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Calling all pastry chefs

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi!

I'm taking a baking and pastry course right now. And one of the assignments is "A Day in the life of a Pastry Chef"
And I was hoping you could help me out?

For all the pastry chefs:
Where do you work? (hotel, restaurant, etc)
What are the hours like?
What are your job responsibilities?
What do you like about your job?
What do you dislike?
And...anything else you would like to contribute?

Thanks a lot =)
post #2 of 14
Where do you work? (hotel, restaurant, etc): golf course restaurant
What are the hours like? usually 6-2. they discourage overtime. usually we can manage or time very well and get done in 8hrs- with no lunch or much of a break.
What are your job responsibilities? everything from baking bread, setting up a buffet of cakes and petit fours for sunday brunch, r&d recipes. chocolate work, sugar work (poured and pulled). making sweet and savory items for the set restaurant menu. comming up with new ideas for dessert specials or new menu ideas.... gosh- what dont i do...
What do you like about your job? everything.
What do you dislike? when there are no clean pots or pans, and our spatulas smell like garlic so our product tastes like garlic when its not supposed to!!!!
And...anything else you would like to contribute? u can msg me if you have more questions. .. good luck!
post #3 of 14
Where do you work? (hotel, restaurant, etc)
A. I work at a high end wholesale bakery in a small town
What are the hours like?
A. I got lucky. I work 9-5 Mon-Fri. This is NOT normal. I love it!
What are your responsibilities?
A. I make all the high end desserts and cakes for the bakery's retail shop in a neighboring town. I do things like Napoleons, eclairs, tortes, specialty cookies, cakes, wedding cakes, etc.
What do you like about your job?
A. The ability to be creative and call my own shots. The hours are great too!
What do you dislike?
A. The fact that my busy season is in the summer....when I would rather be off on vacation with my husband who is a teacher and has summers off!!!:cry:
And...anything else you would like to contribute?
A. If you want a job where you can have a social life, work normal hours with little to no overtime, and make a decent living wage......don't become a pastry chef!:lol:
post #4 of 14
hahaha,,, so true!
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks!
If i have more questions I will ask.
Thanks so much
post #6 of 14
I'll take a shot at this.

Where do you work? (hotel, restaurant, etc)

I work in a non-profit restaurant that is situated in a sculpture park.
We would call the cuisine "well traveled French"

What are the hours like?

I start at 10 am and go home when the work is done, an early day would be getting out at 8 pm.

What are your job responsibilities?

I am in charge of the pastry and bread department. My department is a separate unit with 5 employees and I am primarily responsible for the fine dining menus which change 4-5 times a year as well as 2-3 daily specials and a daily chefs tasting dessert.
We also have a café/casual lunch menu, as a cocktail/patio menu and a seasonal party menu, these also change frequently.
We make @ 95% of everything in house. I am only allowed to buy what I cannot make or what is not cost effective.
My duties include scheduling, costing, special orders, wedding cakes, ice carving, training my apprentices, marriage and relationship counseling and Spanish translation. I think that covers most of it.

What do you like about your job?

I love the park and especially the kitchen, we have a state of the art facility with every toy you could want to play with. Bonnet stove (the second largest in the USA), induction ranges, combi ovens, sous vide machine, paco-jets, thermo water baths, you name it we have it.

Me I am my own boss and have free reign with the desserts. I handpicked my crew and they are great, the staff fear me and the customers love my work whats wrong with that? My mandate from the owner is "I have given you everything you could use or want, I want no excuse as to why you cannot make anything I ask for" So far I have not failed him or the restaurant. The chef is good to collaborate with and very into the food which is great.


What do you dislike?

Certainly the hours are long, if you ever hear of a 9-5 pastry chef job let me know. The weeks are longer, I work 6 days a week, and all weekends. The money is good and you can make a living but I will not be driving a new Benz any time soon. The pressure is some times overwhelming, it is hard coming up with new items on a daily basis especially creative ones which have not been done before or differ from the standards. It does put a strain on my relationship with my wife, though the fact she is a chef makes that pill easier to swallow. If it wasn't for that our relationship would have been over long ago.
Probably what I dislike the most is the fact you will spend countless hours creating your "art" only to have inevitably destroyed, eaten and poo'd.
Nothing will ever remain of any of your works except faded pictures of wedding cakes past or the odd memory of a taste someone once had.

And...anything else you would like to contribute

I would do a stage somewhere and see if it what this is what you really want to do, give it a year at least. You MUST love the work or you will not last long in this industry. If it wasn't for pastry I would have been an architect.
Fluctuat nec mergitur
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Fluctuat nec mergitur
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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
What are the names of your restaurants and bakeries?
Thanks!
post #8 of 14
I work at the Village Baker in Port Hadlock, Washington......:chef:
post #9 of 14
1. I work in a high end bakery
2. I get to work at 7 and get off anywhere from 4 to 8, with one 1/2 hour break.
3. For responsibilities I have it pretty easy here. I dont have to do any ordering or inventory or anything like that. Im in charge of wedding cakes. I also decorate other cakes. I help with some baking. Do chocolate work. and a few other things.
4. I like the work. Alot of it is fun and I get to be creative. I stay busy, which is good. I much prefer doing this to sitting at a desk. There is so much possitive feedback from customers. Sometimes people cry when they pick up cakes because they are so happy. Im sure that almost never happens to people who do office work. lol
I like the atmosphere, I work with great people. There is no cussing, dirty jokes, gossip, back-biting. The other cake decoraters are good friends...in fact I love them.
5. What I dont like: the way we are treated by our boss. Also the fact that I can't get sick... or if I do, I usually have to work anyway. If I have to leave early for something personal, like dr visit or family prob. or whatever...I just have to insist and I will never hear the end of it. I was 45 min. late once well over a year ago because I set my alarm wrong. I STILL hear about it.
My sister works in an office and she'll tell me...."Im gonna take a personal day." Im like "WHAT? you can just do that? who does your job when you dont go in?"
If I do take time off (after much begging or insisting, of course) I feel bad because I know that means the other girls are going to have to work extra.

eeyore
post #10 of 14

Culinary Arts Online & Pastry Chef Training

Hello everybody, this is pranavi. I gone through this forum and found that this deals with professional pastry chefs and bakers. If you want more info Culinary Arts Online*-*Pastry Chef Training, Pâtisserie & Baking Schools
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks you guys!
I just had some other questions
What are some of the cakes, desserts that you make? What's the name of it. Or what's your specialty?
And...if you could just tell me in short what an average day would be like?
Like...what you have to accomplish, prep...etc.
Thank you! I really appreciate you taking the time to do this for me =)
post #12 of 14
fizzy
i have been at this a loooong time
my days are now so varied it's comical

i consult for a restaurant & 2 bakeries.
i teach pastry and am getting my teaching certification.
i rep health and wellness products.
i am working with other woman owned businesses in a networking, marketing capacity.
i am sending out my voiceover demos.
i write reveiws and raise 3 kids, am relocating and trying to hold on to my sanity.

money is okay, the hours are nuts and i would not trade this time for anything.

so, you don't have to be a traditional pastry chef to be a pastry chef.

thank god for starbucks high test regular and good martinis:bounce:
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
Reply
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
Reply
post #13 of 14
Where do you work? (hotel, restaurant, etc) -
I own my own high-end (french) bakery in Olympia Washington The Bread Peddler

What are the hours like?
Hah! I am one of the owners so I come in at 9sh and leave about 1amish. Off on Sundays and Mondays

What are your job responsibilities?
Baking: Croissants (and all the variations), Quiche, Quick Breads, Tarts, Cakes, Traditional French Pastries (bouchons, madeliens, financiers, etc..) Owner stuff: Hire/Fire, schedule, order, inventory, menu design, web design, sticker design, community involvment.

What do you like about your job?
  • Free coffee (I have some of the best Baristas working for me) and all the people who truly appreciate what we do. Talking to them and getting to know them. Creative freedom. I like the paperwork involved in running a business. Being allowed to be right.
What do you dislike?
  • Worrying about the croissant dough in the summer, trying to temper chocolate with all the flour in the air. Having to stick my cakes in the same display cooler as the Tuna Nicoise sandwich. The location is frustrating the town has a ways to go before it is fully "cultured". I get annoyed with people who come in looking for donuts and cokes. The hours. I have a two year old and rarely get to spend the evenings with him. But I have taught him to use the sheeter so it won't be very long now. I also hate mopping the floor and doing prep work. Most of all I don't like being a boss. Telling grown adults to follow the rules that are simple and clear is tiring when I am too tired about the temperature and doughs. Also I don't like being the most experienced in the bakery, or being the "chef" I miss learning from other people. Trying to run a bakery when our customers care more about "lunch".
And...anything else you would like to contribute?

Average Day: Come in and check over orders that came in when I was gone. Inventory and place orders for the next day. Go shopping for odd things. Talk with lunch person to finalize any catering orders, #s, and offer any culinary advice needed. (Lunch is pretty busy so I stay out of the kitchen for a few hours unless they need me), Sometimes I help at the counter where I bag pastries, bread, sandwiches, and answer quesitons.
At about 2-3 I will meet with any interviews, or work on donations, design work, or planning. At about 4pm I shape Croissants, Puff. Then I do the coffee caks, and quick breads, Work on Tarts, Decorate/Finish Tortes Work on Prep, Pull doughs for morning. Play on the internet, go home.

If you need actual menu: www.breadpeddler.com

Looks like you got a bunch of bakers to answer your questions...
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
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"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
Reply
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone!!
I have finally completed my essay and your replies helped me out a lot. :)
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