ACC culinary students study overseas with French pastry chefs

Eight Austin Community College culinary arts students found themselves spending their summer break tucked inside a bright and bustling kitchen nestled in a castle atop the rolling hills of Yssingeaux, France.

ACC-Pastry-Arts-Grand-Buffet-2015-0366“This was a summer they won’t forget,” says Chef Stephanie Herrington, ACC Culinary Arts Department chair. “All the things they learned overseas they’re going to apply here, wherever they decide to work after graduating,”

The students were selected to study abroad at Ecole Nationale Supérierure de Pâtisserie, France’s leading school in pastry and baking arts.

“It was amazing to be able to study French pastries in France itself; be totally thrown into the French culture, the French cuisine, the French flavor, and the French people. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” recalls Stephanie Calk, ACC culinary arts student.

For three weeks, Calk and her fellow ACC classmates immersed themselves into the intensive hands-on program. They worked with world-renowned pastry chefs to develop unique dishes and learn the technical skills of French pastries.

ACC-Pastry-Arts-Grand-Buffet-2015-0395“It just opened up my eyes immensely. It will have a huge impact on where we take our careers,” says Steve Singleton, ACC culinary arts student.

The opportunity, provided through ACC’s International Programs, is the Culinary Art Department’s second study-abroad trip.

“I’ve seen a total change in them since we’ve been back. They’ve stepped it up,” says Chef Herrington.

“I learned you can do whatever you set your mind to. It really made me realize that,” says Hannah Fiveash, ACC culinary arts student. “Whatever you want to do you make that happen.”

Watch the students in action at Ecole Nationale Supérierure de Pâtisserie:

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