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Hello from New York City

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone:
My name is Frank and I live in NYC. I'm 36 years old. I have a Masters Degree from Yale University Drama school. I have been pursuing acting for a long time in the city, quite a few years, and am ready to change my life around. I've worked in television, theater and film, but I'm over it.
I'm looking forward to new doors opening as I get ready to explore my second love, baking. I am looking in to how to begin my training as a pastry chef.
Any advice from the experts? I'm concerned about finances. I have student loans that are astronomical; so I'm not sure how I'm going to do this. Is the average training around 9 months? That's what it seems to be on line when I've looked it up. Do I need to go back to school for another 4 years? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 3
Welcome to Chef Talk, Frank. Thank you for introducing yourself. We hope you enjoy all the forums (including the culinary students' forum), recipes, reviews and articles. Use the search feature to find earlier conversations that interest you. There's so much here to learn and enjoy!

I'm moving your post to the culinary students' forum so your question will attract the attention it deserves.

Good luck, and welcome!
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
post #3 of 3

Hi, Frank...

Lemme see...

In your shoes I would first check the employment opportunities in the paper and on the internet. Careerbuilders, Monster, Jobs.com...

I have found a variety of ads for assistant bakers that will train, experience useful but not necessary, that type of situation. Not many, but you just have to be persistent and patient. Or you could comb the phone book and call. Or you could hit all of the local bakeries in your comfort zone, like how far you want to commute and just go ask to put in an application.

You obviously will take whatever passion and enthusiasm you have with you and people recognize that. Also I'm assuming you have a fair amount of practice and knowledge.

(That Top Chef thing where Miguel used salt instead of sugar...OMG)

I never went to culinary school. Officially anyway. I had gone to Regency TAFE in So. Australia for commercial cookery classes, but not credited because of my residency. It was informative but I certainly prefer the hands on approach in the work environment. I had a head start growing up because I was taught all of this by my Grandmother from age 5. I also learned a lot by osmosis and reading.

You might want to consider a short summer stint in the kitchen of a National Park for the experience. The pay isn't great but it gives you a huge understanding of the workings of a commercial kitchen, both good and bad.
(Plus Yellowstone is pretty! :bounce: )

Given a choice, I'd much rather get paid to learn than vise verse.

Good luck with your search. Don't hesitate to ask questions here. (there aren't any stupid questions, just the ones you don't ask)

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