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WebFoodPros.com: WanaBe a Chef: help:)
By Ctucci (Ctucci) on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 03:36 pm: Edit

I am in need of some direction. Over the past year I have been thinking about going to school for pastry arts, because I have realized how much I enjoy all aspects of creating and decorating. Right now this is just a hobby, I am 28 and work full time in an unrelated field.

In the next few months I know I will be leaving my job to move closer to my family and am debating on what to do. Some people tell me i should take this opportunity and try to get a job with a bakery, and try to get some on the job training. So I guess these are my questions:
-Do bakeries actually do this, teach people who have no real experience?
-Would it be more worthwhile to figure out a way to go to school?

any insights anyone has would be greatly appreciated.

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 07:09 pm: Edit

It's not a question of if bakeries teach, it's a question of you getting into a bakery--just to wash up or hull strawberries. Then if you really are interested, you will, no matter how busy you are, still find time to observe other bakers at work, learn, and understand. Then it's a question of worming your way out of the potsink and onto the baker's table to show what you have seen and "processed"; comprehend and apply your observations. If you can do this, bakers will actually want to show you how to do things to ease some of the work load off of themselves. Don't worry about school right now, trot off to the library and gawk at all of the baking books, see and understand what techniques and knowldege of ingredients are required to make a competant baker.

By Chefjoannam (Chefjoannam) on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 09:29 pm: Edit

I second what Foodpump says. I'd also add: Invest in a culinary textbook. Gisslen is the one we used in my school. Mine was about $50 new, but go used if you can get it. Way cheaper than culinary school...in fact, that's what I did, I bought the Labensky/Hause "On Cooking" and not only did it reinforce that I wanted to pursue this as a career (that I couldn't put down a -textbook- was a big hint) it gave me a great head start when I did attend school.

Learn how to make a paper cone, and decorate bread with slightly-thinned-out jam (not jelly). At least you can eat it when you're done, just put some peanut butter on it. Works for mayo, too.

When you get good at that, get yourself a good 18" pastry bag and a handful of tips, (plain/round, star, leaf, rose, basket and drop flower, plus a big open-star for large rosettes) to learn how to do a bit of decorating. Practice with "practice frosting" (crisco and powder sugar; don't bother coloring it) and get used to how they work. You can put a light coat of frosting on the -outside- of a small pan,and decorate the empty pan (instead of a cake). Then scrape it off, put it back in the bag, and do it again. IMHO, it's one of the things you spend the least amount of time doing, so it's the thing that needs the most of practice.

Finally, try to give away most of what you bake, and make sure that you buy elastic-waist chefs pants. You'll be glad you did :-) Have fun!

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 08:57 am: Edit

lmao at the elastic waist band comment.....how true.....how true!!!
FoodPump and Joanna.......now if only we could get all contributors to give advice the likes of yours.......

By George (George) on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 01:27 pm: Edit

Ditto that


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