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First Job Advice

Poll Results: Hotel or Bakery?

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post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I'm currently finishing my last week of externship at a Fairmont Hotel. The hotel has offered me a position as a pastry cook, and I also applied to a well- known local cake shop as a baker. At the hotel, if I stay, I'd be working in the restaurant kitchen as a pastry cook. At the bakery I'd be working full-time helping with production. I haven't talked with the bakery yet about pay, but I'm assuming the hotel would pay more (am I correct to assume that?)


So my question is, which job do you think is my best bet to get my career started? I'm leaning towards the hotel, simply only because I feel it looks good on a resume. But in all actuality they order so much pastry in from other places, I've just been making a bunch of cookie and tart doughs, and I'm not sure how much I can actually grow there.


Advice please!! Which would you choose to start your career in pastry? Thanks in advance.


post #2 of 3

I wouldn't assume the hotel pays more. Definitely give the bakery a chance. As far as where you'd learn more, I would usually lean towards a hotel if they have an actual pastry shop and staff.. but if they're pulling a lot of stuff out of boxes, it may not be as helpful-- see if they plan on expanding. Is there someone there you can learn from or are you left to figure stuff out? Since you know what to expect at the hotel it sounds like, if it were me, I'd talk to the bakery, make sure they understand taht you're interested in how much you can learn, and see what they have to say.

And let us know what happens. :)

post #3 of 3

Ok, maybe it's just me, but that they offered you a job after an extern ship is a strong plus in my book.


Also, there is a big thing about dues paying. If you took the job at the bakery, most of what you do is going to be doing is making cookie and tart doughs. You're new and starting at the bottom. So you have to do the tasks that come with the bottom. I had/have this same attitude problem.


PS Gail Gand, the pastry exec big shot out Chicago at Tru, with her own line of books and tv show, still makes a lot of cookie and tart dough.


Don't poo poo ordering in. It's a neccessity some of the time. Let me give you an example from my career.


Used to work at a banquet facility with an attached restaurant and bar. We employed a full time pastry guy and detailed one of the roundsmen to help him out part time as needed. His general duties consisted of making rolls*, making banquet desserts, making sweet trays for the banquets and brunch, and several ala carte desserts for the restaurant.

At the time, dessert sales at the restaurant were slow, so about 50% of the dessert menu was shopped out. This gave us better waste control. I could order 5 port of Opera Cake, and 7 portions of Swiss Berry Roulade, instead of detailing it to the pastry guy who'd have to say, make a 20 port batch each for it to be economical with his time.

Around the same time, we were entering the fall and winter holiday season. One of the things we did is choose our signature for the season and arrange purchasing with a bakery. This time we choose a chocolate and raspberry cheesecake. Fairly high quality. We sold ~2000 cheese cakes in the December period alone. There is no way we could have kept up with that level of production if we produced all that in house. We just didn't have the space or the equipment. We had a similar decision to face with the pumpkin and pecan pie we sold for thanksgiving.


My advice to you is, if you get offers for both jobs, see if you can work one of them part time. Work them both. you're young, so it shouldn't be a problem, and we all need more money.


*He'd put a blob of dough into the daisy cutter, cut, then dump it onto the sheet pan, proof and bake. It gave a nice round loaf of pull apart rolls.

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