ABA will open in Lebanon on October 15. The school, which will be headed by Emmanuel Hamon, aims to become a true Academy of Baking Arts in the Middle East for “lovers of pastry, bakery, chocolate, and ice cream.”
The French chef and pastry consultant gives a new twist to his career and assumes this challenge with enthusiasm not only because “after more than seven years traveling around the world and having already entered my 50s, I wanted to park my suitcase”, But also because“ this school aims to promote the trade, pastry (and bakery) itself, rather than certain ingredients or products ”.
The opportunity to head ABA came last March when he went to give a masterclass to Bano Puratos, “a very strong company serving the professional in the Middle East to the entire Gulf area.” The initial idea is to start giving specialized courses of a maximum duration of one week in a perfectly equipped classroom on the second floor of the Bano Puratos R&D center in Beirut. “Once we start rolling and see the response of the professionals and their concerns, we will move on to a second phase, in which we will open, in approximately six months, a second classroom in which we will teach a longer course with the aim of training future chefs,” he says.
For Hamon, this academy is unique in this area of the world. “We can find more generic culinary training experiences or more focused on a single product, but none that has concerns like ours and that intends to be open all the time, not only circumstantially, to carry out sporadic demonstrations” . In addition, he emphasizes that although the school is going to be especially attractive to the Middle Eastern professional, his vocation is to target a global audience. “In fact, 50% of professionals from the area and another 50% from many other places such as Russia, Asia, and even Italy, have already shown interest,” he says.
The first classes are planned shortly after the inauguration. “We will start with a couple of pastry classes following the philosophy of the center to show how to make all the products from scratch, without any semi-elaboration,” he says.