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The 2022 HEG session
told by Laura Schütz

Interview with Laura Schütz, HEG alumna

Looking for practical and theoretical experience, Laura Schütz wanted to discover deeper French gastronomic culture. She therefore choose the Advanced Studies in Gastronomy (HEG) programme with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the food trends necessary for her job as a baker.

Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Laura Schütz, I am a sourdough baker and bread sensory assessor living in Burgenland, Austria.

What is your professional background?
Before becoming a baker, I was a teacher and language school owner. I have always had a strong passion for sourdough, and this gradually turned into a profession. It was a long journey, but here I am today, baking bread, organizing bread tasting workshops, and providing bakery consulting services. 

Why did you choose the Advanced Studies in Gastronomy (HEG) programme?
I wanted to get to know the French gastronomic culture through an immersive experience. HEG seemed the proper choice for me, since it offers both hands-on experiences, but also provides a much needed - for me - theoretical background.  

What is your favourite memory?
It is hard to choose among so many wonderful moments! I will cherish for ever Pierre Gagnaire´s answer to my question regarding la tendresse du cuisinier. I could summarize his answer in just a few words: it´s all about love and respecting the choices the others made. Other unforgettable moments were the conversations with Hervé This, but also the surprise of finding lovage, my favourite herb, on a rooftop garden managed by Weshgrow in the center of Paris! I will also always remember the incredible culinary experience the talented designer Chloe Chevron offered us in Reims. She transported us on a beach, without having to leave the room! Then we met Philippe Mille, who not only talked passionately about food, but he also underlined the importance of an honest and strong relationship with the agricultural producers. Of course, the visit to some of the vineyards of Champagne was another highlight of our week in that region. 

What did you like the most?
I definitely enjoyed the company of my amazing colleagues. I felt very inspired by the supportive learning atmosphere throughout the course, and the incredible exchange of ideas we all had with our teachers and lecturers. And let´s not forget the amazing food sensory experiences we had during the educational dinners and the seminars. 

What were your expectations?
I had high expectations regarding the level of professionalism of this course. I´m happy to say that the whole experience exceeded by far any of my expectations. HEG definitely changed me, for the better. 

How HEG will help you in your job?
HEG brought me new perspectives on taste, smell, tasting methodology and much more. As a bread sensory assessor, I am very interested in all these things. Beyond that, I always keep in mind the role the history of gastronomy plays in the development of our food preferences. HEG offered me a complete overview, helping me to understand better some of the current trends in the food industry.

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