This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
To become a professional pastry chef, you need to have formal training in a pastry chef school. It’s not enough that you know how to make good bread or beautiful cakes. In fact, if you want to truly make a name for yourself in the business, just any pastry chef school will not do. To gain the respect of industry professionals, you should choose from the best pastry chef schools.
There are several pastry chef schools out there that offer quality hands-on training and education. Each is capable in transforming you to be the pastry chef that you visualize. However, there are a few pastry chef schools that are on top of their game. These institutions are regarded for achievements in providing excellent education to every culinary student. In addition, it is more likely for you to land a culinary job faster if you got a degree from a well known pastry chef school.
Top 5 Pastry Chef Schools
The French Culinary Institute is a premier pastry chef school that offers a top-notch Pastry Arts program designed by the renowned Jacques Torres. The program focuses on the major elements of fine pastry, from production to presentation. It is 6 months long when you choose day classes or 9 months long when you go with the night classes; this allows you to fit pastry classes into your schedule. The program is also divided into specialty and amateur courses depending on your skill level. The French Culinary Institute offers courses in new York and in California, and also has some financial aid offers available.
2. The International Culinary Schools at the Art Institutes
The International Culinary Schools at the Art Institutes offers excellent Baking and Pastry courses in its various colleges scattered all over the US. Diploma courses are available in Denver, Houston, Phoenix, Seattle, and Santa Ana, among others, while associates degrees are available in Dallas, Sacramento, and Henderson, to name some. A certificate program in professional baking and pastry is also available in Novi, Michigan. This is one of the best arts institute systems in the world and is the best place for aspiring artists in various fields such as design, fashion, and, of course, culinary.
3. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts
The Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts is a most famous pastry chef school. The college has locations in Hollywood and Pasadena in Los Angeles as well as in San Francisco and all the way to Miami. They mainly offer diploma courses on patisserie and baking. The programs include hands-on training and can be completed in as little as 30 weeks. A 15-month associate’s degree program is also available in some of their campuses.
The Culinary Institute of America is located in Hyde Park, New York. The renowned institute is one of the best pastry chef schools in the world, and has produced a great number of well-respected chefs in the industry. The CIA offers two programs, namely a Baking and Pastry Arts AOS or Associate in Occupational Studies degree and a Baking and Pastry Arts Management Bachelor or Professional Studies degree. The first is a 21-month program that delves on the practical skills and knowledge needed to make you a good pastry chef; the program also includes an 18-week externship and a 6-week real-life stint at the Apple Pie Bakery Café. The latter, on the other hand, is a 38-month program that also teaches you how to manage your pastry business.
5. Star Career Academy
For those looking for certificate programs in baking and pastry arts, one of the best pastry chef schools is the Star Career Academy in Long Island, New York. Their main offer is a 600-hour Professional Pastry and Baking course that will move from basic foundational baking and pastry production to advanced pastry production and baking techniques. For those who wish to seek continuing education, Star Career Academy also offers two part-time weekend courses that will focus on certain specialties such as gourmet cookies, specialty breads, puff pastries, chiffon cakes, Genoese cake, Bavarian fillings, crème Brule, and so on.
These are 5 of the best Pastry Chef Schools in our opinion. Can you suggest other schools that we can add to the list?