École Lenôtre now has a few pastry classes in English
This very high class cooking school for passionate amateurs is trying out providing a few courses in English. They just did one for croissants and pains au chocolat. What remains this year is:
"Opera": Almond Sponge – Coffee Butter Cream – Coffee Punch –Chocolate Ganache – Chocolate Icing. Wednesday, 1st December : in the morning
"Classic Macaroons": Vanilla Macaroon - Coffee Macaroon - Chocolate Macaroon. Saturday 18th December : in the morning
I think their classes in French are fantastic. I have not done any in English. Note that there is a conflict between their catalog and their enrollment page regarding the Macaroons class. It is noted in English in the catalog but not on the enrollment page. I'd ask before signing up.
I found out this morning that they had a fast diploma program and was just going to go check out the school tomorrow. Either the DH or I will have to get a pastry diploma and this seems the fastest and with the most availability (might not be a good sign?) but is sooo expensive! the 24-week program is the same price of one year of the art school I went to for undergrad!
I thought schools in France were supposed to be cheaper than in the US.
Anyway, do you think these classes provide any relevant insight to what the professional training would be like?
I have no idea about the professional programs. Sorry. I would expect the chefs in the professional programs to be much, much tougher on the students. Here it's just fun and positive criticism.
As for the cost, I can only do a comparison with an alternative amateur American program in Paris. Patricia Wells: $5,500 for 4 1/2 days. École Lenôtre, 4 1/2 days à la carte (all intensive cooking or baking, no walks in the market, etc.): $1,650. If you want to take some of the "noble products" (foie gras, lobster) classes, say round it up to $2,000.
Of course, you need to speak French for most of the Lenôtre classes.