: | The French Pastry School


Latest FPS Alum to Open a Business!
The French Pastry School |
August 11, 2015

From leading the largest hotel pastry kitchens in the city to serving up sweets in their own specialty shops, the Chicago pastry scene is ripe with talent from The French Pastry School.  Once again, we applaud a graduate who has utilized his pastry education to make a difference in the community and open a small business. Mohamed Ouifak, a 2014 alumnus of the 24-Week Pastry Program, is the new chef owner of Cream of the Crêpe. This charming café and bakery is located in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge.  Ouifak, who was raised in Morocco and worked as a pastry cook in the hotels of Marrakesh, whips up a variety of delicate sweet and savory crêpes along with baked Moroccan cookies and French pastries.  

Chef Sébastien Canonne, M.O.F., who was invited to take part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 4, 2015, said, “We are so proud to see our graduates become industry leaders and entrepreneurs who are committed to and passion about their craft and their community.” Like so many graduates of The French Pastry School, Ouifak has chosen to give back to the community by opening a business that will help generate local jobs and revenue.   “My dream was always to open my own French restaurant and patisserie,” recalls Ouifak.  “The program at The French Pastry School was jam packed with exceptional knowledge and with the help of the chef’s skills and expertise, I was able to go out and achieve my dream in no time.”  

Each year The French Pastry School sends a steady stream of trained pastry professionals into the hospitality industry.   Many graduates work in renowned culinary institutions, including major hotels and restaurants like the Ritz-Carlton, the Peninsula, Lettuce Entertain You, and One Off Hospitality groups. Other alumni work for major food retailers like Whole Foods, Mariano’s Fresh Market, and Treasure Island. Still others, like Ouifak, find themselves opening businesses.  From chocolate shops to wedding cake boutiques, FPS alumni have opened over 50 new businesses in the state of Illinois and over 100 across the United States.   Education is the strongest foundation a chef can receive, and it’s through these stories we see successful pastry careers realized through the gained knowledge and training at The French Pastry School.