Looking for a Colorado baking and pastry school to help launch your profession?

Sweeten your career with real-world training at Escoffier’s baking and pastry arts school in Boulder, Colorado. The baking and pastry programs can ready you for a wide range of career paths in this highly-desired, specialized field. As one of the best pastry schools in Colorado, if not in all the entire West, our student-centered education allows you to navigate your way through our curriculum in small classes led by field-experienced chef educators.

Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Baking and Pastry

The Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Baking and Pastry at our Boulder, CO campus prepares students for a career in the hospitality and food service industry with a pastry concentration. The program curriculum blends lectures, demonstrations and practical experiences for an integrated approach to the pastry arts. Courses focusing on patisserie, confiserie and artisan baking, world history and culture, professional communications, and more provide a well rounded education needed for professional advancement. At the end of the course work students are required to complete 12 weeks of industry externships in an approved industry setting to gain full functional knowledge and experience.

Degree Courses

Courses in the associate degree program concentrate on both theory and application in the following areas:

  • Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry

    This course concentrates on food safety and sanitation in the professional kitchen. The importance of proper hygiene, food handling and storage, cleaning, pest control and HACCP in a food service operation is explored. The course includes baking and pastry mixing methods and ingredient identification. The framework in understanding the principles of the following cooking and baking techniques are taught: classic pastry doughs, pâte à choux, fried doughs, pies and tarts, baked custards and stove top custards, quick breads, scones, muffins, cookies, brownies and bars, as well as dessert sauces.

  • Menu Design and Management

    This course explores different types of menus (including food and beverage) and their applications. The course covers all aspects of menu planning and design, ranging from visual design to price analysis to making use of available resources. The menu is both a financial tool and a communication tool, and students learn about its uses as both.

  • Business and Professional Communications

    This course emphasizes the principles and practical application of effective communication behaviors within professional, business, and organizational contexts. In addition to identifying the importance of valuable communication skills in the hospitality industry, communication styles and effective listening methods are addressed. Students will create oral presentations including cooking demonstrations, and special occasion speeches. Listening skills, verbal and nonverbal communication, conflict resolution, cultural differences in communication, and debate techniques are also covered.

  • Patisserie

    Pâtisserie begins with learning the classic meringue techniques that lead into the creation of European buttercreams. Students will learn classic mixing methods and piping skills. Specialty dessert cakes and decorated special occasion cakes are a major focus of this course work concentrating on factors related to the baking industry. Frozen desserts and plating as well as principles and techniques in wedding cake construction are also covered. Pastry and baking production timelines are examined as students are introduced to sugar cookery and fresh fruit dessert items. This course provides instruction, examples, and guidance in the following areas: decorating classic European cakes, rolled fondant designed cakes, hand iced specialty cakes, ice cream and sorbet, candied fruit, gum paste flowers, marzipan, and modeling chocolate.

  • Foodservice Math & Accounting

    All foodservice managers must understand and manage the costs associated with operating their businesses. Foodservice Math & Accounting introduces students to managerial accounting and cost control concepts and explains their applications to specific operations within the hospitality industry. Emphasis is placed on how to administer accounting procedures to minimize costs while maintaining a full range of customer services. After summary of the fundamentals of culinary math, an overview of basic business cost control functions is covered including expenses, revenue, food, beverage, labor, and other controllable and non-controllable costs. Income statements and profit analysis are also covered.

  • Food and Beverage Cost Control

    Three out of five foodservice operations fail within five years of opening, often due to money mismanagement. This course gives students the skills to not only keep their restaurant in business but also turn a profit. This course introduces students to purchasing, receiving, inventory management and menu pricing. Students learn how to minimize costs and maintain a full range of customer services. The course progresses from the fundamentals of culinary math into an overview of storeroom operations, inventory, portion control-as purchased and edible portions, ingredient conversions, and recipe costing.

  • Confiserie and Artisan Baking

    Artisan Bread making provides the framework for understanding the principles of pre-fermentation, biga and sponge, starting and maintaining a variety of sourdough starters, extended fermentation, the 10 steps of bread production, proper shaping, proofing and scoring, whole grain breads, Italian artisan breads, enriched breads, special occasion/holiday breads, puff pastry, and laminated dough. In the confiserie portion of this course, students will study the proper techniques in buying, storing, melting, and tempering chocolate, candies, truffles and pralines, nut based candies, cooked sugar based candies and sugar art showpiece design and execution, chocolate molding, chocolate finishing techniques, chocolate decorations, amenity design & execution, chocolate showpiece design and execution.

  • World History & Culture from the Culinary Perspective

    This course examines the role of food and its contribution and influence over history, culture, religion, economics and politics. It addresses societal organization impact, industrial development, military conflict, and economic expansion.

  • Foodservice Management

    This course covers the different types of commercial food service operations, and how to manage each using the principles of good service. Students study the hierarchy of management in food service, and the skills needed to succeed as a manager: training, motivation, discipline, and creating a safe and positive work environment. The course also explores how to act responsibly and make decisions that benefit the company.

  • Technical Writing for the Hospitality Industry

    This course prepares students to write in the hospitality and food service professions. In a professional setting, writing provides readers information they need in a format they can understand. This course outlines strategies for making subjects clear to readers who need to understand them. It demonstrates how to effectively communicate with an audience as the author must meet rigorous editing standards, in addition to writing in a clear, concise style and presenting information logically.

  • Global and Contemporary Cuisine

    This course highlights modern considerations in the baking industry. Trends in diets and eating habits are constantly changing, and being able to stay on top of them is a key industry skill. Students also learn about cutting-edge trends in dessert composition and contemporary plating techniques, and how to stay current with those. In addition, the course explores regional desserts, as well as their cultural significance and the historical influences that produced them.

  • The Science of Nutrition

    This course covers the basic principles of nutrition, emphasizing nutrients, food sources, and their role in growth, development, and overall health. Contemporary and global nutritional issues are also discussed.

  • Building Your Own Business

    This course covers such topics as business planning, pricing, credit management, government regulation, legal concerns, and business ethics. Students learn how to manage and how to lead. For the final project for this course, the student will complete and present a business plan for a food service operation.

  • Pastry Industry Externship I

    This course provides opportunities for real life experiences in an operational restaurant or related business and builds on the skills and techniques covered in previous courses. In the course, students apply the skills they’ve learned in practical ways to real-world situations. Students gain hands-on experience in a kitchen that mirrors their future work in the industry and develop the skills necessary for a culinary career. Immersion in a work environment also allows students to develop industry contacts and build working relationships.

  • Pastry Industry Externship II

    This course provides opportunities for real life experiences in an operational restaurant or related business and builds on the skills and techniques covered in previous courses. In the course, students apply the skills they’ve learned in practical ways to real-world situations. Students gain hands-on experience in a kitchen that mirrors their future work in the industry and develop the skills necessary for a culinary career. Immersion in a work environment also allows students to develop industry contacts and build working relationships.

Pastry Arts Curriculum

Our Boulder based diploma and degree programs provide the foundation for a comprehensive understanding of the pastry arts. Our educational approach integrates lectures, demonstrations and professional industry experience to produce graduates skilled to enter the baking and food service industry.

“Attending Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts has directly contributed to my success. For me, the chef educators and courses built a foundation of knowledge, confidence and creativity. By working with people who did not attend pastry school, I have found that my experience at the school really did prepare me for my career. Other schools don’t offer students the ability to try different flavor profiles and really work on the presentation aspect and bringing your own personality into it.”

Lezlie Mills Gibbs

Pastry Arts Graduate, Head Pastry Chef & Co-Kitchen Manager, La Patisserie by Luxe Sweets

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