So, you’ve spent hours practicing your skills in the kitchen, whipping up delights for your friends and family on birthdays, or perhaps you’ve just always thought working in a kitchen would be the best. Whatever the reason, and there are many, you might want to become a pastry chef here is a basic guideline on where to get started.
What Does a Pastry Chef Do?
Pastry chefs are responsible for the creation of pastries in bakeries. Seems simple enough? Not quite. This means early mornings of intense focus, staying sharp in the wee hours of the day to ensure recipes are manipulated accurately, that dough rises correctly, etc. Other responsibilities include menu planning and ingredient sourcing, consistency in technique and flexibility in scheduling for special occasions.
- Get Formal Training
Getting formal training, either as a diploma, degree, or certificate is by no means a requirement of becoming a pastry chef but it can certainly help build a strong foundation. In addition to learning the proper techniques and skills, students also will learn food science and baking chemistry, all in an environment that’s conducive to learning.
- Get Experience
Regardless of whether you went through the formal training or not, you’ll need experience. If you attend a school then look for internship opportunities that can get you in a kitchen gaining real-world experience. If you didn’t go through a standard program then look for an apprentice program as an alternate to standard college or vocational school. Experience is the number one quality needed in this field, as practice really does make perfect when it comes to pastries.
- Get Certified
By no means necessary in the field, many chefs do just fine without it, getting certified is a verifiable method of skill and knowledge, opening a wide range of employment opportunities.
There are many paths to becoming a pastry chef, working in your own kitchen. Not every author in the world went to school for it, just so many chefs come out of working their way up the ranks in the kitchen, while others attend prestigious schools for the culinary arts. This has just been one possible path.