Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? For Jazlyn Hancock, a Culinary Arts Assistant at Meridian, studying French pastry arts in Paris is the perfect way to satisfy her sweet tooth and fulfill her culinary dreams.
Hancock is set to spend over two months in Paris taking a French Pastry Arts Essentials class from the famous École Ducasse culinary school.
“I went to Meridian so I don’t have any student loans,” Hancock said. “I thought, ‘Why couldn’t I do it? Why not me?’”
After some hesitation, she applied for the program. Then, after a rigorous application and interview process, she got a call from Paris.
“At first I didn’t tell anyone,” Hancock said. “They only allow a very limited number of students, and I thought there was no way I would get in, but I did!”
École Ducasse is a prestigious culinary academy in Paris that offers hands-on training programs for food enthusiasts from around the world. The courses are designed to help students establish themselves in the culinary industry.
“Students [at École Ducasse] learn from experienced chefs and experts in the field, who provide hands-on instruction and personalized attention to each individual,” said Francesca Palazuelos, Recruiter at École Ducasse. “With its focus on traditional French cuisine, combined with modern and innovative approaches, École Ducasse is at the forefront of culinary education and training.”
École Ducasse was founded in 1999 by Alain Ducasse, the first chef to have three restaurants hold three Michelin stars simultaneously. Likewise, the culinary school still maintains a focus on creating high-quality food that is a blend of modern and traditional techniques.
Hancock will spend eight weeks learning about the history of French pastry, baking techniques and how to create delicious desserts.
The first four weeks of the program will focus on the essential techniques of French pastry arts. The next few weeks delve into specific topics like chocolate and bread baking. For the final week, students will work as interns in École Ducasse’s Michelin-rated restaurant.
“I’m really excited to learn sugar work and developing flavor profiles,” Hancock said. “Meridian is a great learning environment so things are never stagnant. I’m excited to keep learning and bring those lessons back to the students and staff.”
Hancock also looks forward to visiting bakeries around the city of lights.
“I really want to visit Angelina, a famous bakery in Paris,” Hancock said. “On my way back I’ll also get to spend some time in London with my mentor, Ben Coffin, who owns Granny Had One in Guthrie.”
Hancock started out in Meridian’s Culinary Arts program when she was in high school and joined Tech’s staff shortly after graduating.
Meridian’s Culinary Arts program is open to high school students and adults. Adult enrollment is open now but space is limited.
To learn more about Meridian’s Culinary Arts and other full-time programs, visit meridiantech.edu/programs.