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Title on business cards for a pastry/baking student

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm currently a pastry and baking student. Even as I'm still in school, I keep getting little "freelance" jobs of making cakes and pastries for people coming my way.

Since I want to have my name out there as much as I can to give myself a head start (and to generate business and experience), I wanted to make myself some business cards. I know that "chef" is a title that is to be earned and though I've made a profit on the freelance jobs I've done so far, I don't know if I've quite earned it yet since I haven't graduated school.

So... what do I list as my title on my card? Should I just list out specialties (a short line with three words like "cakes, pastries, and chocolates" as just an example)? Do I call myself a "pastry cook" or "baker"?
post #2 of 7
Well, are you "registered" as a business, i.e. do you have a business license, insurance, sales tax identification number, DBA (if you are not doing business under your name), etc.?

Are you operating from a licensed commercial kitchen?

Have you passed your ServSafe, NRFSP, or other equivalent Food Safety Manager certification?

If yes to the above, and YOU are in charge of your kitchen, then you "probably" can use whatever title you see fit, including "chef" as you would definitely be the CHIEF of your business.

Now, that being said, and assuming your local regulations allow it, you can call yourself whatever you want, but remember, if your career goal is to work for someone else, you must be ready to explain WHY, especially if you choose "chef" (which means CHIEF), you are willing to step back (down) to a lesser title.

There is nothing wrong with "pastry cook" or "baker", but "chef" does indicate a little "hutspah" (sp) ;)
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Business hasn't come through regularly quite yet for me to officially be a business (though I have had my own freelance business before so getting all of the paperwork taken care of is something I [thankfully] know how to do). That's what I hope will happen with being able to network more with the aid of the business cards I want! :)

I operate out of my home or utilize the labs (commercial kitchens) at school after hours. I've passed (with an excellent score, whoo!) the ServSafe certification.

I'm looking something that would be appropriate for me to put on my cards that people will know what I do just by looking at it (though I do have an illustration of a person who resembles me in a chef's coat and hat) without being disrespectful to others in the industry.

Am I chief of my own operations (as tiny and technically unofficial as it is) and is it at a professional level where people are willing to pay me for my craft? Yes. But am I stepping on any toes to call myself a "pastry chef"?
post #4 of 7
You appear "wise beyond your years", YES, you might "offend" some, but because you actually run your own business, it is far different, IMHO, than a "fresh culinary graduate" claiming the title.

There is lots of room for debate but, again IMHO, anyone who "takes command" of a kitchen, demonstrates they are more than a simple "cook" or "baker".

You have accepted the "risks" and the "responsibilities" of running a kitchen, wear the title in good health.

Then again, what do I know, I've only stayed at a Holiday Inn Express a few times before I opened my own restaurant ;)
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #5 of 7

Is a title important to you?

I came up through the ranks via an informal apprenticeship and didn't rate the initials CEC or any of the others. My early business cards as a caterer had my name centered and under that was:


Provisioner For Extra-Ordinary Events


I've seen chefs in small restaurants call themselves Executive Chefs when actually they were Working Chefs. I've come across some who called themselves a chef and had neither the experience or talent to claim the title.


I've had a very good career and after operating several small signature menu places that gathered critical acclaim I've used the title CDC - Chef de Cuisine.


You can use some variation of the description I used or, perhaps, "creative director".

Do what your heart tells you is right.

I'd like to know what you end up with - Good Luck
post #6 of 7
Go for the gusto! Just call yourself what you will be. After all you need to get clients andcalling yourself a student just doesn't cut it sometimes.

Normally I would say that it's something that you earn but since you've already by-passed some of the growing pains associated with being a student, and as some have already eluded to, you are the owner operator and that is growing.

I worked with a Pastry Chef years ago named Nial Bowen. He was by far one of the best I had worked with in years. He made pasteries for my restaurant and eventually I even had him make the DW and my wedding cake.

He once told me how he got the job as a Pastry Chef at a local Hotel. It floored me but impressed me to no end.

Just be sure that you fill the shoes of what ever title you choose and definitely walk the talk!!!!:cool:
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for your input! I left it at "Pastry Chef". I know it won't please everyone, but I feel that it's the title that'll get me the farthest and is technically true.
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