Ashburton Chefs Academy

Diploma in Professional Patisserie

Train to be a Pastry Chef

Patisserie requires a mastery of technique combined with imagination. Our intensive professional skills courses will teach you the fundamentals skills required by the modern Pastry Chef.

The Ashburton Chefs Academy is the only private culinary school in the UK to offer an accredited Diploma in this exciting area and our 20 week Diploma in Professional Patisserie course is an intensive, professional level programme designed to give you the skills of the modern Pastry Chef.

Pastry Chefs are always in demand in the catering industry from working in top restaurants, creating breads, pastries and desserts in a catering business, or making the delicate delights of the classic patisserie.

Pastry and baking requires a different skill set from working as chef de cuisine. An attention to detail, precision, patience and organisation are the traits required to be a successful Pastry Chef. This course has been designed to prepare you for the industry and is lead by our highly experienced Pastry Chef Tutors who will teach you the fundamental skills and techniques required to master this exciting craft. 

Whilst our course incorporate the necessary theory required, we maximise the amount of practical training and the majority of your time will be spent in the kitchen.

Who is this course suitable for?

Typical ambitions of those that take this course include:

  • launching a career as a pastry chef;
  • working in a Patisserie;
  • launching a catering business;
  • extending chef skills;
  • personal development

Why Choose Us

  • Expert tuition by experienced Pastry Chef tutors.
  • Industry recognised Patisserie qualification.
  • Small class-sizes.
  • Good career prospects.
  • Quality training experience.
Course Content

Diploma in Professional Patisserie

Training: Full-time
Mon to Fri: 9.30am to 4pm
Hours: 32 Hours/Week
Duration: 20 weeks

Certificates & Qualifications
  • Ashburton Chefs Academy
    Diploma in Professional Patisserie
  • QCF Level 3 Diploma in Professional Patisserie
  • CIEH Level 3 Award in Food Safety

Academy Open Evening

Open Evening

Next Open Evening Mon 31st July, 2017 at 7pm

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Course Content

Our Diploma in Professional Patisserie offers the full spectrum of training to give you the skills to work as Pastry Chef in a commercial kitchen, launch your own Patisserie business, or extend your culinary skills. Under the guidance of our expert Pastry Chef Tutors you will learn the fundamental techniques and disciplines of the modern Pastry Chef, graduating with the confidence and skills for future success.

This is an intensive training program and if you were to take a similar qualification at a traditional catering college it would typically take over 2 years to cover the same content and qualification.

You will be taught the relevant theory to understand the underlying science and techniques, plus you will benefit from regular masterclass demonstrations. However this is an intensive, practical course and you will learn by "doing", with around 24 hours a week (in addition to theory) working in the kitchen perfecting your craft.

You will enjoy working in a modern learning environment with expert tutors offering a wealth of experience who will inspire you to become the best chef you can be.

Course Structure

The 20 week diploma consists of 3 terms, Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced.


Across the three terms you will progressively learn techniques from Classical French Patisserie, Viennoiserie & confectionery, Grand Bistro plated desserts & gateaux, traditional British cakes, desserts and display work. The skills and techniques you will learn become progressively more advanced across each term.

Term 1 - Foundation

At the start of term 1 you will take the 3 day CIEH Level 3 Award in Food Safety in Catering. This is one of the top food safety qualifications for chefs, establishing a best practise approach to food hygiene, resulting in a qualification that will be valued by employers.

The recipes from the first term have been carefully developed to challenge and give a foundation in classical European Patisserie.

Recipes for the Foundation Term include;

  • Croissants
  • Savoury Bread
  • Pear Bourdaloue
  • Tart AIR Citron
  • Genoise Sponge
  • Gateau Fraisier
  • Dark Chocolate Mousse
  • Hazelnut Praline
  • Pate de Fruit
  • Chocolate Tempering
  • Petit Pot au Chocolat
  • Strawberry Mille-Feuille
  • Biscotti
  • Producing Display Work
  • Fruit Cake
  • Scones
  • Ice Creams
  • Sorbet and Granite
  • Moulding Sugar
  • Brioche
  • Beignet
  • Iced Soufflé
  • Sacher Torte
  • Choux Pastry
  • Chocolate Truffles
  • Danish Pastries
  • Arnhem Biscuit
  • Puff Pastry
  • Marshmallow

Assessment Criteria

  • Croissants
  • Wholemeal Baguette
  • Tart au Citron
  • Grand Marnier Truffles
  • Dark Chocolate Mousse
  • Profiteroles & Eclairs
  • Fondant Icing
  • Piping Skills
  • Design and Create Chocolate Centre-piece

Term 2 - Intermediate

Recipes from the Intermediate term will include a more in-depth study of international bread making, fine-dining plated desserts, pastillage display work and complex sugar work, complex gateaux & moulded chocolates and complex petit fours.

The Intermediate Term will include an assignment covering professional kitchen skills, cost control, menu design and ingredient procurement.

Recipes for the intermediate term include;

  • Ciabatta
  • Rye bread
  • Pumpernickel
  • American Rye
  • Soda Bread
  • Pain au Chocolat
  • Potato Bread
  • Beigels
  • Grissini
  • Filo Pastry
  • Chocolate Puff Pastry
  • Stollen
  • Pretzels
  • English Muffins
  • Eccles Cakes
  • Blini
  • Seed Crackers
  • Oat Cakes
  • Decorative Salt Dough Wheatsheath
  • Nougat Montelimar
  • Dacquoise Sponge
  • Apple Strudel
  • Chocolate Pithivier
  • Japonaise
  • Membrillo
  • Turkish Delight
  • Sauternes and Olive Oil Cake
  • Champagne Granita
  • Caramel Ice Cream
  • Port wine semi-freddo
  • Assiette of ananas au cacao
  • Moulded Chocolates
  • Enrobing Chocolate
  • Chocolate Easter Eggs
  • Chocolate Pralines
  • Madeleines
  • Chocolate puff pastry
  • Chocolate Souffle
  • Pastillage display work
  • Gateaux St. Honoré
  • Quince financier
  • Fennel tart

Assessment Criteria

  • Advanced Breads
  • Gateau
  • Two plated-desserts
  • Pastillage Display Work
  • Assignment* - Menu and Recipe Development & Costing

Term 3 - Advanced

The Advanced term is focused on refining your skills to create advanced, contemporary patisserie focusing on counter displays, afternoon tea and delicate plated desserts. There will be some Japanese influence married to classical French techniques and modern presentation.

Typical recipes for the advanced term include:

  • Afternoon Tea Live Event
  • Hydration method - fermented goods
  • Carta di Musica
  • Pain Au Levine
  • Pain Poilane
  • Focaccia
  • Sake Sorbet
  • Nashi Pear Cake
  • Szechwan Creme Brulee
  • Macaron
  • Cep Truffle
  • Apple & Yuzu Sorbet
  • Carrot Parfait with Carrot Top Granita
  • Cheese Soufflé
  • Cheese Pithivier
  • Chutney
  • Feuilletine
  • Masterclass - Cheese Making
  • Field Trip - Riverford Farm
  • Ethics in Farming
  • Field Trip - Laydilay Eggs
  • Masterclass - Wood-fired Baking
  • Masterclass - Gluten-Free Baking
  • Canelé
  • Chocolate Parfait
  • Shiso Sorbet
  • Pineapple Sashimi
  • Green Tea Truffles
  • Passion Fruit Bavarois
  • Ume Choya Ice Cream
  • Homemade Clotted Cream
  • Homemade Butter
  • Preserves
  • Milk Choclolate Gelee
  • Praline Cigare

Assessment Criteria

  • Scones
  • Farmhouse Loaf
  • Szechwan Creme Brulee
  • Yuzu & Shiso Tartlets
  • Nashi Pear Cake
  • White Chocolate Box
  • Praline Cigar
  • Cherry Macaron
  • Layered Chocolate Mille-Feuille

You will be required to build and develop a portfolio of evidence of all your practical work throughout the course which will require an element of homework to complete the required units. Therefore students should be comfortable in written English and basic Maths.


Qualifications & Certificates

Ashburton Chefs Academy Diploma in Professional Patisserie

Your record of achievement from an elite culinary school, and our endorsement of your professional skills for future employers.

QCF Level 3 Diploma in Professional Patisserie

The Diploma in Professional Patisserie is an accredited qualification unique to the Ashburton Chefs Academy that reflects your ability to work professionally as a Pastry Chef. Worth 67 credits on the QCF framework it is a high level intensive Patisserie qualification.

CIEH Level 3 Award in Food Safety

The Level 3 Award in Food Safety is an essential qualification aimed at those working in a supervisory position in the food business who are not only responsible but also accountable for food safety. The 3 day course takes place in the first week of the Diploma with a multiple choice exam required to pass the qualification.

Visit the CIEH Website
Course Dates

Pastry Chef Manager Colin Bennett is the lead tutor on our Academy Patisserie courses.

Meet the chef tutor

Free Trial Cookery Course

Experience Ashburton culinary training for free.

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Course Dates

The Diploma in Professional Patisserie consists of 3 terms, with a week long break between them. We run 2 Diplomas per year. The course runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

2017 Diploma 2

Tue 11 Jul to Fri 08 Dec, 2017
  • Term 1 (6 weeks)
    Tue 11 Jul to Fri 18 Aug, 2017
  • Term 2 (7 weeks)
    Mon 28 Aug to Fri 13 Oct, 2017
  • Term 3 (7 weeks)
    Mon 23 Oct to Fri 08 Dec, 2017

2018 Diploma 1

Tue 16 Jan to Fri 15 Jun, 2018
  • Term 1 (6 weeks)
    Tue 16 Jan to Fri 22 Feb, 2018
  • Term 2 (7 weeks)
    Mon 05 Mar to Fri 20 Apr, 2018
  • Term 3 (7 weeks)
    Mon 30 Apr to Fri 15 Jun, 2018

To reserve your place, call us on (01364) 652784 or click here to apply online.


Meet Academy Students

Academy students come from a wide range of backgrounds. From mature students who want to launch a second career, to those looking for an alternative to university.

Read more

Student Accommodation

Chefs Academy students come from all over the world and can choose our residential options whilst studying with us, which offers students a comfortable, secure and affordable stay in shared accommodation with fellow students (see below).

We also maintain a list of local rooms and accommodation providers that can offer local accommodation and are happy to help place you in suitable accommodation. Please contact us to discuss your needs.

Finlake Student Accommodation

Our residential package for Chefs Academy students offers a fantastic experience that you won't find anywhere else. Set in 130 acres of magnificent Devon countryside, Finlake is one of the country's most sought after holiday destinations just 15 minutes drive from Ashburton.

Academy students share a luxury, 3-bedroomed woodland lodge which is fitted to the highest standards. Featuring a spacious shared lounge and dining area, tv, fitted kitchen & bathrooms, as well as outdoor deck and bbq areas.

Finlake offers a wealth of activities to help you relax after your training in the kitchen. Start the day with an early morning swim in the heated indoor pool, keep fit in the extensive fitness room, or enjoy one of the many woodland walks. Enjoy a fresh coffee in the park cafe, or unwind with a drink in the bar and restaurant with friends.

Accommodation includes access to all leisure facilities and free minibus transport between Finlake and the Ashburton Cookery School. Finlake is truly an inspirational setting from which to complete your studies at the Chefs Academy.

Student Lodges
Shared Lounge
Fitted Kitchen
Indoor Pool
Fitness Room
Restaurant, Cafe and Bar
Horse Riding & Walks
Fishing Lakes & Cycling Path
Tennis Courts

Site Facilities

  • Indoor heated swimming pool
  • Outdoor heated swimming pool with giant water slide
  • Gym and Tennis courts
  • Health and Leisure club including sauna, steam room
  • Bar and restaurant
  • Fishing lakes
  • Horse riding
  • Walking and nature trails
  • 9 hole golf course
  • Farm shop
  • Launderette

Lodge Facilities

  • TV with selected Freeview channels/DVD
  • Kitchen including microwave and fridge/freezer
  • Washing machine/dryer
  • Bath and/or shower
  • Decking area with patio furniture
  • Double glazed and heated throughout
  • Gas and electricity included
  • Bed linen and duvets
  • Free Car Parking
  • Free minibus shuttle to and from Academy


£35 per person per night (see individual course fees tables).

Includes access to all site facilities (gym, pool etc), free wifi, free minibus transport (Mon to Fri).

The Heart of Devon

Located just 15 minutes drive from the Academy, you will enjoy the peace of Finlakes rural location, while benefiting from the proximity to local town services of Chudleigh. You are also perfectly positioned to take advantage of all that Devon has to offer, with Dartmoor National Park on your doorstep and the East Devon coast just 15 minutes driveaway.

Exeter is just 20 minutes by car which provides plenty in the way of shopping, services and entertainment. And of course, the Cornish border is only 1 hour away.

Devon is one of Europe's finest food regions, and you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to food producers, farmer's markets, fine restaurants and some of the UK's best pubs.

Explore More


2017 Diploma in Professional Patisserie (20 Weeks)

Course Fee:


  • Training: Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm for 20 weeks
  • All Course Notes
  • Equipment & Ingredients
  • Chef Uniforms x 2
  • All Field Trips
  • External Exam Fees & 
    Course Books


Non-refundable deposit to secure place: 10% (£1,495).

Full balance due 6 weeks prior to start of course.
Note: Payments made by credit card incur a 1.3% bank processing fee. Debit card, cheque or bank transfer incur no fee.

Optional Finlake Accommodation

Shared Finlake Accommodation (151 Nights): £5,285

Non-refundable Deposit: £500.


  • Free use of leisure facilites, gym, pool
  • Free mini-bus service to/from Ashburton
  • Weekly Bed Linen
Residential Details
Frequently Asked Questions

Academy Open Evening

Open Evening

Next Open Evening Mon 31st July, 2017 at 7pm

Register Now


The minimum age to join this course is 18 years old.

Typically we see age ranges from 18 to 55 years old with a 60% male to 40% female split. There will be a broad range of people from different backgrounds and different life experiences on our courses. We have people that are retraining after a long career in public service or the forces, professionals making a sea-change and planning to open up their dream bistro, people planning to launch an outdoor catering business, or keen amateur cooks that want to develop their skills.

Our Patisserie Certificate are full-time, with intensive practical training. This is one of the reasons why our students can achieve so much during their time with us. Academy students receive 34 hours direct tuition a week, Monday to Thursday 9.30 to 4.30 and Friday 9.30 to 3.30 in addition to some home study assignments.

Yes, we are accredited by the British Accreditation Council so you can apply for a student visa to study with us.
Please visit this page for further information for International Students.

Whilst you do not need any professional cookery experience, you should be able to demonstrate a passion for cookery and so we would expect you to be familiar with common kitchen equipment, and basic cookery concepts, such as frying, baking etc as well as the ability to follow a recipe. Absolute beginners would be expected to take the Foundation cookery course at the Ashburton Cookery School to reach the entry level standard for the Chefs Academy.

Not at all. This is a common question we get from mature students who are considering retraining in a new career and are concerned that they are going to feel like they are going back to school. Our courses are not like those offered by a traditional catering college - both in the style of training we offer and the environment you will learn in. The broad range of ages and backgrounds of students at the Ashburton Chefs Academy will mean you feel very much at home.

As a private culinary school, government grants or student loans are not available for our courses, however we have several student finance options available to UK residents that can help spread the cost of our courses. Please visit our Finance page for further details, or contact a student advisor on (01364) 652784 to discuss your requirements.

No, travel insurance is not included within the course fees. To ensure you are able to recoup your course fees in the event that you are prevented from completing the course due to sickness or bereavment, you should arrange to have a suitable travel insurance policy in place for the duration of your course. Due to the length of the course you may need to take out a policy for each of the 3 terms.

You should be committed to complete the course prior to enrolling. Demand is high for places on this course and late cancellations can deprive other potential students of a place. We will always aim to be as flexible as possible and work with you to help find the best solution to any challenges you might face.

Please note that if you book your course using our Course Finance option, you have a 14 day cooling off period where you may cancel your finance agreement and course. After this period, or if the course starts before this period is over, you will be bound by our Cancellation Policy which is described below.

Cancellation Policy in a Nutshell

  • To secure your place on the course requires a non-refundable deposit of 10% (see course fees).
  • The balance of payments of course fees are due 6 weeks before the start of the course. (This date is called the Enrolment Threshold)
  • Should you wish to cancel your place before the Enrolment Threshold we will refund all course fees minus the deposit. If you wish to defer your booking to a future course (and we are able to sell your existing booking), we may also agree to transfer your deposit to the future course date.
  • After the Enrolment Threshold you will have paid the remainder of your course fees.
  • If you wish to cancel the course booking for a non-insurable reason after the Enrolment Threshold, such as 'change of circumstance' or 'change of mind', we will attempt to resell your place for you. If we are able to resell your place, you may request a full refund of course fees (minus the deposit) or transfer your fees (and deposit) to a future course date. If, despite best efforts, we are unable to resell your place, you would lose the full cost of your booking.

For full details of our Cancellation Policy please read our Terms and Conditions.

We provide you with your own chef uniform to keep, and all the equipment you will need is provided within the course.

Confidence and self-belief come from mastering the fundamentals of cooking. No qualification can replace years of experience in a commercial kitchen of course, but we will prepare you to be a skilled chef with a good technical ability, excellent presentation skills and the confidence to be able to cope in a pressured and commercial environment, be that a michellin starred restaurant or cooking for a private function.

We are blessed with some of Europe's finest food producer's in Devon and Cornwall, and all the food we source is from high quality local, food suppliers. It is our policy to reduce food miles, to source seasonal organic ingredients at every opportunity, and to only use sustainable food stocks. We audit the provenance of all of the produce we use. Your training and your food will benefit substantially from our approach which is in contrast to many other institutions.

There are only a small handful of well established Culinary Schools in the UK offering a similar standard of training. Whilst some of the qualifications and aspects of the course may appear the same, the courses are delivered in a way unique to each establishment. Some focus on classical French training for example, whereas our focus is on developing broader skills, passion and thinking relevant to the modern chef, designed to fast-track your career.

We differ from Catering Colleges in that we are independent rather than state funded. We can therefore develop the courses we find inspiring that meet our own standards. Typically this results in better resources, more intensive training with much higher contact hours and smaller class sizes. Our school typically attracts more mature students looking to achieve meaningful results in a fixed period whereas catering college will typically be serving a much younger audience over a longer period of time.

You can choose to stay in our accommodation option at Finlake which offers a quality, affordable environment for our students. We also maintain a list of affordable local bed and breakfast options that will give you a comfortable home from home while training in Ashburton. Please contact us for further details.

If you are ready to take the next step to joing the Chefs Academy, simply register your details and we will contact you.You will be required to complete an enrolment form as the first step to admission. Click here to apply.

Apply for this course


To register your interest for the Diploma in Professional Patisserie simply contact us to speak to a student advisor or apply online below.

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