It is one of the most anticipated buildings at the International City of Gastronomy and Wine in Dijon. The prestigious hotel school Ferrandi Paris opens its doors. The opportunity to meet his first students in retraining.
Crazed heads, aprons tied around the waist and closed faces, the rigor can already be read on their appearance. At the Ferrandi establishment in Dijon, white coats bustle about in the kitchen, where everything shines – stainless steel ovens, plates and refrigerators are brand new. The cooking school located in the International City of Gastronomy and Wine has indeed opened its doors.
It is the fifth establishment opened by Ferrandi, after Paris, Saint-Gratien, Bordeaux and Rennes. The 750m² Burgundian center will welcome 150 apprentice cooks per year. Students in search of excellence – the school, founded more than a century ago, is renowned throughout the world for its quality of teaching. In the heart of Dijon, two training courses will be offered. One in English, for students who want to start cooking. The professionalizing course is carried out in four months and must be validated by an internship. The other, in French, is intended for people in retraining, who want to acquire the basics of cooking and baking, in two to three weeks. For the latter, you have to pay around 3000 euros.
And it is in this course that Gaëlle Prévalet wanted to enroll. The one who rented, sold and repaired pianos confides “to be passionate about cooking, from a very young age”. It is therefore no coincidence that his knife runs over several fish. The objective of the day is to learn how to lift nets. “It’s great, we get up at dawn, we’re super motivated to come, I’m delighted!” she enthuses.
“You feel like you’re touching everything and discovering what’s inside a kitchen with organization, inventory management, waste, cold room, cleaning… Everything from A to Z. “Gaëlle Prévalet, student
For three weeks, Gaëlle will therefore follow this cooking training. A way of not getting involved and taking your time… before pushing the doors of a restaurant. This time, on the stove side.
At the Ecole Ferrandi in Dijon, the idea is not to learn to cook, but rather to become a cook. This is a difference that Frédéric Lesourd, trainer, holds: “It is important to master the technique. But cooking isn’t just about laying down a sprig of grass and putting on a little sauce. You have to learn to tidy up, clean, store. It’s all part of the breadth of a cook’s schedule. And you have to master the gesture, that seems essential to me.”
And Ferrandi is not limited to the kitchen. Pastry lessons are also offered. The day of our visit, it’s puff pastry lessons, making slippers, galettes des rois and palm trees. Professor Stevy Antoine explains: “We teach the basics of baking. We have a fifteen-day module: one week for pies and pasta and one week for mousses, desserts and more elaborate things.
The trainer inspects the apple turnovers of his pupils, and gives them advice. Among them and them, Elena Koglin. “My project would be to bring the excellence of French pastry to Switzerland, to Zurich”, launches the student in his early fifties. The former consulting executive therefore began her two-week training in pastry, in a “prestigious school in France”. She admits to being abeginner in pastry. Not an obstacle for the student.
“Fortunately with Mr. Antoine, you learn the basics and you feel at ease”she explains. “And even if we have different levels, we all learn together. There is a kind of harmony, a group dynamic.”
These first students will soon be joined by apprentice cooks from elsewhere. These foreign students will begin their courses in English in September. When they leave the Ferrandi hotel school, 9 out of 10 apprentices find a job seven months after leaving school.