The French Pastry School: What was your background previous to pastry, and what led you to pursue a pastry education?
Brianna Cecil: My senior year of high school I decided I wanted to pursue a career in pastry. I've always wanted a job where I could be creative, and I realized I loved to bake so I decided to make a career out of it. I started my journey at Milwaukee Area Technical College where I decided to get an associate’s degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. During my time there, I was introduced to The French Pastry School and took a tour of FPS in July of 2013. At that point I decided that once I graduated from MATC I would then attend The French Pastry School.
FPS: What has been the most surprising or eye-opening moment for you so far in the program?
BC: It's been so amazing to look at who I was during the beginning of the program and who I am now. I have changed so much. I now work more organized and see that everything and everyone have a purpose. Watching the chefs work and how surreal it is to just watch them work so smoothly, it’s just amazing.
FPS: What are your plans following graduation?
BC: I plan to return home to Wisconsin for a few months. Then starting in April 2015 I will start my new job as a pastry cook at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
FPS: Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you hope to be?
BC: I plan to work hard so I can earn a title as a pastry chef in hopefully 5 years. I am hoping to get certification through the American Culinary Federation, and I hope to travel through Asia to learn about the culture and more about their baking and pastry styles.
FPS: In the future, what will you look back on and remember most vividly about your time as a student at The French Pastry School?
BC: Chef Jacquy is such an amazing and sweet man. From the moment I had him in class I just knew I was in good hands. Having such an amazing chef tell me that he sees me doing well in the industry and that he loved having me in his classes just warms my heart. He reminds me of a fatherly figure. He wants to see me do well and succeed. Chef En-Ming was also amazing. Working with a female World Pastry Champion is amazing. She does great demos and always makes sure that you understand what you are doing. Chef Joel loves to work with his students and make sure they understand. Chef Jonathan is so awesome. He is passionate about bread and he knows so much. He taught me so much in such little time and I will never forget our “French words of the day.” Chef Patrice is fun and has such a great spirit. He's so welcoming and funny. I loved going to his class every day. Chef Megan was always welcoming and so warm hearted. She wants you to do well and she's such a kind and lovely woman. I will never forget all the amazing chefs I studied under at The French Pastry School.