Short Course in Pastry and Chocolate

Certificate, Diploma and Swiss Grand Diploma options

Short Course in Pastry and Chocolate


Delivered in our state-of-the-art city campus facilities in the heart of Lucerne, this comprehensive programme caters to anyone interested in learning about pastry and chocolate arts. This 3-step programme may be taken as individual building blocks of 11 weeks each or as a Swiss Grand Diploma over 33 weeks.

Pastry & Chocolate – Lucerne Campus

Explore the world of European pastry and chocolate arts in Switzerland – the birthplace of milk chocolate. Set on the shores of Lake Lucerne, with the Swiss Alps a stone’s throw away, this former Grand Hotel is situated at the end of Lucerne’s pedestrian shopping area – as Switzerland’s most popular tourist destination there are plenty of shops, restaurants and activities for time spent outside of the kitchen. As a historic building, our hotel campus offers a unique environment to live and learn, steeped in the heritage of Swiss Hospitality tradition.

The Kitchen Experience

For each class, pastry chef instructors and chocolatiers teach culinary demonstrations in front of the class to explain each technique. Students then practice the techniques learnt during the demonstration at workstations with guidance every step of the way. While a kitchen is a disciplined environment, the teaching style remains approachable and light-hearted.  The final Pastry & Chocolate Master Challenge will give you the opportunity to showcase your skills and creativity.

Students who enrol and complete at least 2 consecutive terms qualify for a paid full-time internship in Switzerland or abroad. For those students completing an internship in Switzerland, language courses may become a mandatory part of the programme in preparation for the placement.

*Minimum gross monthly salary in Switzerland: CHF 2,212.-

Term 1
From Farm to Table

The global environmental awakening has paved the way for the global farm-to-table movement for sustainable food supply. Working with seasonal local ingredients requires a wide set of skills, techniques as well as creativity. This module will give you an insight into the farm-to-table movement and how local dairy, fruit and grains are sourced from local farmer’s markets and how they are used for seasonal menu planning. In this practical module, you will learn the skills to work with those specific ingredients and you will experience a guided local farmer’s market trip.

Artisan Bakery

Artisan or artisanal bread is made by artisan bakers using the best local ingredients with traditional techniques. This form of baking takes time and effort and there are no shortcuts. Some of these breads require several hours of labour while others can take several days or even weeks. Artisan breads have incredibly unique flavours and textures that may not be found in regular supermarket breads. This module explores the science of pastry ABC, while also covering breads, Danish pastries and savoury bakes.

Traditional Swiss and European Pastry

This module allows you to discover the secrets of traditional Swiss and European pastry art. Working on creams and fillings as well as cakes, tarts and pies, or biscuits and cookies, you will discover hundreds of years of baking and pastry tradition and history.

Term 2
From Cocoa Bean to Chocolate Bar

Most people know the satisfaction of taking a big bite off their favourite chocolate bar, but very few appreciate the painstaking journey this small cocoa bean has undertaken from ancient times until today. Originally restricted to deities of ancient Mayan culture in South America, chocolate is today one of our most beloved sweets. Using your previously acquired pastry knowledge and techniques, you will learn how to turn this ‘divine’ bean into chocolate bars, truffles and pralines.

Modern Desserts

In this course module, you will learn how to produce ice creams and sorbets, and to create hot, cold, and frozen desserts, parfaits, soufflés. You will familiarise yourself with the flavour and texture combinations of outstanding plated desserts. Learning how to use all five senses for evaluation, you will come up with your own stunning creations.

Vegetarian, Vegan and Dietary Trends

Dietary restrictions, be it by choice or by health, are an important consideration for any chef. This module focuses on the impact clientele have on menu development. As you learn more about the effect of dietary restrictions in the kitchen, this module will provide you with knowledge, ideas and techniques to help inspire you to create an adapted menu for dietary needs.

Term 3
From Idea to Masterpiece

Every masterpiece needs an initial idea, but not every idea becomes a masterpiece. From chocolate and pastillage to sugar work, this module will take your pastry and chocolate skills to a new level of excellence. Building on the skills and knowledge you acquired throughout the certificate and diploma programmes, you will now learn the master skills to turn your chocolate and pastry ideas into reality.

Industry Trends & Concepts

Trends in bread, bakery and pastry innovation tend to be heavily related to health, pleasure, and convenience factors. This module analyzes how culinary trends are influencing product innovation in the baking and pastry industry. Looking at sensory development, food pairing, 3D printing and advanced molecular techniques, will help you get an insight into trends and concepts within this exciting industry.

Innovative Showroom Excellence

This capstone module ends in the culmination of everything you have learnt during the full Swiss Grand Diploma. You will integrate and demonstrate your practical and theoretical knowledge as you set out for the final Pastry & Chocolate Master Challenge. From week to week, you will be stepping up to your highest level of artistry and mastery before your luxury pastry creation together with your final ‘Show Stopper’ chocolate piece will stand out of the crowd and wow the jury members of the board of experts.

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