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Amongst a crowd of professional chefs, including the holder of three Michelin Stars, Pierre Koffmann and Chef Patissier Benoit Blin MCA, and some well-known local faces, such as Reece Collier, Head Pastry Chef at The Grove Hotel and Daniel Richardson, Head Chef at Hartwell House Hotel, Milton Keynes College proudly opened its exciting new Patisserie Academy yesterday evening (18 May).

The Claire Clark Academy; centre of patisserie excellence, which will realise a joint ambition of both Milton Keynes College and Claire Clark, will nurture the next generation of pastry chefs in the UK.

Milton Keynes College’s Principal and CEO, Dr Julie Mills, is excited about the launch of the Claire Clark Academy. She said: “The launch event marks a significant development for Milton Keynes College and our provision of first-class, technical catering and hospitality study programmes.

“We’re delighted to be able to work in partnership with Claire Clark and her team, bringing a unique level of expertise and experience to Milton Keynes College and helping to inspire the next generation of expert pastry chefs.

“At a time when interest levels in pastry and patisserie – from home bakers to professional experts – are as high as they have ever been, the launch of the Academy allows Milton Keynes College to be at the cutting edge of this exciting, innovative and enjoyable industry.

“Working alongside globally recognised industry names such as Claire represents a huge honour for the College and helps underpin our goal of delivering excellence in education, while inspiring learners to achieve and surpass their ambitions.”

The newly-formed Academy is for students, professionals and enthusiastic home bakers and will start with part day, one day, evening and weekend courses for home bakers and professionals. The doors will open for the first short courses next week, and applications are now being taken for the Level 2 Diploma in Bakery and Patisserie, which will commence in September and can accommodate fourteen full-time students.

The areas covered will include chocolate, sugar work, bread, pastry work, modern desserts, classic desserts, plating desserts and more. Specific times of day will be focused on, such as the ever popular afternoon tea and the constantly growing trend for baking fresh bread.

Claire explained her excitement about the new Patisserie Academy at Milton Keynes College: “I'm delighted that we are now launched. It's been an incredible journey and I look forward to nurturing the talent of the future. Thank you to everyone involved.”

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