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How to become a baker: training, prequisites, opportunities...

Bakery - Pastry

Baking and pastry-making are the jewels of French craftsmanship. The whole world recognizes France's reputation when it comes to gastronomy. Naturally, French culinary schools must offer the highest level of training. Le Cordon Bleu Paris stands at the forefront of excellence with its top quality programmes. Choose your specialty and train in baking and pastry at Le Cordon Bleu Paris!

Careers and specialisations in bakery and pastry

Bakers and pastry chefs have distinct missions. However, one can train to practise both specialties. What are the differences between bakers and pastry chefs? What skills are required to practise these professions?

The baker's trade

The baker works bread with passion. The baguette, although known worldwide, is far from being the only product of traditional French bakery. Bakers are free to express their personality through their creations. However, the artisan baker must be able to make different types of bread with a variety of ingredients. Today, special diets open the way to more creativity. Whether it is wholemeal bread or gluten-free bread, bakers must adapt to the dietary concerns of their customers.

The baker must be gifted with commercial qualities since he or she often works in a food store, such as a bakery. They must know how to sell their products by enhancing their value in the eyes of buyers. Le Cordon Bleu also offers the Diplôme de Pâtisserie and Diplôme de Boulangerie with Culinary Management to students who wish to further develop their managerial skills in order to open their own business.

the pastry chef's trade

Bakers and pastry chefs are very similar when it comes to the qualities they must possess. Sometimes the baker and the pastry chef are even the same person! However, the missions differ and some establishments prefer to keep the jobs separate.

Like the baker, the pastry chef must be able to adapt to a fast-paced work schedule. Very early in the morning, the craftsmen get down to making breads, pastries and cakes in order to make them available for sale as soon as the store or restaurant opens. Organisation and thoroughness are therefore the key words of the pastry chef.

From a technical point of view, the pastry chef is capable of making both traditional and original creations. He can specialise in chocolate or confectionery, for instance. In any case, to succeed in these fields, one must show manual skill and precision.

Le Cordon Bleu Paris training programmes to become a baker

Le Cordon Bleu offers a wide range of training programmes to become a baker and pastry chef! Whether you are a student, employed or in the process of retraining, there is a programme to suit your needs.

Bakery training programmes

Boulangerie Diploma

The Boulangerie Diploma is available in two levels. whether you are preparing for the Basic or Advanced Certificate, the training lasts 3 months. The Basic level is an introduction to the world of baking. Students learn the rules of hygiene, baking, and the technical basics (manual and mechanical kneading).

The Advanced level focuses on the development of the bread's flavours thanks to all the different cereals available to the baker. Students at both levels benefit from demonstrations and practical classes to enrich their culinary repertoire.

The prerequisites for admission to the course are as follows: to be at least 18 years old and to hold a high-shcool diploma or an equivalent.

Pâtisserie & Boulangerie Diploma

Students who want to go further can combine pastry and bakery with Le Cordon Bleu Paris's Pastry and Boulangerie Diploma. The course lasts 12 months (9 months for the intensive formula) and is designed for those who wish to become part of the great family of bakery-pastry. There are many possibilities: artisan baker, pastry chef, chocolatier, confectioner, head teacher... your dream is bound to come true thanks yo this training!

You will have the chance to be part of a lively and cooperative group. The students help other and the teachers, led by Chefs Olivier Boudot and Frédéric Hoël, are always ready to lend a hand.

This training can also be done as a Professional Course. The duration is then 16 months (13 months for the intensive formula) and includes an internship of 4 to 6 months in one of the greatest Parisian establishments.

Pastry courses

Pâtisserie Diploma

The Pâtisserie Diploma is aimed at future pastry chefs, chocolate makers and other confectioners. The course lasts 9 months (6 months for the intensive formula).

The curriculum of the Pâtisserie Diploma depends on the level (Basic, Intermediate or Advanced). The Basic Certificate invites students to discover the technical fundamentals of French pastry making. The Intermediate level goes into a little more detail with the artistic work of sugar and chocolate. Finally, the Superior level is for experienced pastry chefs who wish to perfect their skills. Students enrolled in this level will have the privilege of meeting a renowned pastry chef during a demonstration.

Diploma in Pastry Innovation & Wellness

Students of the Pâtisserie Diploma can complete their training with the Diploma in Pastry Innovation & Wellness. This is a 3-month course with the objective to familiarise students with new food trends by highlighting their creativity. The programme includes the design of creative pastries, the discovery of original ingredients and the assimilation of new culinary practices.

Because Le Cordon Bleu caters to students from all over the world, all of the above courses are taught in French and then translated into English.

Continuing education for professionals

Le Cordon Bleu offers professionals the opportunity to perfect their skills by mastering specific techniques: The Art of Sugar, Artistic chocolate piece or all-time pastry classics with a modern style, it's up to you to choose the course that best suits your needs!

Testimonials from former students

Le Cordon Bleu is more than a school, it is an institution that supports its students from the beginning to the end of their studies and even beyond. Many students have stayed in touch with the institute and share their stories about what their training has brought them.

The proof is in the form of Nevin Gabr, a former student of the Bakery Diploma from Egypt: "Social networks allow me to stay connected to my classmates. We stay in touch through our posts and stories and we exchange from time to time by chat. Thanks to the Le Cordon Bleu alumni network, I see what other graduates are managing to do, and this inspires me in my career path and my business project." In 2020, she specialised in French bakery by opening her own artisanal boutique "Boule n' bâtard" in Hollywood.

Now head pastry chef of his own shop in Ho Chi Minh, Roland Nguyen obtained his Pastry Diploma in 2017. He explains why he chose Le Cordon Bleu Paris: "I chose Le Cordon Bleu Paris for its reputation in the world of gastronomy. In addition, I heard famous chefs talking about Le Cordon Bleu on TV and I did my research on the internet. I chose Paris because it is the capital of pastry and bread, directly related to my career choice."