Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

Ferrandi FAQ

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The FAQ is divided into: General Program Inquiries, Admissions, Program Evaluation, Post-Ferrandi, and Extras. If you have questions that are unanswered, leave me a comment below!

General Program Inquiries

What is Ferrandi?

FERRANDI-Paris (formerly known as ESCF-Ferrandi) is a professional training school established by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry, specializing in training students for work in hospitality management and french cuisine/pastry. Check school website for further details.

Why did you choose Ferrandi?

  • Reputation among industry professionals
  • Recommendation from alumni
  • Small class size (2 intakes per year, 24 students per intake)
  • Over 70% of teaching hours spent in the kitchen
  • English program
  • Internship placement

What other schools did you consider and why didn’t you go there?

I also considered Le Cordon Bleu because it is more well-known internationally, but ended up choosing Ferrandi for all the factors mentioned above.

How long is the program?

The program I completed is the “Intensive Professional Program in French Pastry”, which is consisted of:

  • Coursework in school: 5 months
  • Mandatory internship: 3~6 months (minimum 3 months, maximum 6 months)
  • Total: 8~11 months

How much is the tuition?

1,9000 euros, which includes tools, uniforms, excursions and materials related to the course.

Do I need to speak French?

No, as the language of instruction is English. However,  having at least a basic understanding of French will help you tremendously when you start your internship.

What is the day-to-day schedule like?

A day is typically consisted of 5 hours of lab (kitchen) work + 2 hours of techno class (where you will learn about how flour is produced or why chocolates need to be tempered, etc.) or French language class. Some weeks also include excursions, art classes, wine-tasting classes, etc. Here are two sample weeks (click to enlarge):

What exactly does the program include?

660 teaching hours with over 70% spent in the kitchen. The program can be categorized into:

  • Pastry techniques: doughs, puff pastry, creams, tarts, traditional cakes, entremets, petits fours, chocolate, frozen desserts, ice creams and sorbets, plated desserts, presentation and decoration…Click here to see week-to-week program details.
  • Bread techniques: yeast breads, baguettes, country and specialty breads, rolls, brioche, viennoiseries (croissants, pains aux raisins …)
  • Catering: savory preparations for banquets and buffets, receptions and events
  • Wine: general introduction of wine tasting, plus one class on wine-dessert pairing
  • Art classes
  • French classes
  • Excursions

How many students are there in the pastry program?

There are two intakes per year for the Intensive Professional Program in French Pastry, one in September and one in February. For each intake, there are approximately 24 students, who are divided into two classes (i.e. 12 students per class).

What is the student profile?

During my session, there are students from U.S., Taiwan. Canada, Australia, Italy, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Belgium, Switzerland, Mexico, and Spain with ages ranging from 18 to 33. Most have no prior professional kitchen experience.

Will I receive a diploma upon completion of the program?

You will receive a certificate at the completion of the program (5 months of course work + a minimum of 3 months internship).

Application

What are the application requirements and how do I apply?

Everything can be found on this page.

Can I apply if I have no professional kitchen experience?

Yes, the program is intended for beginners and most students will have no prior professional kitchen experience.

Who do I ask for the two reference letters if I have no experience in the kitchen?

You can ask someone who knows how passionate you are about pastry, and/or someone who knows how you work professionally in whatever field you are in. As said, most applicants are pastry beginners and do not have contacts from professional kitchens, so you won’t be alone.

Is there an age requirement?

18 and above.

Program Evaluation

What do you like about the program?

  • Chef: very experienced with solid knowledge in both pastry and teaching, plus he is super nice.
  • Classmates:  a fun mix of people from everywhere, all with a passion for pastry.
  • Courses: plenty of time spent in the kitchen, very hands-on.

What do you not like about the program?

  • Most excursions are done in French, making it more difficult for non-French speakers to appreciate.
  • Some time allocations don’t make sense to me – e.g. spending one week making an chocolate egg, but only one day on macarons.

Would you recommend the program?

Yes, definitely.

Post Ferrandi

Will the school help me find an internship?

Yes. The chef will give you a list of pastry boutiques/restaurants/hotels that they have contacts to, and the list includes many of the top names in the trade such as:

  • Pastry boutiques: La Pâtisserie des Rêves, Carette, Jean-Paul Hévin, Ladurée, Pierre Hermé, Un Dimanche a Paris, Aoki, Des Gateaux et du Pain, Hugo et Victor, Fauchon…
  • Restaurants: Gagnaire, Guy Savoy, L’Arpège, Lasserre, Le Doyen, Le Pré Catelan, Robuchon…
  • Hotels:  Georges V, Le Meurice, Plaza Athenee, Crillon, Bristol, Shangri-La, Mandarin Oriental…

Are interns paid?

Sometimes. The minimum wage for an intern is roughly 430 euros/month, though many pastry boutiques and some restaurants avoid paying interns by offering only two-month non-paid internship contracts. Hotels generally pay and pay better (e.g. 600+ euros/month). If salary is a big concern for you, consult the chef before choosing your internship.

Can I find a job in Paris after the program?

This depends on many factors like how well you work, what passport you hold, and of course, timing and luck. From what I know, most international students at Ferrandi do not stay in Paris for full-time jobs after completion of program either because of personal choice or external factors.

Extras

What is the living cost in Paris?

This varies dramatically depending on your personal lifestyle. Rent, for example, can cost less than 500 euros/month or more than 1000 euros/month depending on where you live, the size of your apartment, whether you have a roommate or not, etc. The 6th arrondissement, where Ferrandi is located, is an expensive area and you should expect to pay 1000+ euros/month if you are living alone.

How do I find lodging in Paris?

Ferrandi will supply you with a list of agents and homestay options, and all students I know ended up finding a place to live eventually (though the process will probably be stressful). You can also use websites like pap.fr and le bon coin, though these websites are hard to navigate for non-French speakers.

Any other questions? Leave a comment below :) 


Written by sugarednspiced

March 31st, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Posted in

55 Responses to 'Ferrandi FAQ'

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  1. […] A good read for those who are interested in coming to Paris to learn French pastry. Click here! […]

  2. I loved all the information you provided about Ferrandi! I’m actually in the process of applying to the pastry program right now and it was great to get some more information:) Do you have any tips for the application process? Thanks!

    Genia

    8 May 13 at 2:20 AM

  3. Hi Genia, I’m glad this FAQ is a helpful resource for you. I don’t have general tips for the application process, but if you have specific questions, feel free to let me know.

    sugarednspiced

    24 May 13 at 3:07 AM

  4. Hi Genia, the application process was fairly simply and straight-forward so I can’t say I have any tips, but if you do have specific questions, feel free to leave them here :)

    sugarednspiced

    4 Aug 13 at 4:22 AM

  5. Hi there,

    Thanks for those helpful information. I just want to know what kind of certificate will we receive after graduated? Is that a national one or just comes from Ferrandi? And will the certificate be useful when you are looking for a job?

    Thanks
    Kind regards

    Jessi

    jessi

    14 Jun 13 at 5:37 PM

  6. Hi Jessi, you will receive a “diplome”, which is from Ferrandi and not something like the CAP (you can take the exam for CAP separately if you choose, but you would need to study other subjects in French). I’m not sure how useful the diploma is in looking for a job in or outside of Paris, but the school does set you up with an internship which can lead to further job opportunities.

    sugarednspiced

    4 Aug 13 at 4:23 AM

  7. Hi, I’ve been accepted into the next intake and I was curious about the class schedule, from the looks of what you provided above in the pictures do classes start at different times each week?

    p.s thanks so much for writing this, SUPER HELPFUL!

    Caitlin

    25 Jun 13 at 9:18 AM

  8. […] buy a burger at Le Camion Qui Fume, Paris’ first ever food truck (started in 2011 by fellow Ferrandi graduate Kristin Frederick). The queue looked like […]

  9. Does FErrandi give a diploma, or a certificate? It’s quite different. Is it worh it?

    daniela

    1 Aug 13 at 8:39 PM

  10. Hi Daniela, whether the diploma is “worth it” or not depends on each person’s goal, and I can’t answer this for you since I’m not sure what you are trying to do with this diploma. Find jobs in the pastry kitchen? Open your own boutique? Or…?

    sugarednspiced

    4 Aug 13 at 4:25 AM

  11. Hi,I Am looking to register into the Ferrandi school for the pastry program,when do the semesters start in the school year.

    thanks.

    Andrew

    4 Aug 13 at 1:02 AM

  12. Hi Andrew, there are two intakes, one in February and one in September.

    sugarednspiced

    4 Aug 13 at 4:25 AM

  13. Thanks for your reply,I have found this entire post very informative.Can I ask you what was your whole motivation in enrolling in pastry school in France? is it your profession?do you plan on opening a bakery in Shanghai?or do you just love french pastries sooo much that you just wanted to know how they are made so you can appreciate them more? :)

    Andrew

    4 Aug 13 at 1:41 PM

  14. […] an American Cook in Paris, is one of the very talented people I met during my studies at Ferrandi. This big, chummy guy from Texas had already been working in the kitchen for years before joining […]

  15. […] part of the Intensive Program in Professional Pastry at Ferrandi, all students are required to complete a 3~6-month internship. The school has contacts […]

  16. The post is great! I got accepted to the Professional Pastry Course and I am currently preparing my visa requiements :D one of which is proof of housing so I was wondering where you stayed during your stay in paris and if you don’t mind how much was your rent? did you end up moving from one place to another? is it really impossible to get a place to stay before classes start?
    Thank you so much! :D

    Pat

    2 Oct 13 at 4:58 PM

  17. […] family. It’s rather curious how I had never stepped into this place given how close it is to Ferrandi, where I spent my first 5 months in Paris, but I’m glad I finally did. One of their staff […]

  18. […] That’s Sarah in the kitchen, accompanied by Lise, who is actually a classmate from Ferrandi. […]

  19. Hi Cindy! I found your blog via your feature on Lost in Cheeseland, and I love that you’ve written an FAQ on Ferrandi as well as the week by week breakdown — such a good resource for me as I’m trying to decide where to learn professional pastry arts. I wanted to know for the internships, is it easy for someone who isn’t from Paris to secure a position? I’m from the US and I understand how difficult it would be to get a job there after the course, but I wanted to know is it also hard to be placed in a Paris internship? Or did many international students return home for their internships? Sorry for the long question but thanks so much for your help!

    – AM

    Ashley-Marie

    22 Jan 14 at 6:37 PM

  20. Hi AM, here are the answers to your questions. Yes it is easy for students (even those who are not from Paris) to find an internship because Ferrandi helps with the setup. However, it is difficult to get a job offer after the internship, mostly because work visa is hard to get. Most international students I know return to their home countries after the internships. Does this help?

    sugarednspiced

    6 Feb 14 at 6:25 PM

  21. Hi, i .am currently a student here in US at college studying baking and pastry arts. I have two semesters left starting starting in fall of this year. I now have an opportunity and I have funds and resources to attend this school in Paris, I wanted to ask your oppinion should I apply there and go study there or should I finish here everything in college, after college I dont think.I.will..be able to..go.there, what would you do ? Is it.worth it for me to..go.there or is it better to stay

    minde

    13 Feb 14 at 5:46 PM

  22. Hi Minde, thank you for your message. I can’t really tell you whether it’s worth it to come to Paris or not since I don’t know your situation and what you want to achieve in the future. I can tell you that I came to Paris to study French pastry art because there was nowhere nearly as good to learn this back in Asia, but if your education in the US is already very good and less costly, perhaps there’s less of an incentive for you to come to France. However, a big part of living in Paris is that you constantly get to taste amazing creations from the pastry shops here, and for me that’s a huge inspiration. Hope this helps.

    sugarednspiced

    15 Feb 14 at 10:21 AM

  23. Hi!

    I’m interested in the program you took and I want to ask whether it is possible to do part-time work while in the program? And if it was possible, was there anyone in your class who did part-time work?

    Thanks! Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Angeli

    21 Feb 14 at 7:40 AM

  24. Hi Angeli, yes and yes – there was a girl in my class who worked part time as a waitress at a cafe while enrolled in the program. However, the program is quite intense and you will be tired after school, so keep that in mind when you look for a job.

    sugarednspiced

    24 Feb 14 at 7:06 AM

  25. Hi! Just wondering whether you could share more about your personal experience of seeking a permanent job in Paris after completing your internship. i’m assuming you are working in a permanent patissier position in Paris currently..are you?

    Fun

    24 Mar 14 at 2:06 PM

  26. Hi! Thank you for the infos you provided :) just wondering if they will also teach you on crepe making in pastry program..how long is usually the application process? Because right now I’m still waiting for them to send me the application through email. Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you so much!

    Chel C

    4 May 14 at 3:29 AM

  27. Hi,

    I am thinking about applying for the pastry course. I was wondering what references you used for your application? It says to use references from previous employers related to the industry. But for me, I’ve never worked in this industry, that’s why I want to do the course.

    Will it affect my chances if I haven’t had a job revolving around patisserie?

    R

    Ruby

    31 May 14 at 4:17 PM

  28. Hi Ruby, most students in the program have not previously worked in related industry, so it’s completely ok :)

    sugarednspiced

    2 Jun 14 at 8:12 AM

  29. Hi, sorry for bothering! I love your blog and am incredibly inspired by you to pursue pastry. However, I was wonderinng something similar to what Fun mentioned above. Could you share a little regarding finding a permanent position in France after school? Did your employer help you obtain a work visa? I had been considering this for extremely long, but am not keen on working in my home country. However, I’m also wary of the difficulties of obtaining a work permit for non-EU citizens. Thanks!

    Kevin

    2 Jul 14 at 11:58 AM

  30. Hi,

    Thank you for this FAQ! Very helpfull! I was wondering if there is still enough time to apply for the february intake since it is allready august?

    Lisa

    31 Jul 14 at 9:22 PM

  31. Hi!

    How did everyone go about getting a loan? The school doesn’t offer financial aid and I don’t have 20k laying around. Any help would be amazing!!! I got accepted into the program for September 2015

    Tom

    26 Mar 15 at 8:03 PM

  32. Thanks for the great insights! To your knowledge, what’s the maximum number of Chinese student intake per program?

    Lizzie

    3 Jun 15 at 3:47 AM

  33. I’m not aware of any cap on the number of students from each country, but as far as I know from the past sessions there can be as many as 6 students from the same country.

    sugarednspiced

    3 Jun 15 at 8:51 PM

  34. Really love this blog!

    Diming

    18 Jun 15 at 5:13 PM

  35. Hi…

    What do you think about Ferrandi compare to Ecole Lenotre?

    Thanks.

    Dimas

    30 Aug 15 at 7:13 PM

  36. Hi Dimas,

    I’ve never attended Ecole Lenotre so I can’t compare, all I know is the Lenotre only has French classes so if that’s a concern for you, you should choose Ferrandi. As far as I know both schools offer very good classes.

    sugarednspiced

    31 Aug 15 at 12:16 PM

  37. Hi!

    Will the school help me find the internship at the five stars hotels or three michelin stars restaurants ?

    Derby

    1 Sep 15 at 7:37 PM

  38. Yes it will :) I have classmates who interned at five star hotels and three michelin star restaurants.

    sugarednspiced

    3 Sep 15 at 10:09 AM

  39. Hi

    After the internship… did i can applied jobs in paris?

    Harry

    1 Sep 15 at 7:45 PM

  40. Yes you can apply for jobs in Paris, just be ready to deal with visa issues.

    sugarednspiced

    3 Sep 15 at 10:09 AM

  41. Hi, i am wondering wether the diplome they offer in Ferrandi is the same as the one in Le Cordon Bleu, or is the one in LCB is more like the CAP?
    Also, if some places offers only 2 months internship, then what about the 3 months minimum?

    Elva

    13 Sep 15 at 12:59 AM

  42. Neither is the CAP, both are diplomes from the school and not recognized nationally. However the Ferrandi training should prepare you to take the CAP exam, should you decide to do so on your own. I’m not sure about Cordon Bleu as I didn’t do that program. If you intern at a place for 2 months, you need to find another one to fulfill the 3 month requirement.

    sugarednspiced

    14 Sep 15 at 10:02 AM

  43. Thanks for this FAQ!
    I’m very curious about this CAP exam possibility. I’ll star learning French just in 2016, but I intend to attend Ferrandi in 2 or 3 years, so hopefully by then I’ll know enough French to take an exam. What other subjects are asked? Ferrandi offers classes (how long?) or shall I study by myself?
    That could be important if I decide to hang around France for a few years after the course (I have EU citizenship).

    Sandro

    22 Nov 15 at 4:14 AM

  44. I took the CAP as an individual candidate, not as part of the Ferrandi program, though the school does offer this option. In addition to pastry fabrication, there are also history/geography, French, math/sciences, hygiene, enterprise management etc. which you will need to prepare for. It sounds like a lot, but definitely doable with a little bit of studying.

    sugarednspiced

    23 Nov 15 at 6:06 AM

  45. Hi, Must commend you (and i know i am not the first one to do so) that after 2 year of this post you are still getting queries – like me :). I am in process of applying through to the Sept course and would like seek advice around the application that enhances your chance. Please let me know if there an email id i can send you an mail? Appreciate your advice in advance

    Madhu

    30 Nov 15 at 10:26 AM

  46. Hi you!

    What do you think about the facility compared to LCB?

    Merci…

    Joey

    14 Dec 15 at 11:10 AM

  47. […] days making, tasting, reading, photographing, and writing about pastries. I completed the Intensive Professional Program in French Pastry at Ferrandi, and subsequently worked at Un Dimanche à Paris, Fauchon, Carette, and […]

    butter'myspoon

    16 Dec 15 at 1:49 PM

  48. Hi Sugared & Spiced, would you recommend this course for fresh high school graduates? Thanks.

    Elijah

    18 May 16 at 10:25 AM

  49. I recommend this course for people who would like to learn French pastries, whether you are fresh high school graduate or have been working in other industries :)

    sugarednspiced

    19 May 16 at 7:11 AM

  50. Hello Sugared & Spiced!

    I’m am applying to the september course, yet I’m stuck at the cover letter. Do you have any tips or advice?
    Second, is this program only about traditional french pastry? or do we learn about contemporary pastry too?

    Thank you very much

    Raquel

    7 Oct 16 at 3:42 PM

  51. Just write about why you love pastry and why you think the course will help you achieve your goal, you should be fine :) It’s mostly traditional French pastry, though the chef may add in a little bit of contemporary things.

    sugarednspiced

    10 Oct 16 at 7:47 AM

  52. I found this very helpful, I applied for pastry program and will do the interview this week. I would like to ask you about the housing. May I know which arrondissement you lived? Thank you :)

    Gari

    19 Feb 17 at 12:40 PM

  53. I was living in the 6th, just a 10-min walk from Ferrandi :)

    sugarednspiced

    20 Feb 17 at 2:37 AM

  54. Hi,
    thanks a ton for putting together so much info its quite useful for anyone considering Ferrandi . wanted to understand if you had applied for the Caf benefits .

    Thanks.
    Nidhi

    Nidhi

    20 Oct 17 at 4:31 PM

  55. Hi Nidhi, I didn’t but a few of my classmates did, it’s definitely worth looking into.

    sugarednspiced

    30 Oct 17 at 4:08 PM

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