Pastry chef schools cater to a particular segment of the cooking sector. Pastry chefs are unique when it comes to cooking professionals. You may love baking everything from basic oatmeal cookies to decadent cheesecakes. Or, you’ve always been happy focusing more on dessert than the main course. Maybe, in your eyes, part of the joy of a sweet treat is the way it is decorated and served. If you feel this way, you should consider attending one of the increasingly popular pastry chef schools across the United States to start a career that combines pleasure with practicality.
Pastry chef schools offer a variety of programs. To choose the right pastry chef program for you, think about what you’re really looking for in a baking and pastry education. There are many culinary arts schools that include pastry and baking instruction in a complete culinary program for chefs. These programs will teach you quite a bit, but only as a sub-unit of a larger, more comprehensive curriculum that prepares you to be a chef in any capacity from salad preparation to intricate main courses. You’ll get an excellent education, but pastries and baking will be only a part of it. If you like cooking as much as baking, a degree in the Culinary Arts can give you the best of both worlds.
If your heart is set strictly on being a pastry chef, however, look for a culinary school that can offer a baking and pastry chef certification or associate’s degree. These certifications or degrees indicate to potential employers that you not only know all of the expected baking skills, but that you’ve mastered an additional level of expertise by specializing in the pastry arts. These programs will take less time to complete than a broader based culinary program, but in that time you’ll learn more advanced pastry baking, decorating and plating techniques.
If you are currently a chef and want to deepen your knowledge of pastry preparation and baking, contact some of the pastry chef schools in your area and ask about continuing education opportunities. The pastry industry is always evolving and a refresher course can introduce you to new techniques, improved ingredients and great trends that you can then introduce to your clientele.
There are many career options for pastry chefs. High-end restaurants usually hire pastry chefs who are responsible solely for desserts and baked goods and function independently within the kitchen staff. Cafes and boutique restaurants also used pastry chefs, as do bakeries. Many bakeries and cafes specialize in a particular style of food, such as primarily specialty breads, wedding cakes or desserts. Specialization can be rewarding and enjoyable in the world of baking. If you have a special talent, be sure to take advantage of it.
And of course, if you have a degree from a pastry chef school, you can turn your talent into your own successful business. Specialty bakeries and catering services can be very successful for the individual who loves baking with a passion and has the drive to turn it into their business.