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How to become a pastry chef/pâtissier: Skills & training you need

Want to be a pastry chef? Being a pâtissier is perhaps one of the most difficult chef roles. Perfection is demanded every time. It's vital you have an eye for detail and the ability to create extraordinary dishes. If it's your dream to be a pastry chef, it doesn't have to stay that way. It can be a reality. As long as you're willing to work hard, you can be a professional pâtissier. Learn how to become a pastry chef:



How to become a pastry chef;


These are the key skills and experiences you must have to become a pastry chef;


Work experience in a bakery/kitchen

To be a pastry chef, you need work experience in a bakery or a restaurant kitchen. Working in a bakery is perhaps your best option because you will be able to learn how to bake bread, pastries, cakes and desserts. Getting work experience in a bakery can be more difficult because being a pâtissier is a competitive chef job. 


In a restaurant kitchen you might be more limited to what you can bake but you will be able to see how a working kitchen runs. That's great if you want to be a pastry chef in a restaurant.  


Getting work experience will improve your chances of winning your next job.  



Have a creative flair

Pastry chefs are artists in the kitchen. They can create extraordinary wedding cakes, beautiful cupcakes and elaborate desserts. To become a pastry chef, you need to be creative.


You can show your interviewer that you're creative by creating a portfolio of all the dishes you've made. Creating new and unique recipes will help you stand out from the crowd.  



Ability to follow a recipe



All pâtissiers have to be able to follow recipes. Each recipes have strict instructions on ingredients, amounts and baking directions. To create a perfect dish every time, you need to be able to follow a recipe word-for-word, ounce-for-ounce, pinch-for-pinch.



Can work as part of a team

When you go into a bakery, you will see there are at least half a dozen pastry chefs working together. They have a huge order to prepare for in a limited time frame so they have to work together.


In any chef role, you need to be able to work as part of a team otherwise you will be the weak link in a chain. 



Perfection is your ambition

Baking to perfection is important as a pâtissier. All baked goods need to be made perfectly or they will be thrown out. Customers want to pay for the perfect croissant not a pastry that looks more like squished bread.


Everytime you waste ingredients or throw out unsuccessful cakes/pastries, you're costing your employer money. It's important to follow the recipe and aim for perfection. Take inspiration from these famous pastry chefs.




Many pastry chefs have completed an undergraduate degree in culinary arts or attended a bakery school. This experience teaches you everything you need to know about being a pastry chef. Some bakeries/restaurants are proud to have qualified pastry chefs. 


However, there is no rule that says you have to attend a bakery school. In fact, completing a pastry chef apprenticeship or going on specialised pastry courses is good too.


Having qualifications and/or courses helps make your CV and Cover Letter stand out.  



Learn the science behind the pastry



Every pastry chef knows the sciene behind the pastries and desserts they create. When I say this, I mean they understand how each ingredient works to create certain flavours and textures.


Reading and studying from established guides on baking, like The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry by Bo Friberg, wil give you important knowledge that you will need to be a successful pastry chef.



If you want to become a pastry chef, you need the right work shoes

Pastry chefs start work early. Work can start at 6am, 5am or even 3am!


Baking has to start early and once pastry chefs are at work, they are on their feet for most of the day. Bakeries and kitchens have potential slip hazards, so it's important you wear comfortable slip-resistant shoes for work. 


At Shoes For Crews (Europe) Ltd. we specialse in safety shoes for chefs that are both comfortable for long shifts and reduces the chance of suffering a slip or fall at work. We have work shoes for bakers and pastry chefs.



Visit our shop to see the styles we have





Want to be a Pastry Chef? Here's the free guide

There's lots of different chef roles and there's different paths you can take. If you want to be a Pastry Chef, have a look at our free Complete Chef Career Guide to see all the skills and responsibilities that are expected of pâtissiers.


Tags: Life @ Work
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