Are you fond of experimenting with exciting desserts just as much as eating them? Do you find yourself thinking of baking as not just a hobby but a passion that makes you curious about the art behind the mesmerizing desserts? Then, it’s time to take the road towards being a pastry chef.
The Pastry Chef Decoded
A pastry chef is a passionate and creative professional cook, whose expertise lies beyond just baking. They can create a spectacular range of desserts like cakes, pies, tarts, gateaux, mousses, souffle, truffles, chocolates… you think it, and they’ll probably find a way to create it.
The Key Ingredients
Before you jump into the world of all things sweet, try and equip yourself with some essential traits that will make you go a long way:
Creativity: Creativity leads to innovation and innovation leads to masterpieces. Thus, even if you’re baking a simple red velvet cake, a touch of creativity is what can make it unique.
Knowledgeable: Training and theory go hand-in-hand. To be a great pastry chef, one must understand the science and principles behind baking. From food safety to the rules around baking and ingredients, every bit is important.
Attention to detail: Beauty of desserts lies in the details. Little things like the right ingredients, measurements, designing, toppings etc, along with attention to the tiniest of details can help you to become a successful pastry chef.
The Sweet World of Opportunities
With a fair bit of specialization and skill, pastry chefs can open a world full of opportunities for themselves. Presenting some of those:
Bakery/Cafeterias: You can get employed in a bakery as a fresher to create baked goods or exquisite desserts
Hotels/Restaurants: You can work in the kitchen of a 5-star hotel chain or restaurant, depending upon the level of training, experience, and the size of business you work for.
Home Baker: If you’re someone who doesn’t like working under someone and finds bliss in the comfort of home, this is your career path. You can start to supply cakes occasionally or on demand from the comfort of your home. In this type of career, contacts can go a long way to spread the word across.
Entrepreneurship: If you’ve ever dreamt of owning a business that you can call your own, this one’s for you. As a pastry chef, you can open a bakery of your own and showcase your skills to everyone! All you need is capital, a place where you can set up shop and your creativity to get your pastry business booming.
Influencer: In an era where social media is rising by the day, a pastry chef can find his place in the digital space as well. This is something that would require no major capital- just you, a camera and social media. Create a page and share the videos and pictures of desserts you create in your daily life. This could be a great medium to showcase your creativity, but at the same time enable you to earn name, fame and money.
There are also opportunities in spaces such as government institutions, community centres, schools, corporate kitchens and more. Find the opportunity that suits you and just get doughing!
In order to accomplish this, knowledge as well as honing the craft of baking, its particularities are essential. Thus, while having a specialisation degree is not a prerequisite, most renowned chefs enroll themselves into a long-term or short-term course that gets them a recognized degree in baking. But fret not, you can become a world-class baker even without it!
A Pinch of Specialization
You can master the specialisation you want to go ahead with through a plethora of programmes and courses offered by Institutes.
We, at Whitecaps, offer a range of courses such as weekend classes, short-term Programmes in Chocolatier or Cake Engineering and many more and even a 6-months Excellence Programme, accredited by City & Guilds to make you the master of one.
How does taking a course help? We take your rudimentary skills and whip them up to reach a professional level. You will not only ace the basics but also get a first-hand experience of dealing with complex techniques such as icing, caramelising, glazing, cake decoration, fondue work and much more.
Let’s Get Down to Business
The amount you’re paid as a pastry chef largely depends on where you’re placed, the region you’re working at, the level of education, experience and the type of employer.
More money lies in working for hotels or restaurants but is also dependent on external factors like scale, sales and more. The average salary of a pastry chef here lies between 3-5 Lakh per annum with one year of experience.
For bakers running their own bakery or functioning out of their home, the figure is largely similar but is also dependent on your skill and other additional costs that you have to bear.
If any of those career paths appeal to you and you want to get baking and caking, then make sure you check the courses we have to offer and hop on board!