Who are the ‘Compagnons du Devoir’ in baking ?

The ‘Compagnons du Devoir’ are the heirs of the compagonnage movements, which were born during the cathedral building period of the Middle Ages (around the 12th century). Their knowledge made them into accomplished and respected men, who moved from site to site. They wore gold rings in their ears as a sign of freedom. This movement ensures young men and women from the ages of 15 years to post-baccalaureat, have access to training in traditional and manual trades, based upon apprenticeship, communal life, the journey known as the Tour de France, and the transmission of knowledge from ‘the oldest to the youngest’. The baking and pastrycooks section of the ‘Compagnons du Devoir’ were created over 200 years ago. Nowadays, around 50 young bakers each year complete this 6 year course in France, after having completed a tour of French and world bakeries. They come out with trade competence which is enriched by experience and savoir-faire.