Do you remember Zeke from the High School Musical franchise? He is the one who loves to whip up mouth-watering sweets and desserts for his friends. If you are similar to Zeke in this regard, then you should consider becoming a pastry chef.
Aside from producing wonderful baked goods, a pastry chef also oversees staff, handles the ordering of supplies, and keeps things organized within his or her area of the kitchen. If you are up to the challenges of being a pastry chef, then use the following guide to establish your career by learning the requirements to become a chef.
How To Become a Pastry Chef:
1. Decide which course you want to take. There several programs available for those who want to focus on the pastry arts. These are:
- Baking and Pastry Certificate - This is a usually a one-year program offered by baking and culinary schools that prepares the student for an entry-level position in the food service industry. It is basically a crash course on baking and pastry arts.
- Associate Degree in Applies Science Culinary Arts - This culinary art school is usually a two-year program offered in colleges and universities. Aside from baking and pastry arts, students get to learn about menu preparation, customer service, and nutrition.
- Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Arts with a major in Pastry Arts - This is a culinary art school degree program that gives students a hands on training in food preparation and restaurant management. A major in Pastry Arts ensures that you get the specialized training on baking desserts and pastries.
2. Choose your culinary school. Your choice of an educational institution will largely depend on the program you would like to take and the budget you have. Some of the best and most expensive culinary and pastry chef schools are located in Europe. If you have to work your way through school, consider taking culinary classes in nearby community colleges and then practice your skills at home. When you are more adept at baking, then you can try to get a scholarship for a degree in culinary arts.
You can also look for specialized classes in baking in vocational pastry chef schools near you. Examples of specialized classes are cake decorating and candy making. These classes will definitely improve your skills as a budding pastry chef.
3. Sign up for apprenticeship programs in restaurants. They say that experience is the best teacher. Some small restaurants and hotels accept apprentices who are willing to work hard with only a living allowance. You will learn a lot by watching and helping an experienced pastry chef at work.
4. Educate yourself. There are successful pastry chefs who haven't had the advantage of a formal education in the pastry arts. Instead, they immersed themselves in countless books and magazines about baking. Then they applied what they read by baking at home and having family and friends judge their masterpieces.
There are many ways to become a pastry chef and the requirements to become a chef don't always involve going to school.The good news is, you do not need a formal education to become a pastry chef; all you need is passion for baking and a sweet tooth.