Indulging on a moist chocolate cake or a warm apple pie after a rough day can make you feel a whole lot better. In fact, sweet treats have an unexplainable power of making us feel happy. Now, do you ever wonder what it takes to become the person who creates them? Pastry Chefs are responsible for creating these delicious, mouth watering and irresistible baked goods.
To become a pastry chef, you need to have the passion for baking. Going to an expensive school wouldn’t help you if you do not love what you are doing. Baking is an industry that puts more value on experience and talent than what is learned within the four walls of a culinary school.
And most importantly, remember that practice makes perfect. When you bake, it’s normal to encounter problems with ingredients, cooking time or the consistency of what you’re making. You’ll be surprised to find out a lot of things while continuing to learn the techniques of the trade.
What are the requirements to become a pastry chef?
- Minimum of a high school diploma, or a GED, is required. Most students are about 18-21 years old. There is no strict age requirement to work in the culinary industry. In fact, most entry-level employees who work as kitchen helpers hardly even finished high school.
- Enroll in a Baking and Pastry course that is accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). Most courses run for 10 months for a certificate level and 2 years for an associate degree. The final term includes your internship with restaurants, bakeries, pastry shops or hotels.
- Experience with baking and pastries can be acquired from self-practice or seeking entry-level work in a bakery, or a pastry shop within your area. The more experience, the better. You cannot get a job even as an assistant pastry chef without kitchen experience for at least 2 years.
- The American Culinary Federation (ACF) strictly requires that any intern or entry-level employee must have at least 2 years of work experience before he or she is qualified to take the certification exam. Passing the first certification exam will make you a “Certified Pastry Culinarian”. This is the first of 4 levels before becoming a master pastry chef.
- How To Become A Pastry Chef
- How To Become A Cake Decorator
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