SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - France came to the Eckburg Auditorium on Monday as Savannah Tech entered the second installment of a baking student exchange with the Academy of Toulouse.
Last year, five Savannah Tech students studied pastry in France and for the next month, four French students will be part of Chef Jean Vendeville's baking and pastry classes at Savannah Tech.
"They're going to be on internship,'' said Vendeville. "They're going to work with us and they're going to learn the language, but our students did the same thing over there.''
Local and visiting dignitaries introduced the second phase of a partnership between two schools and two countries, the only baking program of its kind in the U.S.
"It says a lot about Savannah Tech that they're putting their name out there,'' said Colby Todd, a Savannah Tech culinary student who participated in the program in France, "not only in the U.S. but in other countries.''
"It's a very big deal for Savannah Tech,'' added Vandeville. "And it's a very big deal for our culinary program.''
The Savannah Tech students who went to France expect to get as much out of the exchange this time when they will be serving as hosts for the French students.
"All the teachers were incredible,'' said Savannah Tech student Hailey Maurer, who was part of the group that traveled to France. "They taught us so, so much and the sou chef I worked with every day taught me all his little tricks and tips. I learned so many cakes."
"They have their ways of doing things and we have our ways of doing things,'' added Todd. "I want to show them and let them see that we take it just as seriously as they do.''
In addition to sharing Chef Vendeville's techniques with the visitors, the Savannah Tech students are excited to share Savannah with them.
"It's going to be really fun,'' said Maurer. "We're planning to show them around Savannah and we're also going to take them on a beach trip to Jekyll Island and the Sea Turtle Center too.''