Pastry Fundamentals I
$460 per person
Our Fundamentals classes are designed to give home cooks a solid foundation of skills for everyday cooking and baking. They will build your confidence, equip you with techniques, and provide you with abundant inspiration in the kitchen.
What You'll Learn
By the end of the class you will:
- Know how to identify basic baking ingredients and understand their functions
- Practice piping, mixing, rolling doughs, assembling and decorating various pastries
- Have the ability to build a layered cake, make pastry cream and execute piping techniques
About This Class
The Pastry Fundamentals series will teach you a set of dessert-based recipes, each one with the ability to become many additional variations. Meeting once a week over three consecutive weeks, you will learn base recipes that will enable you to build an intuitive sense for how things work in the pastry kitchen and give you the freedom to create innovative desserts on your own.
You will leave Pasty Fundamentals with master recipes for pâte à choux, pastry cream, tart dough, layer cake, buttercream frosting, and more. You’ll be amazed at how many creative desserts you can bake from these foundational techniques.
And yes, you’ll get to take home many of your desserts!
Class Meetup Dates:
Session One: Pâte à Choux, Pastry Cream, Chocolate Glaze, and Intro to Tart Dough
Learn the base dough for éclairs, cream puffs, profiteroles, and gougères, as well as the traditional custard fillings, and foolproof chocolate glaze. You will also begin to explore the ins and outs of tart dough.
Session Two: Tarts, Curds, Ganache
Learn the art of a tender, flaky tart crust and how to marry it with a variety of fillings, from fruit to chocolate. You’ll also learn how to prep pastry dough-based desserts in advance, how to blind bake tarts, and even how to make your leftover scraps into delicious treats.
Session Three: Cakes and Cake Decorating
Learn the secrets of mixing, baking, assembling and frosting a complete layer cake, as well as tips on how to decorate like a pro.
- Wine included
- Light meal served in class
- Work in teams
- Suitable for vegetarians
- Three-session series
- Ages 18+
All students must show proof of vaccine before entering school and will be required to wear a mask unless eating/drinking.
We understand and respect that lifestyle decisions during Covid are an individual choice. If you test positive for Covid while the class is in session, you will be asked to send a friend in your place until you have a negative test. Classes will not be rescheduled, credited or cancelled. Once the class session starts the class is non-refundable. This was our policy pre-Covid and continues to be our policy today. We hope you find this policy acceptable and understand that this policy is required for a small school like SFCS to operate and open our kitchens for great food experiences.
The average duration of our current cooking classes is 4 hours, which is predominately hands-on work. You will be standing for the majority of class, cooking at your work station as your instructor demonstrates techniques and walks around providing individual feedback. Most of the time you’ll be working with a partner or small group on a few different recipes.
Doors will open 10 minutes prior to class starting and we will begin promptly on time. Students will be asked to queue up outside the door of the school to have their vaccine cards checked the first week of class (these will only need to be checked once).
Please arrive at the school with your own mask on. New, disposable masks are available should you need to replace yours while in class.
Wear comfortable clothes and close-toed shoes (remember, you’ll be on your feet cooking). The kitchens at SFCS are fully equipped with everything else you need, including clean aprons.
You will sit down with your classmates to eat what you’ve all prepared, along with some wine. We do suggest you have a small snack before class as dinner does happen towards the end of each session.
Wear casual clothing you can easily move around in, and comfortable close-toed shoes. Long hair must be pulled back and masks are required while in the building.
If you can’t make it to a class in a three, five or six-week series, you are welcome to send a friend in your place. Please notify us if a friend will be taking your spot.
Unfortunately, due to the small size of our classes, we do not offer make-up classes for missed sessions in a series.
Jessica Sullivan got her start cooking professionally with Paul Kliste at his Restaurante Fratelli in Portland, Oregon. After relocating to San Francisco in 2004, she worked as executive pastry chef at Nancy Oakes’ Boulevard Restaurant, and later at Prospect. In 2012, she accepted the position of executive pastry chef for Craig Stoll’s Delfina Restaurant Group. Today, she is a full-time Pastry Arts instructor at San Francisco Cooking School and serves on the board of non-profit Sprouts Cooking Club.
Amy Machnak is a pastry chef and food writer who has worked at such notable restaurants as Boulevard, Farallon, Gitane, and Hawthorne Lane. She was the recipe editor at Sunset Magazine for several years and contributed to many of their cookbooks and cooking videos. Amy won a James Beard award for food writing and both a Telly and Henry Luce award for cooking videos. She currently works as a columnist for the SF Chronicle covering baking and pastries in the Bay Area. Her first cookbook, Make it Spicy was published May 2015 and she’s currently working on a second cookbook about wedding cakes.
Christine came to San Francisco with the dream of pursing a career in pastry after her previous life in tech. Since graduating from the Professional Pastry program at SF Cooking School, she has worked at Nopa and Black Jet Baking Co., does professional recipe development and bakery consulting, and loves teaching cooking to kids and teens.
A graduate of the Pastry & Baking Program at SF Cooking School, Jill works on the lamination team at MH Bread & Butter and was formerly at Jane the Bakery. She has also spent time working in pastry at Cotogna and Quince.