This is the next in our series of educators featured in our Bake Twentyfive issue. Each weekday, we will spotlight a new instructor or educator in the fields of baking, pastry, and chocolate.
Born in Strasbourg in France’s Grand Est region (formerly Alsace), World Baking Champion, Master Baker and chef instructor Pierre Zimmermann has received numerous international distinctions not only for his proficiency as an artisanal baker and pastry chef, but also for promoting the rich culture and history surrounding his Alsatian roots and the art of baking and pastry in this region.
From winning the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie (World Cup of Baking) twice, and creating Alsatian specialties, to teaching at The French Pastry School and elsewhere in the world, Zimmermann has shared his craft for many years, training and enlightening many fellow bakers along the way. He has taught Master Baking classes through the continuing education program at The French Pastry School for more than a decade, and also brings his masterful baking and teaching proficiency to L’Art de la Pâtisserie.
In 2017, the inaugural event of the Intergalactic Bakers Federation (IBF), co-founded by Zimmermann, owner of La Fournette Bakery & Cafe in Chicago, and Solveig Tofte, founder and head baker at Sun Street Breads in Minneapolis, was held at Kendall College in Chicago. Eight bakers from around the world participated in highly intensive product demonstrations at the event billed as the Assembly of Extraordinary Bakers. “It is beneficial to bring a level of complexity to your products — to excite your customers,” says Zimmerman. “In my opinion, I am very open to (nontraditional) products.”
In 2018, Tofte and Zimmermann, organizers of the Assembly of Extraordinary Bakers, shared the stage once more to demonstrate a wide variety of breads and pastries, including flavorful hazelnut macarons.