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Posts by Mikeb

Another thing to keep in mind is that high end pastries are a luxury item. If there aren't high end retailers around your area, good luck selling high end pastries.
Personally I love working as a pastry chef. Compared to being a savoury restaurant chef, the hours are good, the work is more relaxed, but you need to think more. To a certain degree, this industry is what you make of it - I've worked in places where you make no money and work shit hours, but there's also places (like my current gig) where you can make a good salary with benefits, and work 'normal' hours. Another thing I love about being a pastry chef is that you can...
Besides, money fame and power are overrated... It's really more trouble than it's worth. Not to mention, you can't take your wealth with you when you die.
If you have to ask, you won't make it... The few chefs who do make it THAT big are geniuses - mostly business wise. Take Alain Ducasse - plenty of people can cook like him (after all, he's never on the line), but no one can recreate a 3 Michelin star menu and atmosphere as consistently as him...
I'd personally recommend reading any book by Herve This and Pierre Gagnaire to get a better understanding of what molecular gastronomy is about... Many of the techniques don't require any chemicals or special ingredients at all, or with the proper understanding you can extract certain compounds from various foods (gelatins from animal products, pectins and gels from vegetables, etc...).
When you are irreplaceable and making your owners a ton of money, then you'll be successful. Coming out of school you're just another cook, and thus not worth as much to them. Cooking skills are a small part of being successful in this business... At the upper level, you need to know how to sell yourself and your product (this means conceptualizing your business profile and menu, advertising, etc...), how to make money (ie. maximizing revenue and keeping costs...
Pastries shouldn't be that dark unless they're glazed or caramelized with sugar on the outside. If you're cooking non-caramelized puff the colour of rosewood, it will taste burnt. And BTW, when I was in France the pastries really weren't any darker than they are over here (unless you're counting supermarket pastries), and the baguettes were probably lighter in colour over there...
- Macaron - Millefeuille - Croissant - Kouign-Amann - Chausson au pommes - Tartes - Madeleines - Gateau St. Honoré - Galette des Rois - Eclair
1.5 years. Early in my career I moved around alot to learn and absorb as much info as possible. Unfortunately later in my career I took a few risky positions in upstart businesses, both of which had money issues... Granted, I'm still fairly young, so taking risks is no issue to me - though I wouldn't mind settling down in the near future.
For every decent cook that went to culinary school, there's a decent cook that didn't. You're right, it is the person. However culinary school doesn't seem to matter at all. A good cook will succeed with or without school.
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