Wilton School

Decorating By saberger Updated 24 Oct 2013 , 5:01pm by Jose123

saberger Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 3:50am
post #1 of 46

Well, I couldn't ask for a better husband. My dearest just told me that he could take a week off from work and watch the kids (2 toddlers) so I could take classes at the Wilton School in IL. How sweet is that?!? He knows I've wanted to do that and that there is the Master Course (which I pulled up on the site to gently remind him that it is actually 10 days, not a week).

Has anybody done the Master Course? Or taken any of the classes? I would love to take a class with Colette Peters and Nicholas Lodge and take the intro to sugar art. Any opinions, complaints, anything?

I am sooo excited!!!! icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif Now I just have to figureout when and which classes....oh yeah, and how to pay for it. icon_rolleyes.gif

45 replies
heiser73 Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 4:09am
post #2 of 46

Oh wow..how exciting! That was very nice of your dh! I've never taken any classes there but have read others on here that have so I'm sure they will help you out! I just wanted to share in your excitement!! Let me know how it goes!

sweetconfections1 Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 4:25am
post #3 of 46

I have been debating taking the Wilton courses. I have been told yes and no. I took a cake decorating class at the culinary school and have plans on taking an 11 week class in wedding cakes over the summer. I have also been looking at Bonnie Gordan School of Cake Decorating and Design. She seems very talented. Check it out. www.bonniegordancakes.com

cheftracy Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 4:26am
post #4 of 46

I attended the Masters Course last March and also took several classes they were offering after the masters was over each day. Lots of fun, very tiring! Took 2 classes from Colette Peters in June. A blast!
Well worth the time and money. Do it if you can figure it all out. You won't be sorry.

rstml Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 4:41am
post #5 of 46

I took Wilton classes 10 years ago, nothing recent. I also attended culinary school. But comparing the Bonnie Gordon web site and cakes to the Wilton cakes, I would go with the Bonnie Gordon just because they seem to be more advanced/trendy designs. Then again, how do you turn down an opportunity to take a class from Collette Peters? I plan on taking some continuing education classes at the French Pastry Institute in Chicago...since it is so close to Michigan and I am moving there in 2 weeks...and I just noticed that Nicolas Lodge is actually teaching some of the courses. Yeah!

nglez09 Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 4:43am
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Are the Gordon lady's classes' costs in American or Canadian dollars?

sweetconfections1 Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 4:57am
post #7 of 46

I am not sure, but I think it is worth finding out.

cakelady52 Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 4:58am
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I'm taking the Wilton Master course the week of June 4 - 15 Hope you can make it.

JoanneK Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 5:01am
post #9 of 46

Oh how fun! You will have a blast! I'm sure you will learn a lot too. I have not gone but have taken classes from both Collette and Nicholas. Personally I didn't care for Collette as a teacher but LOVED Nicholas.

nglez09 Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 9:06pm
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Anyone know?

nglez09 Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 11:09pm
post #11 of 46

. . .hoping it's Canadian- that means a lot cheaper for me! icon_biggrin.gif

bobwonderbuns Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 11:18pm
post #12 of 46

I personally have not taken classes at the Wilton school. However, I have talked at length to a woman who used to own a cake decorating store near me (now defunct) and she did take them. Her words to me when I was considering it were that I should have mastered all the stuff in the three Wilton classes (roses, borders, etc.) and must be FAST and proficient at them. The roses must have the 3, 5, 7 petal layers and they do count them! She said that many experienced decorators have gone and many "flunked out" as it were -- this school is not for the faint of heart. She also mentioned that there was a problem with other students sabotaging ones work there, (something I did see a warning about on the Wilton website.) Anyway, it was enough to get me refocused in another direction (and I'm glad I did.) Just something to consider by one who was there.icon_rolleyes.gif

Lostinalaska Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 11:32pm
post #13 of 46

I just attended the Mid Alantic Cake show and both Collette and Nicholas were there and gave demos and I though both of them were just wonderful and very personnal, I look forward to taking some of there class's

BlakesCakes Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 11:47pm
post #14 of 46

I'm sorry--I'm not normally directly confrontational on these boards, but I HAVE BEEN TO THE WILTON SCHOOL--MANY TIMES--AND I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANY "SABOTAGE" OCCUR. That is pure BS ! icon_mad.giftapedshut.gif

There's no reason why sabotage would occur at Wilton any more than it might occur at Bonnie Gordon, Squires, Nick Lodge, or The Notter School--there are jealous morons everywhere and unless the school has heavy security or cameras, there's no guarantee that you won't find one sitting next to you in ANY CLASS YOU TAKE ANYWHERE.

I don't know how long ago this defunct decorator was there, but as of July, 2006, her description IS TOTALLY INACCURATE and would now unreasonably cause people to shy away from attending the school.

You don't have to have to have "mastered all the stuff in the three Wilton classes (roses, borders, etc.) and must be FAST and proficient at them. "

It certainly doesn't hurt to have taken I,II,III so that you know your way around a pastry bag and a flower nail, but the point of the Master's class is to LEARN how to do these thing quickly and proficiently!!!!

"The roses must have the 3, 5, 7 petal layers and they do count them! "

Sure they do, it's called a Wilton Rose and because most people find it very hard to do them well--and correctly--they constantly encourage you to "get it right". Why take the Master's class and not be able to do this basic skill properly?????

"She said that many experienced decorators have gone and many "flunked out" as it were " ..

I was in class with people who had never done ANY decorating to people who owned shops. NO ONE FLUNKS OUT! Everyone who completed the class assignments was given a certificate and plenty of encouragement! For those with a lot of experience, they were encouraged to at least try it the way it was being taught at the school. Sandy--the director--worked in a family bakery for over 30 YEARS--she can do every flower and border 10 different ways. She'll show you how to do a super quick "bakery" rose and shell border (she can tear around a half sheet in about a minute and then make a spray of roses for the top in another 5)--and then she'll put it beside a Wilton Rose and shell border and you'll see just how SAD that bakery cake really looks.

The staff at the Wilton School teaches it's subject VERY WELL. They aren't there to pander to those who are certain when they enter the door that they already know how to do it better icon_cool.gif All of the instructors want the student to "get it".

I saw students just give up--and I'll tell you that those were the lazy students or the know-it-alls--the one's who didn't get it the first time and refused to ask for help. I was told straight up that I was doing the rose "all wrong"--now, I'm left handed and I'm sure that I'd developed some bad habits to compensate for that. I initially took offense--they looked fine (and the same) to me, but I kept trying to do it their way. To challenge myself, I decided to do a cake that required me to pipe over 200 roses--you can see it in my photos, Victorian Dream--it took 4th in the CC wedding cake contest. Happy I did it--HE[[ YES!

The Wilton School is a great value for your $$$s and time. You'll go home dead tired every day--but you'll be anxious for the next day to begin so that you can learn and do that much more.

I'm giving you first hand experience info--feel free to PM me if you want more, accurate commentary.


bobwonderbuns Posted 15 Mar 2007 , 11:54pm
post #15 of 46

Relax!! My goodness!! We've had enough strife on this board lately, and I'm certainly not trying to add to it. I merely related what this woman related to me, before July 2006, and while she made it in the Master Class (which is the specific class we were talking about), these were her experiences. I am not apologizing for sharing them, I am simply relating what was told to me by someone who also had first hand knowledge. I did at one point see on the Wilton website (and I don't know if it's still there or not) a warning about sabotaging others work, those who did it would be removed from class. That's the extent of my firsthand knowledge. If your experience was not her experience, that's terrific!! I will only say, as I did before, this was HER first-hand experience which she related to me. Period. I'm glad you had a better experience (evidently) and I do regret that you found her experience offensive. It was not my intent.

BlakesCakes Posted 16 Mar 2007 , 12:04am
post #16 of 46

What can I say--obviously her statements dissuaded you from taking the Master's---

"Anyway, it was enough to get me refocused in another direction (and I'm glad I did.) "

I'd hate to see someone else take it to heart and lose out on a great experience that may be an option for them because of the time, $, location, curriculum, etc.

My commentary is exactly what I experienced in the Master's, Cakes for Catering, Roses & Stringwork, Chocolate Inspirations, Sugar--Beginner & Advanced, Cake Day Camp, etc.


bobwonderbuns Posted 16 Mar 2007 , 12:06am
post #17 of 46

This is what I read on the Wilton website and it is the blurb to which I referred:
Wilton reserves the right to expel any student for disrupting classes or impeding other students' work, without any obligation to refund tuition or fees. If an instructor determines that a student is unable to function properly or benefit from a class, it may be recommended that the student be dropped, in which case a partial tuition settlement may be made at the school's discretion.
Wilton reserves the right to cancel any class. Students are graded on a pass/fail basis. Students will receive a Wilton Certificate upon completion of each class of 9 hours or longer. Grants and scholarships are not available.

heavensgaits Posted 16 Mar 2007 , 12:17am
post #18 of 46

Does anyone know if there are any pastry chef schools near Louisiana?

JFoshee Posted 16 Mar 2007 , 12:21am
post #19 of 46

I am taking a gumpaste/fondant class the week of March 25 with Colette Peters at Wilton in Chicago and an advanced workshop with her also the following week. I am sooooooo excited. I have taken I,II,III, cupcake and gumpaste/fondant at the local craft store and I love it. I am very blessed to get to go to Chicago. Thanks to the support and encouragement of my husband. I already know I will enjoy and learn a lot! icon_smile.gif

BlakesCakes Posted 16 Mar 2007 , 12:54am
post #20 of 46

With regards to the info from the Wilton website above, it is necessary because the school operates under rules from the IL Dept. of Education. They actually offer credits(?) for job re-training and people trying to get into the workforce after years of unemployment.

On day one of any class, you always have to fill out a form that relates to this. They have to spell out reasons for expulsion so that if the student fights it (and I presume is then forced to pay out of pocket), they have a written policy to fall back on.

In all of the weeks I've spent at the school (6+), I think that this is the type of rich gossip that would have been repeated over and over again--and I've never heard anything that even borders on a sabotage story--sorry!


saberger Posted 16 Mar 2007 , 1:54am
post #21 of 46

Wow! So much info and so much heated discussion. I see n reason for things to be taken so personally. RELAX!! Let's not start WWIII. I would expect every person who took these courses to have different opinions, since every person is different in personality and skills. It is ultimately up to me to weed through and decide what is pertinent to me. There is no reason for things to get ugly here!

I was curious whether it would be worth my time and $ since I have already taken all of the Wilton courses at Michaels inc. the new gumpaste class. Unfortunately, I can't take class with Colette since they are already full. icon_sad.gif Now I am trying to decide whether to go for the Master Course with the intro to Gum paste & sugar artistry OR only go for Lodge's class. *sigh* Decisions, decisions.

The competitive nature does NOT scare me away. I went to Juilliard where other pianists put razor blades between the keys to sabotage other players. I am know all about competition. Bring it on BABY!!! icon_wink.gif

Cakelady52 - I wouldn't be going until the end of July. Bummer. It would be nice to 'sort of know' someone who would be going.

I would still love to hear more opinions about this and favorite (or most hated) courses and so forth.

But ya'll ...... lighten up and don't take things so personally please.

Thanks again everyone for your input and thoughts.


thin4life Posted 16 Mar 2007 , 2:16am
post #22 of 46

I just recently took a one day chocolate course at Wilton and I absolutely loved it. I learned alot in that one day and I now realize how much more there is to learn about chocolate. I would love to take the two week course but it just isn't in our budget right now, maybe in the future.

BlakesCakes Posted 16 Mar 2007 , 2:17am
post #23 of 46

Hi, Sabrina.
The school isn't competitive at all--no needles in the royal icing, or anything like that.

The 10 day Master's is intense and when you add the Gum Paste Class and the Sugar Class, it's a doozy--in a good way.

Mary teaches the Gum Paste class and she's wonderfully patient--the main projects are a rose spray with filler flowers and leaves and an orchid spray with the same. I've had several other classes and I'm not overly fond of the Wilton method for these flowers. I did learn how to use the gum paste mix more efficiently, but I'm a convert to Nick Lodge's recipe or pre-made. If you've done the rose and or orchid in the Wilton class, I don't think I'd recommend this one for you.

Laurie Bradach teaches sugar and she's a hoot. It's worth the $ just to be in the room with her for a few hours. If you think that having some knowledge of boiled sugar recipes, etc. is something that will enhance your skills, you can't beat this class--it's hard to find a beginner's sugar class anywhere, let alone at a reasonable price.

Nick's class is fast paced and chock full of info and techniques--all of it useful in gum paste flower making. Bring your credit card because he has wonderful toys for sale and no shipping cost is a real bonus. His class this year is "off site"--I believe at the Marriott Hickory Ridge. You can see a photo of the flowers made in the class in my pics. I was so hoping that he'd be doing different flowers than last summer--I so wanted to come.

Obviously, the choices are very different. If you feel that spending about 40 hrs. enhancing you piping skills, constructing several royal icing dummies, designing and decorating a wedding cake, etc. are where you need to go, then the Master's is a great choice. If you want an excellent basis for gum paste flowers, then Nick Lodge's class will do nicely. His classes are always reasonable in price, but the one's at Wilton are actually a bit cheaper by the hour than anywhere else--I don't know why.


bobwonderbuns Posted 16 Mar 2007 , 2:55am
post #24 of 46
Originally Posted by saberger

The competitive nature does NOT scare me away. I went to Juilliard where other pianists put razor blades between the keys to sabotage other players. I am know all about competition. Bring it on BABY!!! icon_wink.gif


Razor blades between the keys? icon_eek.gificon_surprised.gif Nice! icon_confused.gifthumbsdown.gif I'm glad we're just disagreeing about a minor point and it hasn't come to "pulling out the blades..." icon_rolleyes.gificon_wink.gifthumbs_up.gif

saberger Posted 16 Mar 2007 , 3:02am
post #25 of 46

I was hoping I could lighten it up in here! Although the razor blade thing IS true. The stories I could tell you.....icon_smile.gif

bobwonderbuns Posted 16 Mar 2007 , 3:03am
post #26 of 46
Originally Posted by saberger

I was hoping I could lighten it up in here! Although the razor blade thing IS true. The stories I could tell you.....icon_smile.gif

Don't sweat it, me and Rae made nice in a PM. icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif

saberger Posted 16 Mar 2007 , 3:08am
post #27 of 46

Just out of curiosity, how does one sabotage in the cake biz? The only thing I can really think of happening is someone pushes it over (for a tier cake), sticks their finger in it, or spits on it.

bobwonderbuns Posted 16 Mar 2007 , 3:11am
post #28 of 46

My friend didn't tell me any specifics but my guess is that since we work sooo hard to make our cakes fabulous, it wouldn't take much to disrupt that. I know I have a hard enough time without anyone poking their fingers in my cake! icon_confused.gif

BlakesCakes Posted 16 Mar 2007 , 3:22am
post #29 of 46

Well, in the Master's, there'd be plenty of opportunities to damage works in progress.

When working on the wedding cakes, someone could deliberately knock over a dummy while wet, stick something to one, etc. Pieces left to dry could be knocked over and broken. Several people made delicate royal decorations and had they been destroyed, the cake would have been pretty sad. Water would be an enemy to any of the works. Once the plates, pillars, etc. were handed out, if someone took a piece, the student would have had to pay to replace it. If someone custom colored some royal icing for their final project, it would be a problem if it went missing or adulterated.

Like I said, I never saw any of the above or any other things that seemed to occur out of "evil intent".

I did see things that I couldn't believe a civilized person might do, however......We used common bowls of icing for everything and I had the (dis)pleasure of watching the 19 y.o. daughter half of a mother/daughter pair blow through her tips (and back into the common bowl) to clear blockages. We weren't eating any of this product, but guess what--spit breaks down royal and boiled icing.....gah, it was so gross, but mom never said a word. They talked a lot about opening a shop..... icon_eek.gif


nglez09 Posted 16 Mar 2007 , 3:28am
post #30 of 46

icon_lol.gif Blakes, does saliva maybe give BC's flavor a kick? icon_rolleyes.gif

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