20th Anniversary of The French Pastry School and salute to Chef Sebastien Canonne, M.O.F., awarded the French Legion of Honor
Remarks by Consul General of France Vincent Floreani on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of The French Pastry School in Chicago and salute to Chef Sebastien Canonne, M.O.F., knighted in the Order of the Legion of Honor. August 24, 2015.
I’m impressed by the number of people gathered here this afternoon.
Impressed but not surprised.
Some of us are probably, in part, attracted by the hope to taste some of the great pastries and chocolate you produce here. Not me, of course, or just a little. After all, this is the best pastry school in America.
But the real reason of our presence, dear Sébastien and dear Jacquy, is to show our recognition for your incredible talents and your achievement with the French Pastry School. And to honor Sébastien who, together with Jacquy, co-founded this great institution, 20 years ago.
With the help of the City of Chicago, whose representatives I’d like to thank, you were able to establish your school in this great location. From here, you attract hundreds of students from all over the US and from all over the world. Everyday, you contribute to show America and the world how great Chicago is.
No other City college in Chicago comes near to the results of the French Pastry School. Allow me to mention your consistent graduation rate above 90%, your placement rate above 70%, and a federal student loan default rate under 3%.
Hundreds of your students sent testimonies of the greatness of the training they received here at the French Pastry School. Thank to you, they are able to successful businesses in Chicago, in Illinois and in America. Hotels, restaurants, food companies in Chicago and Illinois also can testify how grateful they are because you provide them with talented and enthusiastic young pastry chefs and support their community.
Over the years, you also developed an important philanthropic role. Your foundation has awarded over $650,000 of scholarships in the last 10 years to students with financial needs.
You not only contribute greatly to the objectives of the City and of the State of Illinois, in terms of education and business development, you also help me in one of my priorities to further the links and mutual understanding between France and the US. What your are showing and spreading is French traditions in food and French entrepreneurship at its best.
Dear Sébastien, Dear Jacquy, France and the French community are proud of you. We wish you to continue and increase further your success. We will always be at your side.