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post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have a few questions for you fellow pastry chefs.

Is it truly a benefit to have a portfolio?

What should one put in a portfolio?

I've seen some with just the pictures and recipes of recipes that the chef has cooked.
Some with just the recipes the Chef created.
And some with pictures and recipes with things the Chef just likes and wants to recreate. I've also seen some with all three.

What would be beneficial to put in a portfolio?

I'm considering putting one together.

Thank you!
post #2 of 14
My portfolio contains pictures, along with reviews and articles about my work. If a prospective employer or client wants to taste my product, I will happily give them a sample. As for recipes, I don't think they belong in a portfolio.

After years of working in this field, I've had to separate my pictures into 3 portfolios: Wedding cakes and showpieces, cakes, and plated desserts.
Anything that looks blurry or unprofessional doesn't make it into any of the books.
post #3 of 14
I don't have much of 1, mostly digital pictures accompanied by the recipe. I hope to put it all online along with my resume.

I personally think it can be helpful, you keeping a record of everything you've made and having a sample of what you're capable of doing.
post #4 of 14
I certainly think pictures can help... but I wouldn't include pictures of things I liked and wanted to re-create... the portfolio is supposed to be about what one has done, not what one WANTS to do.
I once interviewed for an assistant pastry chef and he had included pictures cut out of magazines.. 'no, he hadn't done that particular item, but he'd done ones just like it' he said. ... I didn't hire him.. I thought the using of other people's pics was shady.

post #5 of 14
if its well done, a portfolio reflects highly upon your character. It shows that you know SOMEthing about pastry and that you have ambition and desire. The above posts clearly say what makes up a strong portfolio.
post #6 of 14

Chefolio - Showcasing Your Culinary Talent

Hello All,

I am new to the site, but just wanted to give my opinion on portfolios. I have been using one for five years now after being introduced to them at Johnson and Wales. I have had lots of good feedback from chefs and employeers. I agree that cooking is most important, but many times candidates (especially cooks) do not get the chance to cook, until after the first round of hiring decisions is made based on a resume or phone interview. The portfolio is suppose to provide evidence to support your resume.It is very useful for those chefs going for certification through the ACf and many other organizations to organize and keep important documents. It is also very useful as a personal chef or cater to demostrate past work. If all cooks have the same credentials or experience it can make a positive impression on ones growth and professionalism. After all that, I would like for you to give me your ideas and feedback on my website a program I developed for chefs,cooks, and culinary professionals to create a website for themselves on any budget.
post #7 of 14
I just browsed your site for 5 minutes, and here are my initial impressions.

First, I thought, "what a great idea", and wanted to read more about the benefits.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that you have a database of portfolios to look at, but any that I clicked on just provided a name, phone, and email address. Sometimes a website.

So my next impression was, why would an individual opt to post their portfolio on your site, if they can just do it themselves on a picture posting website? The only reason that I can come up with is because companies that hire would be more likely to find a candidate's portfolio on your site. Still, I wonder how recruiters find you.

After a few minutes of going through the fee schedule on your site, I'm still not sure if a person can post a portfoilo for free, or what the charge is. There seems to be some conflicting info there. I'm sure if I spent more time reading through your site, I'd get a definitive answer to this, but I feel it should be more clear at the outset, since people are only willing to devote x amount of time to a new site. Things should be VERY clear, to keep one's interest, and inspire them to join.

I still think it's a great idea, and I deliberately gave it only a few minutes of my time, because I do believe that a person will be sold (or not sold, as the case may be) within a couple of minutes of perusing your site.

Good luck!!
post #8 of 14

Thanks! for the feedback

Thanks CakeSuite,

Very valid points and I appreacite your five minutes. Some of your observations are absolutelty right.

I will try to make it more clear.

As for your questions. It is always FREE for the ChefDex Portfolio. It acts as a place in our database for chefs to be found if they already have their own portfolio site or website.

We also host and create websites for cooks,chefs, food entrepreneurs.Here is our most recent site: - Get to know the Hoe

Our goal is to help other discover your culinary talent.We are number one in Google and Yahoo for most chef portfolio searches.

Thanks again for your time and feedback. I look forward to meeting more people here at Cheftalk and getting involved.
post #9 of 14
You should always document your work, as an artist all your work will be quickly destroyed and there is no permanance to all your effort. It is not a good feeling to make several hundred sugar flowers all painstakingly hand painted, putting them on a cake and then watching them all be eaten, crushed and discarded.
As a potential employee it can show that you can put your money where your mouth is. I have gotten my last two jobs based on my work speaking for itself especially for the decorating aspect of pastry.

As for what to put in your portfolio it is best to keep it short and interesting, don't bore people with different pictures of the same thing.
I take pictures of everything just for me, some make it into the album. It is nice to say when you are old this is what I spent my life doing.
Regards, rat.
Fluctuat nec mergitur
Fluctuat nec mergitur
post #10 of 14

A life time of work

I totally agree Rat. I wish some one would have told me ten years ago to start taking picture and saving ever menu and document I get. You never know when that can come in handy, as well as have a digital permanent backup of all your important documents and work.

When my two year old daughter is old enough she is going to see my portfolio, inhert a nice set of copper pans, and a engraved chef knife.

That hard part about portfolios is getting started, but it is well worth it.

Best Regards,

post #11 of 14
I have been very lucky that my partner in business and in life disiplined me early on to take photos.
I was sort of confused on Chefolio and had the same view as Momo.
I think a portfolio is an absolutely necessary for yourself and others.
I would never make my portfolio a part of a resume. I would always attach it for viewing if interested.
When I receive someones portfolio, the first thing I do is to flip through it to see if the creator is present in the pictures of pieces. If I don't see the chef I usually give it no weight except if things don't work out you have ammunition for termination:suprise: sorry.
The only time I really look at a portfolio is if someone says he or she has pictures of their style French, German etc.
That's just me:D
I just reread and this sounds negetive on portfolio, I'm not. I will suggest that if it ain't perfect, don't use it. I'm one of those old farts who look for the mistakes before the correctness.
post #12 of 14
Explain that one to me again?? Most of my pics are taken by me, how can you give something no weight if the "creator" is not present? I would think people wouldn't want to see the chef in the pic of the wedding cake they are considering. Ammunition for termination?? What would that have to do with a portfolio?? Are you suggesting the person would have other peoples work in their porfolio?? That would hardly be an intelligent move for someone even considering starting a portfolio because someone will eventually call you on it and you are busted.

Still I feel a portfolio is important even if it is just for yourself, it is a good way of seeing how you progress during the years. I still get a laugh of the picture I have of the first cake I ever made (it is a joke) Me? by now I have easily done over a thousand wedding cakes I have pictures of maybe a third of them, maybe I have 12 of those in the wedding cake section in the portfolio.
When I sit down with my grandkids one day I'll have something to show them, thats my motivation for saving anything.
Fluctuat nec mergitur
Fluctuat nec mergitur
post #13 of 14
I'm sorry, that was a lousy way of putting things. I was speaking of an applicant in the hiring process.
As a person who has received many resumes, portfolios, applications, I usually don't take into consideration a portfolio if it does not contain provanance. I just don't give it any weight (either way) in my decision to hire.
That doesn't mean I can't appreciate it. Your question about using someone elses work is a little nieve. It happens all the time. I have seen our work in the portfolios of many people. I have seen our work on display at a show to pitch sales.
You stated that you will sit one day and view this with grand kids. That is why I mentioned that I think a porfolio is a great thing for yourself
Hope I don't sound to negetive, not intended that way.
BTW, there was a site that had our pictures on it with our shadowed name across the cakes and some of our same verbage. go figure.
post #14 of 14


You can also do something like this.
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