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is it hard to become a pastry chef ???

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

is it hard on becoming a pastry chef?? i'm still in high school now though but i really want to be a pastry chef ..will you give me tips on how to become a professional pastry chef ? i wanted to become a pastry chef because i got inspired by a show.:0

post #2 of 15
If the ease of becoming something is how you decide what to do, your on the wrong track.

To become great at anything is hard.

My advice is to try things you think you like. As you involve yourself you will know. Either I am over this, this is boring, I enjoy something else more, or I can't stop it I love it so much.
If you like it go to pastry school.

Do what you love any the money will follow.

Found pastry just five years ago and fell in love with it. I gave up everything to follow this passion and became a success. It was easy for me because I wanted it so much. I hope you can find the same in your life and wish you happy trails.
Edited by Joelzer0 - 6/5/13 at 1:37pm
post #3 of 15

I would try out a part time job in a pastry shop  and see if it is something you like first before committing huge money to a school.

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post #4 of 15

Sage advice (which you would do well to follow) from two established chefs.

From way back in history there are stories (written and told) of the younger members of trade families being trained in the family business by way of internships.

It was expected and yes required to learn the family trade and then teach your children (sons mostly) the same.

Flash forward to the 20th century..... some of those children broke free and found other more interesting ways (in their opinion) to bring home the bacon.

My advice FWIW is to go from bakery to bakery asking for a chance to observe (or wash dishes and pans) until you find one of those bakeries I mention above.

If they say no, return every once in a while and ask the same question.

Someone will eventually recognize your determination and give you a trial.

Don't screw it up.

Carry a small notebook with all the questions you have and ask a few here and there (not in the middle of a rush) and write the answer down.

A few questions per day...and try to relate them to what is being prepared at the time.

Eventually someone will let you knead some dough or sprinkle some muffins with sugar.

You may just have stumbled upon that pot of gold that is a passionate baker with the urge to teach.

Good luck!

 

mimi

 

* Most private bakery employees are up and hard at work before dawn.

I would recommend that you do the same.

Find out what time they unlock the (back) doors and wait until the first pans of bread are in the oven and they have had time for a couple of cups of coffee before announcing your presence (and be ready for some gruff rebukes).

 

m.

post #5 of 15

If it were easy everyone would do it.:smiles:

post #6 of 15

It is easier to become a pastry chef than to stay a pastry chef.  There is this strange dichotomy where I work of a lot of people wanting to be pastry chefs, but it being very hard for my company to fill openings with good candidates.

post #7 of 15

Pardon my intrusion, but are we talking about a pastry cook or pastry chef?

 

In my book, the above are two separate skill sets.

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
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post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post
 

Pardon my intrusion, but are we talking about a pastry cook or pastry chef?

 

In my book, the above are two separate skill sets.

Sounds like we're back to that AGAIN..........

 

Pastry products in hotels and restaurants are either purchased or made in house.

 

If made in house.....all manner of yeast products...be it bread, rolls, danish, or glazed doughnuts are usually done by the pastry prep people. As with all things management the Pastry Chef works with the Exec. to see to it that menus are followed and products are created to that end.

I would think that such a place would have to have large volume in order to have such personnel.

 

Small boutique hotels or bed and breakfasts may also have in house pastry.

post #9 of 15

You are pardoned Mr McCracken...

 

Pastry cook is a word I have never seen I don't think.

In fact the definitions were few and far between.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pastrycook

 

As for that elusive title of pastry Chef....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastry_chef

Seems like wiki needs a bit of updating altho all of the hotel kitchens I ever worked had 2 Chefs managers taking instruction from (and reporting to) a F&B manager.

That was back in the day...pardon and correct me if things have changed.

 

 

In my own little world the (pastry) cooks usually take the title of Baker.

No culinary degree needed just a person that has the skills (and training) needed to read and produce breads and yes, even pastries.

 

IMHO the one thing that unites both sides of the BOH is the desire and knowledge and skill with food.

Another would be the desire for early training that most times starts well before actual schooling...I myself learned from my Gma and Mom and my Dad and his friends (usually inside a barn or outside next to a campfire) when I could understand enough for basic safety.

 

As for you, Chanielle.... just like the above posters offered...if what you most desire is too hard for you to learn...then you don't desire it as much as you thought (hope that did not come out snarky as I did not mean it to)

 

mimi

post #10 of 15

I wouldn't worry about Chanielle thinking that your answer is too snarky because she joined, posted, left all on the same day 5 months ago. I guess the show that provided inspiration on becoming a pastry chef didn't inspire all that much.

 

Mimi, I hope you won't think my reply is snarky, but it got me to thinking, what do we call people working in pastry that are not chefs and not bakers (which in dictionary of my mind is a title of high respect). I was thinking that I heard the term pastry cook before, but being anal I got on craigslist to search the ads. I mean if it is on craigslist and the internet then it must be true, oh wait this is the internet also, but I digress...

 

Morimoto,  Wayfare Tavern (Tyler Florence), Madera, Alexander's Steakhouse, Spruce, Campton Place, and a slew of others are looking for pastry cooks, so I guess the term is becoming more common place.

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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #11 of 15
I will have to work a bit harder at staying in the loop!
Bakers are pretty far up on the food chain and a title I have used for more than 30 years.
Do you think the difference between the terms could be this.. a pastry cook would normally be found working larger kitchens in a brigade fashion while the baker is mostly found getting up at 2am in order to get the bread in the ovens of a much smaller independent mom and pop place?
Then the rest of the shift will work on bespoke orders while everyone else wink.gif works at filling the cases up front with cookies and such?
The "everyone else" in my bakery is also called baker ... with one small difference such as grade 1,2,3 or apprentice or whatever.

mimi
Edited by flipflopgirl - 11/4/13 at 10:43am
post #12 of 15

Here in Las Vegas all of the big hotels have both Bakers, Pastry Cooks and Pastry Chefs (including several levels: Assistant Pastry Chef, Executive Pastry Chef, Executive Sous Pastry Chef, etc.).

But I know from working in different towns, the titles can change.

Here, a Baker usually works with bread and yeasted products.  Our Bread Shop is separate from our Pastry Shop.  The Pastry Shop has Pastry Cooks that are hourly employees while the Pastry Chefs are all salaried and a part of management.  If someone is right out of culinary school he/she may start out as a Culinary Trainee or a Pastry Cook.  The Pastry Chef title is only given to someone with enough experience to be promoted or hired into management and that means they have Pastry Cooks reporting to them.

post #13 of 15
Ok here it is.
Went looking a bit more
Pastry cook is one who will finish and plate desserts as well as work with dishes other than dessert.
Guard manger ( no spell check today) is the station the pastry cook works at?
Correct me if I am wrong as has been more than 30 years since my last hotel or big kitchen position.

mimi
post #14 of 15
What a great thread!
Had no idea of all the different levels and stages in those huge Vegas hotels.
Next time we are there will have to grovel for a short tour.

mimi
post #15 of 15

I would say it an be learned, However you must have some artistic ability and be organized and clean. It's all in the hands.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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