The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Apprenticeship programs?

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betheeo's picture

Apprenticeship programs?

Hi there,

I've been working in the pastry world for almost 4 years now and I'm hoping to get an apprenticeship as a baker to start my next chapter.  Bread is the missing link for me--I feel I've had exposure and developed a level of confidence with most aspects of pastry, but I'd like to be more versatile in the kitchen and learn how an artisan bread operation works.  I was raised making bread in the home kitchen with my grandmother, but bulk production is somewhat foreign to me.  I have plans to quit my current position as head baker here at a small bakery in Portland, Oregon and head to Europe to visit with friends in Switzerland.  I'm  *hoping* to land a short-term stage or apprenticeship somewhere.  Any guidance/suggestions out there?  I feel ignorant showing up in France/Germany/Switzerland and expecting to land something without a little research.  I'm fluent in Spanish...should I invest in learning some French to help my chances?  Again, any guidance would help tremendously.  Thanks!

Stephan Theriault's picture
Stephan Theriault



 I don't know about apprenticeships, but to work in France you need a work permit. I think that a long duration visas might allow you to work at an unpaid apprenticeship. In any case be sure to check with the embassy before leaving. Personaly I would advise you against that because you don't speak french. Finding a bakery where the baker speaks english without contacts would probably be quite hard. I would sugest you go the school route. The following site has info on schools wich offer international course:

Of those the three I would sugest are Bellouet, ENSP or INBP. I think your most likely to find something to your liking at these. Specificaly at Bellouet in Paris they offer short course 3 to 5 days, 8 hours a day, and they have  a few bread course given by an MOF. Click on the brithish flag at the bottom, then on ``courses for professionals`` for info on those. The twelve week course is about pastry.

ENBP is in Yssingeaux in the Auveergne, in an old refurbished chateau. They offer a long pastry course, and three short courses. One of the short courses is a bread baking course. Just click on the british flag at the top for the english course info. The bread course is two months at the school and a one month internship.

The INBP is in Rouen, Normandi. Scroll down about half way  on there site and click on ``International`` on the left side. For those who don`t speak french you can contact them and tailor a course to what you want such as bread baking. They offer an interpretor in class, They also have a dorm building across the street from the school they share with another school, so space  amy be limited.

Anyhowe I hope this helps, and have a good trip.

betheeo's picture

Thanks so much!  This information is very helpful--I'll look into it!!