Jacquy Pfeiffer was born into a French family which ran a bakery in Alsace. He learned bread-making and fine pastry like most children learn their ABC’s.
After high school, he signed on as an apprentice at the famous Jean Clauss’s French Pâtisserie in Strasbourg. Clauss, one of the finest culinarians in France, shared his knowledge and discipline. Jacquy then attended Balding Grein College to learn food technology, business and marketing. Upon graduation, he was named Best Apprentice (Alsace 1978). He worked for the next two years in various pastry shops in Strasbourg, winning one silver and two gold medals in competition.
For his service, he joined the Navy in 1980 and was named private pastry chef to Admiral P. Leyeune aboard the La Charente in the Indian Ocean. In 1981 back in France, he worked for Pâtisserie Naegel and Chocolaterie Egli to perfect special skills in the art of pastry working. With those skills, he was soon offered positions around the world, including the Hyatt Regency in Hong Kong; the Royal Family in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and the Sultan of Brunei.
Eventually, he realized that the greatest opportunities awaited him in the United States and he moved to Chicago in 1992. He initially went to work for the Fairmont Hotel and that same year he won the title as Best Pastry Chef in America. Almost immediately following, Gary Sieland, General Manager of the new Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, convinced him to move across the Chicago river, where they had just built a state-of-the-art pastry shop.
In 1994 Great Chefs Television caught up with him there, where he prepared a Fresh Apricot and Tuaca Risotto appetizer and a Hazelnut Timbale (episode #76, Great Chefs – Great Cities).
In 1995, Chef Pfeiffer and Sebastien Canonne founded the French Pastry School where today, in 2014, their team is devoted to imparting excellence.
In 2010, Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer was featured in the PBS film documentary “Kings of Pastry”.