What better way to celebrate 20 years of turning out legions of formally trained pastry chefs and chocolatiers than with a Legion of Honor party for one of the French Pastry School’s co-founders, Sébastien Canonne?

Last Monday, before a collection of distinguished culinary giants from Chicago and across the globe, Canonne, a Meillieur Ouvrier de France recipient, was presented France’s highest honor, the Legion of Honor by Herve de la Vauvre, president of Alliance Française Chicago.

Canonne, who with his close friend, Jacquy Pfeiffer, founded the French Pastry School in Chicago in 1995, expressed his heartfelt thanks to a long list of mentors and friends as well as to his family.

Prior to the formal pinning of the Legion of Honor medal, the French General Consul of Chicago, Vincent Floreani, welcomed guests in attendance. Jean-Jacques Dietrich, honorary president of the Académie Culinaire de France and Phillippe Urraca, president of Meilleurs Ouvrier de France, extolled Canonne’s dedication to the craft as well as his ongoing humility.

Deitrich, who dubbed the FPS “the best pastry school in the United States,” underscored the fact that Canonne and Pfeiffer have remained steadfast in turning out the best practitioners of pastry arts for the past 20 years.

During the reception, local Chicago chefs showcasing their talents included the following:

  • Greg Biggers, Café des Architectes Sofitel Hotel
  • David de Quay, de Quay
  • Carrie Nahabedian, NAHA
  • Yves Roubaud, Shaw’s Crab House
  • Paul Virant, Perennial Virant & Vie
  • Andrea Bonitatibus, GT Fish & Oyster

FPS graduates were also in attendance, displaying their talents in pastry arts. They included:

  • Meg Galus, BOKA Group
  • Gina Hartwig, Lovely, Too: A Bake Shop
  • Elizabeth Madden; Rare Bird Preserves
  • Greg Mosko, NoMi; Park Hyatt Hotel
  • Adrian Saldana-Meadath, Flùr 
  • Rieko Wada,  Chocolatines
  • Scott Green, The Langham, Chicago
  • Jose Castellano, Cacao Barry 
  • Daniel Rowe, Hinton Cannery