The CSCA PASTRY PROGRAM

Create a Sweeter Future For Yourself

CSCA Pastry Chef Courses develop and build upon the classic and modern techniques of pastry arts through advanced sugar work, chocolate molding, wedding cake design, and savory cooking techniques during this rigorous 37-week program. The Professional Pastry Program (PPP) builds upon fundamental pastry arts and offers the training and creative freedom to develop incredible sugar showpieces, wedding cakes, and show-stopping pastry pieces. Upon graduation, you will be prepared for a range of employment opportunities including assistant pastry chef, production baker, chocolatier, cake decorator, caterer, and CSCA recreational instructor. Many graduates go on to launch successful bake shops, cafés, and confectionary companies.

HOW CAN WE GUIDE YOU?

pastry chef

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

Start Your Journey

“I first took a recreational class and was hooked. 14 classes later, I found out about the professional programs and decided to take the plunge. Whether you want to learn basic skills or become a master chef, this is the place to start your journey.”
– Deborah Moed, PPP 2017

MASTER THE ART OF JOY

Professional Pastry Program

Develop and build upon the classic and modern techniques of pastry arts through advanced sugar work, chocolate molding, wedding cake design, and savory cooking techniques during this rigorous 37-week program. 

professional pastry chef program

Program Overview

The Professional Pastry Program (PPP) builds upon fundamental pastry arts and offers the training and creative freedom to develop incredible sugar showpieces, wedding cakes, and show-stopping pastry pieces. Upon graduation, you will be prepared for a range of employment opportunities including assistant pastry chef, production baker, chocolatier, cake decorator, caterer, and CSCA recreational instructor. Many graduates go on to launch successful bake shops, cafés, and confectionary companies.

  • Complete over 740 hours of pastry arts training and education over 37 weeks
  • Scheduling flexibility in selecting two (eight-hour) days of laboratory instruction and three hours of seminar instruction weekly
  • Intimate, hands-on laboratories working with instructors in a 12 to 1 student to instructor ratio
  • Graded coursework includes lab performance, quizzes, seminar exams and projects, events, mid-term exams, final practicum, portfolio, creative practicum, and final written exam
  • Event credits may be fulfilled through teaching assistantships, offsite event support, and additional culinary opportunities as presented
dessert chef courses

Lab Classes

Building upon the foundations established in the Certificate Pastry Program, the labs in this further your understanding of theory and principles, introduce you to advanced techniques, and draw out your personal style as you prepare and present individual pastry creations.

Study the theory and principles of French techniques used in making traditional pastries, including presentation, plating, and adaptation. Develop a strong understanding of the chemical function of ingredients and scalability of items for commercial baking, and explore the ingredients, tools, and techniques utilized in classic European desserts and pastries. Learn to make and identify choux, Viennoiserie, fillings, meringues, sauces, and cakes. Create intricate and delicious desserts that you will present and evaluate as a group.

A well-rounded pastry chef who can assist in all areas of commercial kitchen work is highly desirable in the food industry. Learn to incorporate your growing pastry expertise into the savory side of food production, working with eggs, sauces, stocks, vegetables, meat, poultry, and seafood. Practice shaping pasta and pizza doughs, and develop full savory dishes utilizing a pastry or dough component. With your peers, you will complete meals drawn from a variety of international sources, preparing, presenting, and evaluating them as a group.

Prepare international pastry recipes and explore the tools and techniques that will bring your creative vision to life. Learn advanced plating methods, chocolate tempering and molding, advanced pastillage and gum paste shaping, and the art of sugar pulling. Create elaborate chocolate and sugar showpieces, design a wedding cake, build a towering croquembouche, and complete a multitude of confections, truffles, and classic French sweets.

pastry chef course

Seminars

Further advance your culinary knowledge and build up your professional marketability through a wide range of seminar topics.

Receive an overview of food and nutrition science and its role in today’s foodservice industry. Become proficient in nutritional standards, dietary guidelines, and the nutrients and composition of specific foods. Relevant topics such as fad diets, genetic engineering, reading food labels, adapting recipes for specific dietary needs, and evaluating nutritional claims will be reviewed.

Reading about food can be life changing, whether from a memoir, a blog, scripts for movies, magazine articles and cookbooks, and reviews. Learn how current writers land a book deal, how bloggers launch their pages and brands, how to write pitch letters, and create your personal writing niche through prose and voice. Discover sources and tools for getting your work published in magazines, newspapers, and online publications and practice your craft through guided exercises.

Heighten your senses during this interactive overview of wine production, the political and historical events that influenced wine culture, and varietals from across the globe. Explore wine tasting practices to help you develop your palate and better assess grape variety, quality, and value. Address popular and unusual food and wine pairings with various white, red, sparkling, and fortified wines to understand the logic behind menu recommendations.

Taste European and American cheeses and gain an appreciation of the distinct characteristics of cheese styles, including bloomy-rind, washed-rind, semi-firm, hard, and blue cheeses. Compare several samples within each category and learn about the history, cultural relevancy, production, and proper storage of each. Building upon this knowledge, you will start to appreciate cheese plates, pairings, and the role of professional cheese buying in the foodservice industry.

From developing clientele to mastering transportation and creative flexibility, the art of catering appeals to many seeking an alternative to restaurant work. Discover the professional skills and business techniques that will help you find success as a caterer.

EARN THE TITLE OF CHEF IN JUST 16 WEEKS

Certificate Pastry Program

The Certificate Pastry Program (CPP) teaches you core classic pastry techniques, theory, and applications of creating, decorating, and serving professional pastries and breads. Upon graduation, you will be prepared for entry-level employment as a pastry assistant or production baker, but you may also find success on your own. Upon satisfactory completion of the Certificate Pastry Program, you will have the option of transferring directly into the Professional Pastry Program.

pastry chef certificate

Program Overview

You will learn the practical and theoretical techniques of pastry arts from working with dough to plating restaurant quality desserts during this concentrated 16-week program.

  • 16-week program with over 300 hours of pastry arts training & education
  • Scheduling flexibility in selecting two (eight-hour) days of laboratory instruction and three hours of seminar instruction weekly
  • Intimate, hands-on laboratories with a 12-to-1 student to instructor ratio
  • Graded coursework includes lab performance, quizzes, seminar exams and projects, events, final practicum, portfolio, and final written exam
  • Event credits may be fulfilled through teaching assistantships, offsite event support, and additional culinary opportunities as presented
pastry chef courses

Lab Classes

The Certificate Pastry Program lab classes focus on the foundations of pastry arts. Through these hands-on, immersive classes, gain critical knowledge and skills as you work in tandem with our instructors.

Fundamentals of Pastry Arts
Study the theory and principles of French techniques used in making traditional pastries, including presentation, plating, and adaptation. Develop a strong understanding of the chemical function of ingredients and scalability of items for commercial baking, and explore the ingredients, tools, and techniques utilized in classic European desserts and pastries. Learn to make and identify choux, Viennoiserie, fillings, meringues, sauces, and cakes. Create intricate and delicious desserts that you will present and evaluate as a group.

chocolate molding course

Seminars

Join your peers for weekly seminars designed to round out your education and complement the skills you develop in lab.

Become adept in the foodservice safety standards set forth by the National Restaurant Association. You will study food and restaurant safety, significant foodborne illnesses, and food safety management. After three weeks of study, you will take the official examination, and upon passing, will receive a 5-year ServSafe® certification.

Examine the business aspect of the food industry and acquire a working knowledge of purchasing, cost control, menu planning, recipe development, and marketing a food establishment. Consider legal aspects of opening and running a business and practice skills related to time, stress, and personnel management. During this multi-week seminar, you will apply these guidelines and design a food service concept to present to your instructor and classmates for review.

Learn the rich history of chocolate production from Mayan temples to Parisian chocolate shops. Discover the different types of cacao and the flavor notes that depict regional origins. After learning the process of chocolate production, enjoy a tasting flight of various chocolates from around the world, analyzing the differences in taste, texture, color, and aroma.

Explore the flavors, common applications, and origins of the most unique fruits, herbs, and spices from across the globe. Develop a sound knowledge of cooking and working with fruits composed of different enzymes and varying pectin levels. Following an intensive overview and discussion, try your hand at developing a dessert recipe containing several of these newly discovered ingredients.

A poorly written recipe can harm your reputation as a chef, a restaurateur, or an author. To ensure that your recipes are as clear and concise as possible, you will identify instances of ambiguity in recipes, and common errors of organization, and discuss ways to fix them. Learn how to write a recipe that provides the reader with all the tools for success.

Consider a multitude of plate shapes and techniques for artful presentation of your completed dishes. Emphasis will be on balance, flow, focal point, and unity of interesting colors, sizes, and visual texture and interest. Discuss elements of visual edibility, height, and white space. Practice grouping elements for cohesive plating, using sauces to tie together plated elements, and incorporating functional and non-functional garnishes.

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

My Dream Career

“After my meeting with the admissions counselor, I was even more convinced that CSCA was the right choice for me, and I am so thankful that I took the leap and attended the school that helped me launch my dream career.”
–  Elliana Arons Marks, PPP 2016, Owner/Head Baker at Belliful