This time of year, we are often tempted by the delightful array of decorated pastries available. Some of us have a tradition of creating these ourselves. Ever wonder how one develops the expertise to create such wonders? In the culinary world, there are many areas of specialty. In general, areas of focus can be broken down between savory and baking. While most professional chefs possess training in both areas, personal interests and talents will often lead them to focus on one or the other.
Successful pastry chefs are both highly focused and creative. A tiny change in measurement or timing can jeopardize success. They possess the ability to think like a chef as well as an architect. Qualities needed to become a successful pastry chef include:
- Detail focused. Precise measurements are central to success.
- Timing is critical and key ingredients, such as yeast, take time to mature to readiness.
- A great pastry chef is always looking for new way to highlight their medium.
- Commitment to creating great product requires consistent attention through completion of each project, as well as staying attuned to new elements in the industry.
- Professionalism and a thick skin. While taking ownership and having pride in their work, pastry chefs need to stay open to feedback from clients and make changes as needed. This is a central part of daily work.
Training beside seasoned, professional chef instructors is an ideal way to learn. Here at L’Ecole Culinaire, we are fortunate to have artisan baking and pastry chefs who push the limits of each student’s imagination. Chefs Nicole Shuman and Byron Grant create incredible cakes, chocolate sculptures and gingerbread houses that are pleasures to the palate and eye. Chef Susie Judy is a sugar glass artisan who creates impressive sculptures that resemble glass. L’Ecole Culinaire, an American Culinary Federation Educational Foundation accredited culinary school, offers hands-on training in baking and pastry from experienced industry professionals.
Interested in baking? You can train to become a pastry chef at L’Ecole Culinaire in less time than you might think. With the New Year around the corner, now is a great time to register for classes starting in January. We have campus locations in Kansas City, Memphis and St. Louis and would enjoy showing you our baking labs and introducing you to our baking and pastry teams. For more information on pursuing a culinary education at L’Ecole, click here to submit your request for information.