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Need help with choosing a culinary school for pastry degree

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I really wanna get into cake designing in the future, does anyone here have any suggestions as to which culinary school i should go to? Right now, I have my heart set at Le Cordon Bleu Paris, but I don't know if that would be the best school for me to go to if I eventually wanna be a cake designer. I want to go to a school that has a more extensive curriculum on cake design. Please HELP!
post #2 of 8
UH, oh. If you mean those big, artsy-fartsy architectural cakes you see in cooking magazines and 100-year-old cake books from the Victorian English era, you are barking up the wrong tree.

Do not despair, however. What you seek can be achieved, but by experience and demonstarted skill, and NOT education. I do have a suggested course of action:
1) go to cooking school, and earn the B&P certificate
2) get work as a pastry cook, then pastry chef, then specialize in cakes
3) contact the owner/founder of Katrina Rozelle in the SF/Bay area; she blazed a trail similar to what you seek.
4) offer to her an apprenticeship, and LEARN.
5) be prepared to spend YEARS before you achieve your goal.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
so do u mean that it doesn't matter which culinary school I attend to get my pastry diploma?
post #4 of 8
Ummm...Yes.
In fact, I would argue that you might not need formal training at all. Volunteer to be the pastry cook at your local, neigborhood restaurant. Learn the craft. Over time, include those 'architectural' elements you see in various pro B&P books. Once you have achieved proven success, search out wedding caterers who need your skills.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
but wouldn't it be easier to get internships with cake designers if you graduate from a reputable culinary school?
post #6 of 8
Well, yes and no (don't you hate it when someone gives you that sort of answer?). My apology: did not mean to be so flip in my answer, so permit me to be a bit more verbose.
In professional cooking, whether savory or sweet, whether here in the US or Europe, there are 2 basic ways to learn the craft and become a pro:
1) SCHOOL: attend, get good grades, get good internship, impress instructors who will give you a good recommendation (this is the new sytle, and the one I used to become a pastry chef).
2) APPRENTICEPSHIPS: old school, rather difficult to do these days in the US, but still quite common in Europe: spend a few years traveling around, going to various places, convince various chefs/restauranteurs to give you an apprenticeship: you get paid nothing, but they will, in turn, teach you everything they know.
The choice is mostly a matter of personal comfort. Being a young person, definitely suggest you try #2. Learn. Travel. Enjoy. Get big passion. Your decision, at this point in your career, is rather important, so take time to make a proper decision.
Humbly suggest you start out by volunteering your time at a local restaurant and being the pastry cook making desserts and cakes; see how you like it. What is your reaction: stupid drudgery, or: hey, this can be so much better and fabulous??
post #7 of 8
i'd suggest going to a community college (cuz its cheaper) and getting your baking and pastry degree. while in school. or after you graduate , get a job in a cake shop. you will be the low man on the totem pole for a while until you prove that you not only have passion, but the skill to create the cakes they are looing for. thats just the way i would do it! good luck!
post #8 of 8
I went to a community college and when talking to people who went to much more expensive schools, I often feel like I got a better education.
Erik

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
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Erik

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing"
-Redd Foxx
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