Article: Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer Receives the Golden Pretzel | The French Pastry School

Article: Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer Receives the Golden Pretzel

Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer Receives the Golden Pretzel
The French Pastry School |
July 24, 2011

The Institute of Arts and Popular Traditions of Alsace honored Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer of The French Pastry School at City Colleges of Chicago in Strasbourg on October 2, 2010 with the Bretzel d'Or, or "Golden The Institute of Arts and Popular Traditions of Alsace honored Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer of The French Pastry School at City Colleges of Chicago 

The Institute of Arts and Popular Traditions of Alsace honored Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer of The French Pastry School at City Colleges of Chicago in Strasbourg on October 2, 2010 with the Bretzel d'Or, or "Golden Pretzel" award. Each year, the institute recognizes talented Alsatians who preserve the arts and traditions of Alsace, the culturally rich, eastern region of France, bordering Lorraine and Franche-Comté, with Germany to the east and Switzerland to the south. Chef Pfeiffer and other Golden Pretzel recipients not only safeguard Alsatian heritage, but promote it within the region, around France, and throughout the world. Students of The French Pastry School benefit from their Dean's heritage, and his dedication to passing it on.

 

Immediately following the Chicago premiere of the documentary in which Pfeiffer plays a key role, Kings of Pastry on October 1st at the Gene Siskel Theater, he left for the airport to travel back to the "promised land" as he likes to call it, to receive the award. Originally from a small town near Strasbourg in Alsace, Pfeiffer began his pastry training there, going on to work as Executive Pastry Chef for renowned establishments and international dignitaries. Chef Pfeiffer, along with Chef Sébastien Canonne, M.O.F., later founded The French Pastry School in Chicago.

Among the recipes taught to thousands of students each year, many include classic Alsatian favorites such as the Kugelhopf, a type of brioche bread baked with raisins and almonds in a special ceramic mold designed specifically for this pastry. A delicious savory version of the Kugelhopf is made with bacon and walnuts. Another favorite is pain à la bière, a rye and potato bread topped with a beer crust. Some students have been lucky to try Chef Pfeiffer's Zimtsterne, a Christmas cookie in the shape of a star, made with almond flour, confectionery sugar, egg whites, and flavored with cinnamon. On occasion, he also treats his students with freshly made pretzels.

"Receiving this award is a true honor," said Jacquy Pfeiffer. "I am very proud of my heritage, and grateful to be able to share these Alsatian traditions with so many passionate students of the pastry arts."

Past recipients of the Bretzel d'Or include poets, politicians, teachers, writers, philosophers, musicians, and chefs. Alongside Pfeiffer, ten other honorees included laureates in history, regional culture, economics, music, agriculture, and vocational education. Pfeiffer was the only non-resident of Alsace to receive the recognition, and the only honoree in the gastronomy category. In 2004, Pfeiffer's colleague Pierre Zimmermann, World Baking Champion, received the award. Chef Zimmermann joined the teaching faculty of The French Pastry School in August, 2010 where he oversees all the bread programs. Chef Pfeiffer continues his pedagogical role, sharing the pastry traditions of Alsace at his school in the full-time programs and Continuing Education courses. He also teaches master classes and demonstrates around the country and internationally.