French Pastry School: What has been the most surprising moment for you so far in the program?
Alison Chronis: During the July, 2010 session of L’Art de la Pâtisserie program, I realized how much I love making many different kinds of pastry. I never thought I would love to make breads or chocolates or ice cream so much. This was truly inspiring. I will never forget “Croquembouche Day” during the wedding cakes section of the program and being so excited to make a traditional French wedding cake and build this tower of pâte à choux and sugar. Seeing the expressions of people as I carried it on the “el” train home made it even more gratifying!
FPS: What are your plans following graduation?
AC: While a student, I worked as a student intern at the Chicago Marriott Hotel on Michigan Avenue in the pastry kitchen. The staff there is wonderful, and everyone really loves what they do. Marriott is a great company and exactly the type of job I had hoped to find after attending The French Pastry School. FPS gave me a great foundation for working in a hotel pastry kitchen that makes such a vast variety of pastries. Working in a big hotel is so dynamic, and there is always something new to work on.
FPS: What will you remember most vividly about your time as a student at The French Pastry School?
AC: The chefs’ experiences and stories they shared were invaluable lessons, and their advice will always stick in my mind. Frequently in my job or just at home in my kitchen, I can hear their words of instruction as they said them in class.
Since graduating from FPS, I completed my student internship at Marriott International, Magnificent Mile location, and was offered and accepted a full-time position in the Pastry kitchen. I work under Executive Pastry Chef Cheryl Brookhouzen. Working at a big hotel has really taught me how to dive into a job head first and utilize what The French Pastry School taught me.