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Pastry Chef - Career Decision

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have been considering a career change. I am fortunate to have found this site! I posted this question in the welcome forum but perhaps this place would be more appropriate.

If most restaurants outsource their baking or do minimal baking to begin with, where does a pastry chef gain employment? Surely there is a calling for it because we have two schools offering that degree/certification here in Dallas.

Also (if you are in the Dallas area), what jobs are available around this city? The statistics say that we have more restaurants per capita than New York so there has to be something...

Thanks for you answers, I look forward to reading them!
~TableBread
I can almost always be found in the kitchen, everything else can be found here: http://tablebread.blogspot.com
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~TableBread
I can almost always be found in the kitchen, everything else can be found here: http://tablebread.blogspot.com
Reply
post #2 of 12
I have never worked in a restaurant the outsourced its pastries. We have always either had a pastry chef (sometimes 3 or 4) or it was the duty ofthe garde mange chef to knock something out. Bread, yes, when we were lucky to have an artisan bakery nearby but pastries never. I am well aware that this happens because as a bakery owner I often get requests for desserts wholesale restaurants.

It is assumed that if you are pursuing a culinary education that you are preparing to go into fine dining or catering or hotel work. Start looking around at some of the top restaurants in the area, or top catering companies, or the nice hotels.

Something else to do is go to the Dallas CL and just type Pastry chef as a search term. or go to Star Chefs and look for jobs based on location. Also any culianary school most likely will have a placement or job search service.

Finally, if the deserts are be outsourced than that source is where the jobs are.

Good luck
"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
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Whole Foods

So funny enough today I was at Whole Foods ( I have a HUGE one close by) and one of the baker lady's was putting some desserts out and I stuck up a conversation with her. She said they were actually hiring and that they had a mix of:
- people who went to culinary school
- people who didn't
- people who were currently enrolled

The lady I was talking to had 7 years of experience and no schooling. She said that from what she has experienced school will replace about two years of on the job experience and MAY add a $1 or $2 an hour for the first year but after about two years everyone is even stephen. She also said that Whole Foods has a really great training program. One of the best that she has ever worked for. Hmmm, food for thought so to speak.
~TableBread
I can almost always be found in the kitchen, everything else can be found here: http://tablebread.blogspot.com
Reply
~TableBread
I can almost always be found in the kitchen, everything else can be found here: http://tablebread.blogspot.com
Reply
post #4 of 12
I have heard whole foods has a great training program , here in the mid west there is a central production FACTORY they ship out from there .NOW do you want to make a zillion chocolate espresso tarts on tuesday and a zillion slices of blackforest on wendsday ? Or would you get into a hotel or club that has a real pastry shop that runs 24-7 -365 and get your rear end chewed out and beat to a pulp every day and really learn ,can you afford to wait years to get a 2 dollar raise ?this is what you have to ask your self HMMM.i would take the bloddy pulp job and did in the early 1980's when they could and would hit ya with hot pans frozen tubs of ice cream ? back then human resources was a M.A.S.H unit .there is no easy awnser to that one you have to really think it out , find the bars that the hotel people go to and ask then .
TOMMY.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Pay?

Does anyone know about how much a place like Whole Foods pays for bakers/pastry people? I know this could possibly change due to geographic location of the store so the closer to Dallas the better.
~TableBread
I can almost always be found in the kitchen, everything else can be found here: http://tablebread.blogspot.com
Reply
~TableBread
I can almost always be found in the kitchen, everything else can be found here: http://tablebread.blogspot.com
Reply
post #6 of 12
look here .http://jobs14-wholefoods.icims.com/wholefoods_jobs14/jobs/candidate/job.jsp;jsessionid=145749517FF7FFD6D1CE46E96C00CFF 6?jobid=8274&mode=view

they are good about getting back,send your resume via web post follow up with a nice letter and get your chickens in a row,I dont know much about the market in the south but here in the mid west CHicago i have heard about 10 bucks and the package IF you can matain full time status Question ? what is full time .40 week or is it by quarters . remember there out to make money for them self not to make you rich .so learn as mch as you can and move on ...
T
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks that was perfect! Why didn't I think about going to their site?!? :blush:

Wow, $10/hour. How do you make the rent on that?
~TableBread
I can almost always be found in the kitchen, everything else can be found here: http://tablebread.blogspot.com
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~TableBread
I can almost always be found in the kitchen, everything else can be found here: http://tablebread.blogspot.com
Reply
post #8 of 12
that is it ? I guess you need to have room mates and a trust fund and it is not easy .really watch there body english when you ask about pay .go with your gut feeling ,and look around at what they order for supplies it should be top notch ingredients ,It is in the top 500 companies ''I THINK ' so make darn shure you get what any one offers you. any place you go . If the offer it in wrighting call there bluff and get it , i have been burned many times in the past 20 some years . it it aint in wrighting it dont exist .
T.
post #9 of 12
Tablebread:

I've been doing a lot of research and 8 to 10 bucks an hour is pretty standard just about everywhere. So yeah, that sure slows your roll.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, with an expected hourly income of $8-$10/hour and a fight to maintain a full-time status with little expectation for insurance AND a $33K tuition...well, kudos to those who do it. That's all I can say.
Texas minimum wage is about to become $6.55/hour. So you are telling me that after attending (what could be considered) advanced training/education I am only worth a $1 more an hour than unskilled possibly illiterate labor?!? :eek: No, I don't believe I will do that.

It's sad though because it has been a long term dream. Truly sad.
~TableBread
I can almost always be found in the kitchen, everything else can be found here: http://tablebread.blogspot.com
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~TableBread
I can almost always be found in the kitchen, everything else can be found here: http://tablebread.blogspot.com
Reply
post #11 of 12
I'm in the same situation as you. I'm 43 and was looking at a career change. I went and toured Johnson and Wales in RI (my wife has relatives up there) and spent a lot of time on message boards and sending e-mails checking out wages across the country. Las Vegas pays pretty decent if you can get a full time job, but everywhere else is pretty much the same. Don't forget you have to pay off your student loans and support your family on pathetic wages hoping you get decent money 3-5 years down the line. You might luck out at a private club or nice hotel, but I think the odds are against you. Is there any other industry that wants you to pay 40K for an education in order to make less than 20K a year?
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
I told the Rep at LCB that their deal (and to be fair to LCB everyone else's) sounded like what I had seen some of my IT friends go through. They went to a place like ITT or Devry and the school makes them think they are getting an A+ top rated education only for them to find out that the industry doesn't even recognize those schools as credible. To add salt to an open wound (as you have stated) they now have to pay off a $22K loan on meager wages.

Amazing.

I guess if you were 19 with no kids or a wife than it would be ok. But I think I've decided to wait until I hit the lottery for this one. I may not like my career but it pays better than $10/hour.
~TableBread
I can almost always be found in the kitchen, everything else can be found here: http://tablebread.blogspot.com
Reply
~TableBread
I can almost always be found in the kitchen, everything else can be found here: http://tablebread.blogspot.com
Reply
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