The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College of City Colleges of Chicago celebrated the graduation of 105 students of their full-time programs, L'Art de la Pâtisserie and L'Art du Gâteau, on Friday, December 16, 2011 at the historic Union League Club of Chicago. During the ceremony hosted by the co-founders of The French Pastry School, Chefs Jacquy Pfeiffer and Sébastien Canonne, M.O.F., students received their well-earned certificates after four or six months of hands-on training in the baking and pastry arts.

The students were joined by their guests, including family, friends, sponsors of The French Pastry School and their commencement speakers, French Consul General, Graham Paul, and food-writing icon, Barbara Fairchild. The ceremony, which highlighted the importance of a continued search for excellence in pastry and cake decorating, was followed by a reception at The French Pastry School. The impressive and delicious grand buffet showcased all that the newly-minted pastry professionals had learned throughout their experience in the full-time programs. The class of December 2011 will follow in the footsteps of other alumni by beginning their careers in pastry kitchens around the world and gaining the experience they need to one day lead kitchens and open their own businesses.

Whether studying Baking and Pastry Arts for six months in L'Art de la Pâtisserie or specializing in Cake Baking and Decorating for four months in L'Art du Gâteau with the award-winning chef instructors, the graduates have followed a rigorous schedule to gain hands-on experience both in and out of the classroom. Apart from the six hours of class a day, many students maintained part-time jobs, staged consistently or completed internships to experience professional kitchen environments. This term, Rosalina Villaseñor was the first student to take both programs simultaneously and, after several months of 13 hour days, she graduated with honors. The ceremony was especially exciting for the career changers that made up more than 75% of the graduating class; their commencement marked the beginning of their new life in pastry.