French Pastry School founders receive France’s highest civilian award

Pastry chefs Pfeiffer and Canonne now knights of the order.


Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer

When Jacquy Pfeiffer and Sébastien Canonne started The French Pastry School in 1995, they wanted to create an environment where superior pastry chefs could be trained.

Not only have the two pastry chefs succeeded, but the French government has taken notice.

Both Pfeiffer and Canonne were presented with the title of Chevalier de la Ordes des Palmes Academiques (Knight of the Order of the Academic Palms). Instituted by Napoleon during his reign, the title awards “teaching and the development of knowledge.”

Canonne says both he and Pfeiffer are honored to receive the award.

Chef Sébastien Canonne 

“This award helps us reaffirm that we are on the right track and that we should keep going,” he says.

The award was presented by Graham Paul, the Consul General of France in Chicago, during the school’s commencement Jan. 18th to recognize 98 graduates of its full-time programs, L'Art de la Pâtisserie and L'Art du Gâteau.

During the ceremony, Paul described the qualities that make the school unique.

“What is remarkable in the success story of The French Pastry School is the clear choice made right at the beginning to found a professional education institution… on the model of the French artisan apprenticeship,” he said.

While the award is a great honor, neither chef is resting on his laurels. Pfeiffer will be publishing his first cookbook later this year, and both are engaged in bringing new talent to further enhance the school’s award-winning staff.

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