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THE SCHOOL OF PASTRY DESIGN

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6627 Schuster St.

Las Vegas, NV 89118

702-523-9390

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AT A GLANCE

What is it?

A master class in the art of sugar and chocolate design taught by award-winning pastry chef Chris Hanmer.

Where is it?

Just south and west of The Strip.

Is it worth the cost?

It's expensive but totally worth it if you are into this kind of cooking.

What else do I need to know?

Chef Chris will design a program especially for you.

What's the bottom line?

A tremendous opportunity to get some lessons in the kitchen.

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FULL REVIEW

Chris Hanmer knows sugar. In addition to having been a pastry chef at Bellagio and the Executive Pastry Chef at the Ritz Carlton Lake Las Vegas, Hanmer was the youngest-ever American to win a gold medal in the World Pastry Team Championships. Most known for his elaborate, gravity defying sculptures of chocolate and sugar, Hanmer is both a chef and an artist only working with food instead of oils and canvasses.

Now you have a chance to learn from the master.

The School of Pastry Design in Las Vegas gives anyone the opportunity to work alongside Chef Chris in a real professional grade kitchen environment. There are several courses available from learning about the basics of chocolate or sugar to techniques on how to build some of the crazy showpieces that he has won awards for. He can also design a class just for you depending on what you want to learn.

Your experience level is not important - you can be someone who has spent a lot of time already experimenting in the kitchen or just someone who spends a lot of time watching other people do it on TV. As long as you have an interest in the craft of pastry design, Chef Chris will find the right education plan for you and personally guide you through it.

He keeps the classes small, preferring to work with no more than half a dozen people at a time and usually even fewer. This allows him to work closely with each student, watching their development, and guiding them toward the best results.

Don't think you could do something like this? I'm basically a goon in the kitchen and my idea of pastry design is adding caramel on top of the packaged brownie mix that I sometimes buy. Within an hour, Chef Chris had me creating a chocolate flower, painted with cocoa butter and edible gold dust, and a sugar egg complete with a ribbon. Neither would win any awards, but I did them and it was unbelievably fun.

Chef Chris is a genial, fun guy with an obvious enthusiasm and passion for what he does. It's infectious and will make you want to consider giving up whatever boring office job you work in to go put on an apron full time.

If you are likewise inspired, the classes are taught in the Chef Rubber culinary store so you can immediately go shop for all sorts of kitchen utensils, molds, cooking chocolate, and books to take home with you. It's like learning how to fix a car and then having a full automotive supply store two feet away.

This kind of personalized instruction is not cheap. It works out to the neighborhood of $65-100 per hour with most classes running 6-10 hours. As mentioned you can customize your experience and, as a result, your price level but figure at least $400 for the experience and more if you want to go really in depth.

That's a lot of money, obviously, but you aren't going to find this kind of access to this level of talent anywhere else for this kind of dough (pun intended).

The School of Pastry Design is a unique, fun, exciting, and completely different Las Vegas experience that you should not miss.

The facility is located at 6627 Schuster Street, near the intersection of Valley View and Sunset about three miles southwest of The Strip, roughly a 10 minute drive or cab ride from Mandalay Bay.

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