Info About the Ecole Nationale Superieure de la Patisserie (ENSP)

Joined Feb 28, 2011
I have good memories of my time at the ENSP. My chef was tough but a really good teacher. Totally implicated in his work and concerned about us as people. The staff was really helpful, if we had to go to the Dr., they were there for us. They accompanied us through the whole visa process, including taking us to the medical exam 2 hours away.

Yes, sometimes things happen in the kitchen, running out of hot water etc, but this also happened during my internship and work.  Just part of life..... 

Yes, taking the shortcut to school can be muddy, but you can always walk on the road...

I learned to speak French, learned a new trade and experienced  a new culture. I am happy. I would do it again at the ENSP. My chef prepared me very well for my new career !! 
Joined Feb 28, 2011
Like what PforPastry had said,

the problems with water, gas, and walking a muddy path is probably the last of our concerns. They are obvious frustrations on top of other problems. However, the main problem is the disorganization of the FPA program. Let me remind you, last year's FPA had only 8-10 students, because the program had just started last year. This year , there are over 20 students. The quality of the program with the amount of students had a complete different effect. Overall, the program is no longer comparable to last year's students. This is now. There are problems with the disorganization of scheduling and it causes time to be wasted. The chefs do no communicate, thus wasting our time and money. There are expectations, and those expectation were the list of promises on the brochure. Its a good thing they changed it for new candidates for the next FPA because they even knew they couldn't live up to their promises on the brochures that we were given. You pay for what you are told you will be paying for, and when you pay and you're not getting what you paid for, there will always be frustration and complaints.

It's like I ordered a steak on a menu, to "accidentally" receive a salad, yet I still have to pay the price for the steak. I am only frustrated for what anyone else would simply get frustrated for. I wish this program was worth what I paid for. It's too late to complain now, but it's just sadly disappointing that you can lose so much motivation because of the programs disorganization.
Joined Mar 23, 2011
i wouldnt excpext to learn french in the fpa program neither to get much of quality of teaching,ive just spent my last 6 month and 13000 euros in the fpa program you should know that there is a big difference between the facade pf this program created by theaand what u get at the end(which is chefs who might be good chefs but terrible teachers,who speaks english not worteaching standarts,who fight among among them selves for 6 month,and put you in the midlle of that,thea which after a month from yssingeaux you will not hear a word from her again,no quality control of the course what so ever,a general manger of the school which dont care about anything excepet making more money !im sad that thats how it came out to be.dont let yoursellf be sweettallked by the ensp,its a freat place for professionals but not readdy at all to take international students,maybee in 5 years it will be avery good program now its to early,we are only the 2 course taking place and there is to much dissorganization,ask any fpa student.(u can easly find us on facebook)

Joined Jan 19, 2011
A couple of months ago I started looking for an institute that offers a Pastry program. My first search criteria was the program's duration as I didn't want to spend more than 6 months in it. Then came the level of the institution, the place and of course the tuition fees.As a start I looked at the Olivier Bajard school in Perpignan and the Ferrandi school in Paris but OB's raised their tuition fees for their 2010 program and Ferrandi's duration is 11 months.So I changed my destination to reach the French Pastry School of Chicago which had a 6-month program and a fair tuition but their admission were not really helpful with the application and stuff which made me change my mind concerning the study in the USI went then North to Vancouver and applied for the April 2010 program at the North West Culinary Academy of Vancouver but unfortunately it was full.So I re-switched my thoughts and moved back to France as I found a 6-months program in Yssingeaux at the ENSP which could be taught either in English or French. Knowing that the ENSP is signed by both Alain Ducasse and Yves Thuries a friend of mine who had a program at Olivier Bajard told me that ENSP's program is really hard and not useful especially their 1 month training at the end of their program which apparently is not useful at all.I know I seem really confusing but I'll be really glad to get opinions and thoughts about it.About me: I'm 22 years old, living in Greece and inspired with French Pastry and willing to have my own small workshop and store
Joined Aug 11, 2013
mporeis na mou peis gia to ensp?eimai geologos ma skeftomai edo kai kairo na stamatiso tin sxolh kai na pao ekei gia zaxaroplastiki
Joined Apr 24, 2011
mporeis na mou peis gia to ensp?eimai geologos ma skeftomai edo kai kairo na stamatiso tin sxolh kai na pao ekei gia zaxaroplastiki
If I may Chryssa Sinou, a translation :

Can you tell me about ensp?

I am a geologist but I think long ago to stop the school and go there for confectionery.

I hope this helps.
Joined Oct 27, 2014
Hi. I was hoping someone could help me.I'm changing careers from an accountant to a pastry chef and i am finding a hard time deciding on a school and  I don't know any french, at all. I'm looking for a school with an excellent pastry and baking program, that's affordable and offers an externship program for its students.

Please advice, Thanks.
Joined Jul 5, 2015

I came across this thread due to a search on 'ENSP'. Has the situation improved yet? I am on the verge of signing up for the course but do not want to waste the hard-earned money if there is no improvement over the last five years.

Appreciate your advice.
Joined Aug 5, 2015
Hey, any updated information about ESNP? I want to go to France to get a patisserie course. ESNP is one of the schools I have considered. 

I would like to get some feedback about the other schools I am checking:

1. École Française de Boulangerie & Pâtisserie D'Aurillac, 


3. Bellouet Conseil


5. Le Cordon Bleu

6. Ferrandi


8. Les Compagnon du Devoir

9. École de Boulangerie et de Patisserie

10. Le Nôtre

11. Olivier Bajard

Does anybody have any other school I haven't mentioned?

Appreciate any comment. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
Joined Sep 13, 2015
I recently completed Summer French Pastry International Program in ENSP, Yssingeaux on Aug 2015. To wrap up my experience in ENSP, here is my personal comments with regards to the Summer Pastry Program! :) The question is.. Would I recommend ENSP? Well that depends..

Value for Money – Not cheap but it is a cheaper option if you want to study French Pastry in France aside from Paris.

Chefs quality – All Chefs are definitely has the right skills sets to teach the students. However, it will not be a good learning experience if they cannot speak English (which happened to us for the two weeks of bakery and petit four).

Lab/Equipment quality – Total of 9 labs, some labs are nicer than others. All station has individual mixer and bowls, big machines like sheeter, ice cream machines and ovens are shared. The unfortunate thing is that there’s only 2 big ovens per lab, which means students are not responsible to bake and watch over the ovens which are part of critical skill to learn in baking

Evaluation Criteria & Standards – Level 1 was given feedback by the Chef weekly based in quality of product, timing, kitchen hygiene and team work. However, each Chef evaluates differently and there’s no standards nor formal criteria in admission for Level 1 nor 2.

Class Schedule – Changes all the time! We are mostly scheduled to have morning lab session (6-1pm) and a few afternoon session (2-8pm).

School’s Location – Yssingeaux is 2 hours from Lyon by car and there’s no train station. The closest train station is retournac (20min by taxi of 25euro) and if you want to travel far, 1pm train is what you need to catch which was impossible as pastry students. Overall, we managed to get out with the help if BlaBlaCar rides and if you enjoy the small town and country aide, Yssingeaux is not too bad. It has 5 supermarkets, a few restaurants and 2 bars to hang out.

Internship Support from School – Mostly rely on students to find and school can support the paper work.
– Day to day support from Admin Staff – School has limited staff (Mainly 2) to support the all students. Nevertheless they are extremely nice and supportive. 

School’s Accomodation – Nice and clean. I enjoyed my single room, similar to a hotel room. Lunch was great with good varieties throughout the weeks. A well balance meal for the most part.

Pastry Curriculum Delivery – For the most part, the school delivered what was expected. Culinary design was missed and demos were not provided after we reminded them until last minute. If you want to get everything the school has promised, make sure you remind them on what you are expecting.

Recommendations – After you read my above points (good and bad, up to your interpretation), if you still want to go and be there with an open mind and heart, you will enjoy your experience.
Joined Sep 13, 2015
If you want to read more about my experience in ENSP, feel free to search for my name (teresatso) in WordPress.
Joined Sep 22, 2015
Hello, I don't know if this will be helpful to anyone but I am currently looking at attending ENSP and thought I would share a bit about it. When I started looking at ENSP I found some things on the internet (including this feed) and generally they were quite mixed reviews. I have since found past students and have been emailing them, they have all spoken incredibly highly of the school and of the chefs. I went to look at the school recently before I make the decision, as it is a lot of money for someone like me. I instantly fell in love with it. The kitchens looked well equipped and the accommodation was lovely. I was taken in to a current class where the students were very friendly and let me try some of the products they had just made, they were also very happy to answer any questions I had. The woman who showed me round was also very friendly, helpful and professional and has since sent me a list of past students which I can email to ask about their past experiences. Everything I have heard so far has seemed very positive and I am fairly sure I will be applying to ENSP in the future. 
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Joined Feb 1, 2017
Hello everyone, 

I am interested in ENSP for their French Bakery Arts program. After reading through this and a few other threads, I'm extremely hesitant! Has anyone attended in 2016 who can provide some insight on their experience? 


I wanted to do the French Bakery Arts program as I'm interested in a career change and wanted to test the waters before diving in. This program was 2 months, but they have just shortened it to 1 month, which seems far too short to learn everything!

Any insight on the current organisation of the program (as this seems to be the biggest issue) or the French Bakery Arts program would be appreciated!

Also - I'd love to speak with someone about the area of France it is in! I love hiking and the outdoors, and am hoping to spend weekends exploring the countryside! This was an appeal of this school not being in France, but the mixed reviews on the actual program are throwing me a bit...




Joined Apr 14, 2019
I have had my heart set on going to ENSP for a while now and have been working toward that goal; there have been many setbacks along the way.

Now that I am getting closer to making it a reality I am looking more closely at the smaller details. I want to make sure that after all this effort, it's the right choice for me, as I may not get a second chance.

Also, I've been so tunnel visioned on just ENSP for all this time that I didn't even consider anywhere else. I think I owe it to myself to at least do some further research to see what else is out there.

In doing so, I came across The Gastronomicom Cooking School in France. Their pastry options are less expensive and their reviews are very good, much better than ENSP from what I've learned thus far.

They are fairly new, however. My impression (though, could be very misguided, as it's not based on much more than photos and the area its in (which I may also be misguided on my assesment of), is that it may be less prestigious than ENSP. The reviews on their FB page though are very geniune and inviting.

SO with that, I have a decision to make, which led me to here.

In reading all these reviews I feel swayed away from ENSP, which is very strange given how the dream to go there has been so deeply seeded in my minds-eye for so long.

Most of these reviews are not recent, however. So I am hoping to get some more current insight on ENSP. And/or any further information on the Gastronomicom school and/or the area it's in; Agde | France. As for some reason, I'm not as crazy about the that area as I am about Yssingeaux - but then again, I only have photos and Google deep dives to go on.

So in short, any recent information on ENSP, Gastronomicom and the areas they are both in, and how it all compares, would be so so so greatly apprecaited!!

Thank you :)
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