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Pastry school in France/Belgium?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I write to you from Firenze Italy where I've come to study in a culinary school. I want to continue my studies though in pattisserie and chocolate . The two Europian countries I'm thinking of, are France and Belgium. In France i have heard good comments about ESCF Ferrandi and giving it serious thoughts of applying. For Belgium I have yet to find a pastry school... Anyone who knows something on Belgium schools? And for France also I would greatly appreciate any information on respectable schools .
I'm 30y old and have previously worked in restaurants in Amsterdam were I used to live for a while but decited to go to a school and learn more proffesionally and with a paper in my hands...
Right or wrong..i know for sure that the school I now attend is awfull.. Mainly turistic bad equipment etc... Really bad choice . Can not afford to make more mistakes... I initially came to this school for its pastry department but it was so bad that in the first week i quit and chanced to the culinary programme..
The name of the school is APICIUS...
Anyways. I would greatly appreciate any info on good schools in Belgium and France..

Kindest regards

post #2 of 3
Hi, could you expand a bit your reasons on exactly why you had a bad experience? I am a former student from the Baking & Pastry program and loved my stint there...Small classes, attentive and approachable instructors, and lots of hands on approach are just some positive factors. I actually found that the tourists weren't so bad, it was nice to interact with them and from what i saw the school seems to be divided into the academic and 'amateur' sections in terms of types of students that enroll. i don't think it's bad that in Florence there's a relevant culinary institution that offers opportunities to tourists on top of the professional students...

so you switched over to the culinary program? how's that coming along? i was only there for a year and didn't have the chance to ponder a culinary program (visa issues etc) so i'm curious...thanks!
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
well .. for me Apicius is a school for American tourist who came to Florence to experience the italian culture and way of life. They are more interested of the discos and bars than learning .It is a joke for one to believe that graduating from this school he will become a proffesional.When I reffer to turists I mean the student-turists of APICIUS and not the turists of Duomo..
In classes there is no discipline and many times no respect for the teacher . People talk about NBA as if they were by themselves in the classroom when the wine class teacher (to give only one example) was trying to do an analysis on a wine... Very annoying situation. I understand that they are kids who actually are glad when one class is cancelled "YEah we miss schooll..!!" but this is not what I was expecting.
The disrespect and chaos in the classroom is typical in many courses. People would show up wearing jeans and sometimes baseballhats instead of wearing their uniform and the teachers wouldn't say anything!!!!
I had lost respect for a good baking teacher at the end of first semester because she simply lost control of her class. The 18y.old kids would do anything they felt like during class,make noise joke with the teacher and she was promoting that,meaning instead of being strict she was playing along..... I had to talk with her about the situation and that many times I in her class I just wanted to bake the f... bread and leave because could not stand all the mess...she agreed but it was too late...

I left first week from the pastry department because our teacher who would be teaching 4 out of 5 classes of the baking department was a japanese woman who of course was teaching for the first time...Her experience?? Worked at her husbands bakery for some time!! Her English?? Really bad man..Could not express her self took her a long time to think of the words to use to answer to your question and at the end her answers would be yes or no or do it like the recipy says!!!
I was shocked!! One day she put 2 cookies recipies on the blackboard and then we had to do both .But she was so amautur that even that she couldn't do .She confused and mixed the ingridients from one recipy with another and and and.... Jesus this school has put this teacher as her main proffesor for the baking and pastry department!! A person that i will have to wait for to learn along with me!! No sir i expect a proffesional and a good one....
I have many similar examples about the "friendly teachers"
Concidering the equipment now this is a BIG JOKE.......
They get payed 5.000€ and they buy their plastic balls from the 99c store!! Can you believe that??? It is true though . Pastry teacher broke 3 in a row trying to mix something in a ball but they all broke...
The pans we use are all tefal coated and sevearly scratched and bumped etc.. These pans any proffesional would have thrown in the garbage ages now.... The same goes with most of the tools we use..It is ridiculous man... My kitchen is way much better equiped and I'm not a "proffesional culinary school"..
I'm giving serious thought of continuing now the second semester..Ofcourse now it is the great internship. Mama mia did I have a hard time trying to make them give a small list of restaurants they were thinking of proposing to me...

Once again fake excuses coverage and lies..Unproffesionalism and it is obvious these people are ripp offs. They only care to take the American turist's money.
I moved here from Amsterdam were I lived and worked for the past year..I'm 30y.old and the only reason I stayed so far is for the chocolate class and Andrea Biancini .. He is serious strict with the noisy little kids and makes amazing chocolates (Italian champion 03) .
I have great chance of doing the internship with him if not I'll try my luck with some master in belgium and quit Apicius..

There are many examples man of why I think this school sucks but i can not write them all... bad ingredients of course ,lack of ingedients ......

anyways..What are you doing now after Apicius ?

hope this post is not too long


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