Alain Ducasse’s École Nationale Supérieure de Pâtisserie becomes the world’s largest campus dedicated to the pastry arts

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

The École Nationale Supérieure de Pâtisserie is considered the benchmark of excellence in the training of pastry, chocolate, confectionery, ice cream and baking. Pic: ENSP
The École Nationale Supérieure de Pâtisserie is considered the benchmark of excellence in the training of pastry, chocolate, confectionery, ice cream and baking. Pic: ENSP

Related tags Alain Ducasse Training Pastry Baking Confectionery patisserie Ice cream students Ecole Ducasse

The École Nationale Supérieure de Pâtisserie (ENSP) - a world-renowned institution in the arts of pastry and ice cream located in Yssingeaux in the Haute-Loire region, France - has opened a new campus extension to cater for the growing demand for pastry training.

The prestigious school - which is housed in the imposing Château de Montbarnier - combines heritage with modernity within a unique 7,000m2​ learning space. It now now benefits from an additional 2,300 m2​, which includes three classrooms, four state-of-the-art laboratories and 36 apartments for students.

The ENSP has seen a substantial uptick in the demand for pastry training, so the extension means it will be able to welcome a greater number of students.

Benchmark of excellence

ENSP 2 Cat Vigouroux
Pic: Cat Vigouroux

Founded in 1984 and acquired in 2007 by Alain Ducasse (one of the world’s most decorated chefs) and Yves Thuriès (award-winning pastry chef), the ENSP has established itself as the benchmark school for training in pastry, chocolate, confectionery, ice cream and baking.

It trains over 1,500 students from more than 60 different nationalities annually, overseen by a team of 17 pastry chef trainers and 25 academic professors.

The curriculum caters for all sectors and expertise requirements in the sweet arts, from the one-year French Arts Diploma to post-baccalaureate courses like the three-year Diplôme Supérieur des Arts Pâtissiers and retraining programmes like the eight-month CAP Pâtissier.

Additionally, more than 60 two-to-three day courses are held onsite, taught by winners of the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOF) and other world champions. Paul Bocuse and Yves Thuriès are both MOF recipients.

Some of the biggest names in French and international patisserie have trained at the ENSP and often return to perfect their techniques.

Strategic hub for patisserie worldwide


“This extension is the culmination of a great collective project supported by Laurent Wauquiez, president of the Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Isabelle Valentin, MP for first constituency of Haute-Loire and Pierre Liogier, our Mayor of Yssingeaux,”​ said Luc Debove, director and executive chef of the ENSP, who is also the World Ice Cream Champion, Meilleur Ouvrier de France Glacier and winner of the Ordre National du Mérite Agricole.

ENSP 5 Cat Vigouroux
Pic: Cat Vigouroux

“It is not just the ENSP that is becoming the world’s largest school dedicated to the sweet arts, but Yssingeaux and the whole region that are becoming a strategic hub for patisserie worldwide.”

ENSP is part of the École Ducasse network of schools dedicated to passing on French expertise and excellence in culinary and pastry arts, with three schools in France - ENSP, Paris Studio and Paris Campus - the Manila Campus in the Philippines, Gurugram Campus in India and Nai Lert Bangkok Studio in Thailand.

All are united by a desire to share a passion for gastronomy with seasoned professionals as well as food enthusiasts, career changers and students.

“We are very proud of the outcome of this project, which enables us to instil the excellence of our schools even more firmly in France, in parallel to our international development,”​ said Elise Masurel, MD of École Ducasse.

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