So You Want To Be A Pastry Chef


For years…I so longed to become a pastry chef. To quit my day job and apply to the prestigous L’Academie de Cuisine. To attend Chef Francois Dinot’s culinary school. To study pastry arts and then to prepare edible art.…mouth-watering French desserts. I dreamed of doing this very thing for eight years.

It’s the last week of May 2005……………
I am exhausted! Attending school three days a week. Working at my externship at Grand Hyatt Washington three days a week. Studying, riding the metro home (two hours), taking care of the household. Washing my uniforms and getting things laid out for the next day.

There’s more………………
Typing my recipes onto my computer, getting to visit my Mother only once a week…(two hours driving time). Getting up at 4:45 AM to rush around and be driven on the Capitol Beltway with crazy drivers and gratefully arrive at school by 6:15 AM. With a dash to the ladies lockerroom, I change into my chef’s uniform, tie up my hair, shove my belongings into the small locker, shove the lock closed and grab my books on my way to the kitchen. It’s 6:35 AM…”So you want to be a chef. Right?” This is the question I would ask myself every 24 hours or so.

The Chocolate Roulade is painted with dark rum flavored simple syrup, spread with ganache and then rolled up, is only one of my five desserts. Each student had five desserts to prepare and assemble for our final buffet. Our practical exam. The lighter chocolate is in fact chocolate butter cream that is iced over the entire rolled cake. About thirty minutes before the roulade is to be sliced, it is taken from the freezer and glazed with dark glazing ganache. Ooh la la!

The entire five months and the stress and worry over my elderly mother was grueling and at times I wondered if I would make it. But with a lot of faith and prayers I did just that.

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5 thoughts on “So You Want To Be A Pastry Chef

  1. Hi I’m an aspiring pastry chef. I’m not sure how to begin though. I don’t have any training or experience except for what i try in my own kitchen. Do you recommend going to pastry school first even though one has no experience? Or should i try and find an assistant job somewhere? i would love to hear your input. My email is tonglindsey@gmail.com. Thank you so much!

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