Championing the “Citizen Chef”: new culinary and pastry arts training innovations unveiled by École Ducasse

Championing the “Citizen Chef”: new culinary and pastry arts training innovations unveiled by École Ducasse

École Ducasse, a network of schools dedicated to the transmission of outstanding French expertise based on excellence in culinary and pastry arts, has announced a series of “new innovations in line with gastronomic trends”.

Consisting of three schools in France: Paris Studio in the heart of the 16th arrondissement of Paris, Paris Campus at the gates of the capital in Meudon, and the École Nationale Supérieure de Pâtisserie (ENSP) in Yssingeaux in the Haute-Loire, École Ducasse offers quality training courses in culinary and pastry arts given by renowned professionals including Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOF), World Champions and Artisans.

Each year, the schools in the network welcome a wide range of profiles, from young students to seasoned professionals, including those undertaking retraining or simply fans of gastronomy, all united around a single passion: taste.

Now, for the year ahead, the professional training courses offer at the École Ducasse Paris Campus is being expanded with new themes around the role of the “Citizen Chef”, working for the planet and the health of his/her fellow citizens:

  • “Cooking and fermentation” led by Marie-Claire Frédéric, a French fermentation specialist who opened her restaurant, dedicated to fermented vegetables, in 2018 in Paris. This course will take trainees through the ancestral preservation process to its place in contemporary cuisine, via different techniques and principles of fermentation.
  • “Market Garden Chef: a permanent alchemy between culinary techniques and nature” developed by Jérôme Jaegle, Market Garden Chef at l’Alchémille*, who will introduce trainees to a committed, authentic and sophisticated cuisine style with the advantages of having their own vegetable garden, while sharing his experience as a Market Garden Chef in enhancing produce from his garden.
  • “Asian cuisine: from Delhi to Tokyo”, a voyage through Asian cuisine in all its authenticity, diversity and subtleties. This course is an opportunity for trainees to familarise themselves with new flavours while acquiring the innovative techniques of this gourmet culture.

Meanwhile, the ENSP is enriching its offer with the creation of an “Expert Diploma in Artistic Pieces” taught in English for professionals. This unique training course, which lasts eight weeks and starts on 3rd July, aims to develop the talents of pastry chefs in the artistic creation of pieces as well as trompe l’oeil in chocolate and sugar.

This year will also bring an opportunity to learn about “Wedding Cakes and Wedding Croqs” (croquembouche, an elaborate French dessert consisting of choux pastry puffs piled into a cone and bound with threads of caramel) at the ENSP with the talented Jean-Philippe Walser, Vice-Champion of France Croquembouches and International Croquembouches First Prizewinner. Students will have an opportunity to try their hand at making wedding cakes, various nougatines and petits choux, while learning about chocolate and sugar decorations, as well as the preparation of French-style desserts.

Finally, Stéphane Augé, Meilleur Ouvrier de France Glacier, will offer his vision of ice cream through a training course called “Ma Glacetronomie®, detailed understanding and performing of ice-cream technology”. The objective is for students to master all the essential basics for the creation of ice creams and sorbets, so that they can easily be made in future.

At the Paris Studio, which is open to cooking and pastry enthusiasts, several new features are on offer.

  • Clients will be able to sharpen their senses during a “Wine aromas” course designed to teach them how to structure their olfactory memory and classify wine aromas.
  • An original workshop entitled “Just like in a restaurant: learn how to arrange your plate”, will enable participants to master the tricks of the great chefs in creating the most magnificent plates for dinners at home.
  • A new workshop entitled “The benefits of Mediterranean cuisine” will take apprentice cooks to the Mediterranean and allow them to identify all the benefits of this cuisine, rich in fibre, Omega 3 and antioxidants, and a source of veritable gourmet pleasure.

Elise Masurel, Managing Director of École Ducasse, said: “The pandemic, and the way the world is subsequently changing, has reinforced the need for Chefs who have multiplied their roles from teachers, cooks, bakers and representatives of eco-responsibility to playing a critical social and societal role and to becoming Citizen Chefs. In particular, the focus is on what we eat, where, and who is comes from, and healthy cooking is becoming the norm in terms of food for everyone from the Michelin-starred restaurants to the street food stand.

“Chefs put vegetables in the foreground, relaying meat to the rank of garnish. Vegetables and plants become stars in the kitchen but not just any vegetables, those from quality agriculture guaranteed to be sustainable and without the use of chemicals. The Chefs’ concern for the environment is growing. Overall, we are moving towards a greener, more raw and authentic cuisine, which is to waste as little as possible. Within that, there is a greater attention on quality, and a role for chefs in educating the palette of people.

“Our initiatives at École Ducasse over the course of this next year will support the development of these gastronomic trends. We also remain laser focused on how we prepare culinary arts and pastry professionals to deliver the best possible artistic creation and overall experience to consumers of gourmet food and wine, in line with the social interaction people are looking for.”