Article: Talent, Dedication, and Determination: Becoming a Pastry Professional | The French Pastry School

Article: Talent, Dedication, and Determination: Becoming a Pastry Professional

Talent, Dedication, and Determination: Becoming a Pastry Professional
The French Pastry School |
December 26, 2014
L’Art de la Pâtisserie and L’Art du Gâteau Students Graduate from The French Pastry School

Chicago, Illinois (January 8, 2015) – On December 19 at the Union League Club of Chicago, over seventy pastry and cake students assembled with their friends, families, and faculty and staff of The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College at City Colleges of Chicago. It was graduation day for the two full-time professional certificate programs – L'Art de la Pâtisserie, the 24-week Baking and Pastry Program, and L’Art du Gâteau, the 16-week Cake Decorating and Baking Program. School sponsors along with chefs and professionals from the food industry were also in attendance.

Students were fortunate to have both Ina Pinkney, The Breakfast Queen, and William Kelley, Vice Chairmen of Jelly Belly, as their commencement speakers. Ms. Pinkney spoke first and drove home the importance of professionalism in the industry. She gave several hard-hitting examples of what she expects from a potential employee when they show up for an interview. She emphasized paying attention to your grooming habits, being prepared, putting away your phone, and “if you’re not 10 minutes early, you’re 10 minutes late.” She also had advice for how to quit a job tactfully. If you don’t give notice to your current employer, “you have hurt yourself with two people now: your present boss and the new one, who now knows that if you did it to them, you’ll do it to him,” she warned.

Mr. Kelley followed by charging students with being ambassadors for the industry. “I like to think that our industries own the confluence of three areas: sweetness, great flavor, and fun,” he stated. Food myths, obesity, and other negative information is often associated with the industry. He encouraged students to be active in busting the myths and being knowledgeable enough to counter bad information so we “keep the sweetness, great flavor, and fun in our products.”

The student experiences and reflections from this term were related to the audience by representatives, selected by their peers, from each of the graduating classes. MaryElizabeth Plovanich, Andrea Gonzalez, Drew Weaver, and Julia Munoz represented the L'Art de la Pâtisserie classess. Takelya Weathers and Rogena Jackson represented the L’Art du Gâteau classes. To read their speeches, click on the links below.

The next cohort of L’Art de la Pâtisserie and L’Art du Gâteau students began their own pastry journeys at The French Pastry School on January 5, 2015. Be sure to follow their progress on our website and social media outlets. The school is accepting applications for the next sessions of both programs, which start in July and August, respectively. For more information about the programs and how to apply, please contact or call 312.726.2419.

To see more photos from the event, please go to our Facebook album.