Have you always wanted to know how macarons can be baked at home? In her Buda studio, which with its stucco and high ceilings is reminiscent of an apartment in Paris, Chauvin-Némethy offers courses that are all about French delicacies. In different workshops she teaches young and old how to bake baguettes, eclairs, croquembouche and other traditional French desserts. With her help, students can then bring a touch of France to their own home.


How it all began

Neri Chauvin-Némethy has been running L'École de Grande Pâtisserie for five years now. Her customers are not only Hungarians. According to the 44-year-old, many foreigners, such as Koreans, Chinese, Japanese, Austrians, Germans, America and even people from France have attended her courses. She therefore not only teaches in Hungarian but also offers her courses in German and English.

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The mother of two children says she is married to a French gourmet, but it was not only because of him that she developed a passion for French cuisine. Already at a young age Neri went to Germany, where she attended school. On weekends she did not have the opportunity to visit her family in Hungary as often as the other German schoolgirls. Therefore she often stayed at the school.

She often spent her time watching a caregiver, who was French, bake and cook. This was the first time she came into contact with French cuisine, Chauvin-Némethy recalls. Nevertheless, she did not hire herself out as a cook after graduating from school. Instead, she mastered a whole range of different professions: among other things, she worked as a fashion designer but also held a position in the family business as a development engineer for water-filter systems.

Over time, however, her desire to do what she loves and enjoys grew. Years after Chauvin-Némethy first came into contact with French cuisine at boarding school, she took baking courses and continued her education in this field. A few years ago, together with her husband, she founded a catering company and began to supply events, hotels and weddings with her traditional French delicacies.


Foundation of an own baking school

So more and more people became aware of her skills. She received many requests to pass on her knowledge of French cuisine. Since Chauvin-Némethy said she liked teaching, she decided to share her passion and knowledge with others. The first courses and workshops slowly developed into L'École de Grande Pâtisserie, a typical French baking school, in which every apprentice can acquire expert knowledge on technical and food-chemical aspects of patisserie.

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"In the first lesson, my students learn why something succeeds or fails. They can't avoid food chemistry," she says with a smile. Once understood, this would result in a kind of I-see moment for many: "I often get to hear sentences like: 'That's why I can't do it at home! I've been doing that wrong for years‘."

It took about a year for everything to get rolling properly. The school doesn't advertise. Instead, she relies solely on recommendations. She owes a lot here to the help of friends and family as well as to her satisfied business partners, whom she had supplied with delicacies. In the meantime, her courses are usually fully booked two months in advance. After the school initially operated out of the breakfast kitchen of the Budapest Novotel Hotel, it is now in a Buda villa with its own garden, which also has a French flair.


A piece of France

In L'École de Grande Pâtisserie only original ingredients from France are used, which you can buy in small quantities after the course to recook what you have learned at home. Adult courses take place in the morning or evening, sometimes on weekends. Each event has a theme or a specific dish.

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A course lasts about three hours. First, the recipe is discussed together and the ingredients and accessories are explained. Then the delicacy is prepared together step by step. The finished dessert can be tasted together or taken home. The number of participants is limited to ten per event, so that everyone receives attention.

In addition to one-day workshops there are one-week summer courses. You can choose which dessert you would like to learn. As well as French bread and baguettes there are homemade puff pastry, macarons and typical French cakes such as Galette des Rois, Fraisier and St. Honoré, plus modern decorations for cakes such as sugar flowers, sweets and creams in various flavours.

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Another dessert that can be learned is the French delicacy Canelé, a Bordeaux pastry speciality flavoured with rum and vanilla, with a soft pudding heart and a thick caramelised crust.


Make your own macarons

The preparation of macarons is something very special for the participants. In Chauvin-Némethy's course they learn to prepare the small double biscuits in many shapes, such as hearts, flowers and clouds. They are filled with creams in the flavours vanilla, matcha and espresso. In addition, the students can bake the biscuits afterwards with edible gold and dried flowers.

She knows why this course is so in demand: "There are lots of recipes on the internet but nowhere are all the necessary technical steps shown." This is precisely the focus of L'École de Grande Pâtisserie – learning the perfect technique so that you can bake successfully later. Her sweets contain a great deal of love for detail. With her French cuisine, she not only offers a lovely taste experience but also manages to create particularly high-quality and beautiful creations that are almost too good to eat.

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Not only adults can join as there are courses for children, and even special summer camps for 8-14-year-olds. In one week the little ones can learn the basics of French cuisine and try themselves out. The camp bakes in the mornings but in the afternoons other creative activities are offered, such as making paper flowers, making vases from decorative concrete or painting desserts with watercolours.

This year the summer courses are being offered for the third time. A one-week course for children lasts from Monday to Friday, daily from 9am to 3.30pm.

For companies, teambuilding events can be organised, plus private celebrations such as birthdays or hen parties. At the latter, for example, the bride receives a crown and the course is adapted to the wedding theme.

In addition to group workshops, the school has been offering private lessons for three years. Confectioners and food bloggers, in particular, can use this opportunity to train at their own pace. An individual timetable is put together for participants.

See www.frenchpastryschool.eu
E-mail: info@frenchpastryschool.eu


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