage to photograph Sadaharu Aoki's patisseries? We had to be very discreet!

Kathy

Corinne - I was killing myself putting this together. I'm ready to go back today.

At Aoki's I just asked to take the picture, and they said ok! I couldn't be discreet because my friend and I were the only two there at the time (it was the patisserie on rue Vaugirard). We had also bought several pastries, so maybe that had something to do with it. I was shocked they said yes, also.

Jen Laceda

Pastries are my weakness - especially the French kind! I love Gerard Mulot! His millefeuilles are to-die for! I will have to bookmark this for my next trip to Paris!

Adam

How about Des Gateaux et du Pain and Jean-Paul Hevin? Fine to leave off Pierre Herme and Laduree, since they're already so well known. btw - If you like in-shop photos, check the Sept. 10th post on my blog for an insane number of Pain de Sucre shots. I didn't want to be evil and post a link to it here, of course.

Kathy

Adam - Two more great Paris patisseries - thanks for the comment. I stop at Jean-Paul Hevin every time I'm in Paris. I do think of him more as a chocolatier than patissier, but he has some of the best chocolate pastries and chocolate macarons (the macarons above are from Jean-Paul Hevin).

Here's the link to Adam's post:
http://www.parispatisseries.com/2010/09/10/patisserie-pain-de-sucre/

Esme

You have some great choices. Gerald Mulot is my all time favorite patisserie-so much so that I bring back croissants and pastries from his shop each time I go. Pain de Sucre is also quite good-I did not try anything at Hugo and Victor-everything was behind glass. I could not get a good look at them. I like seeing rows and rows of pastries not just one.

Tarte citron is my absolute favorite-of course, chocolate eclairs and who can resist the strawberry frasier.

I also like Poulaine for a simple apple tart-I know it is a boulangerie but those tarts are as tarts should be.

Angel

I'm seriously considering a career change, I have been pondering becoming a Pastry Chef for the past year or so. I have looked into Le Cordon Blue in Paris but not sure if that is the best school there! Suggestions?

Kathy

Angel - Ahh, quite the popular question.

I chose Le Cordon Bleu Paris for several reasons, professional and personal, which included:
1) I wanted to learn French pastrymaking in Paris
2) I wanted to do an apprenticeship in Paris
3) I wanted to live in Paris

For me, Le Cordon Bleu was the best choice. Looking back, I would do it again. I can't say that Le Cordon Bleu in Paris is the best choice for everyone, though. They're teaching style is both quirky (especially from a former U.S. teacher's point-of-view) and exacting. They teach to people who plan to go on and make French pastries. If you plan on making wedding cakes, or any other American-type desserts, this school is not a good idea. Instead of wedding cakes, we made croquembuche, chocolate and sugar sculptures.

Here are names of a few other schools:
In Paris -
Ferrandi - http://www.egf.ccip.fr/international/
LeNotre (the one for professionals) - http://www.lenotre.fr/en/formation_cuisine.php

In the U.S. (I've heard good things about these schools, but am not familiar with their curiculum)-

Notter School of Pastry in Orlando, FL -
http://www.notterschool.com/

The French Pastry School in Chicago, IL -
http://www.frenchpastryschool.com/

The French Culinary Institute
http://www.frenchculinary.com/

If you can, I would strongly suggest 3 things:
1) Sit in on classes at any of the schools you're interested in attending to see if you like/feel comfortable with their format.

2) Ask a restaurant/pastry shop if you could "stage" (intern for a short period)for a day/weekend/week to see what it's like. After pastry school, you will still need to work about 4-7 yrs as a pastry assistant (earning a very low wage $9-14/hour) before advancing to assistant pastry chef and then pastry chef status. Long and night/weekend/holiday working hours are the norm in this business.

3) If you haven't already, definitely see "Kings of Pastry." It gives very good insight into the French pastry chef's thinking and way of making pastries. Notice how they work - clean, organized, meticulous - and how they analyzed and scrutinized every pastry. Even as a lowly student, you're held to the same standard. For me, this was one of the most beneficial parts of studying in Paris.

Kathy

Angel - Here are a two blog sites that might also be very helpful:

Jesssica's Dinner Party - She is currently a pastry student at Le Cordon Bleu and blogs about it.
http://www.jessicasdinnerparty.com/

Paris Patisseries - Adam analyzes pastries in Paris, one pastry at a time.
http://www.parispatisseries.com/

Bill Pearson

Excellent photos, my vote is for Laurent Duchêne.
http://goodfoodshops.blogspot.com

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