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Pastry Chef

Why Become A Pastry Chef?

Pastries and desserts are big business. Don't let anyone tell you differently. In fact, this billion dollar a year business has recently caught the attention of W Street with Bimbo Corporation's nearly $1 billion acquisition of Sara Lee's North American Baking operations. Pastry chefs in North America must have a taste not just for sweets, but for business as well, since pastry arts has become one of the culinary careers over the past decade! Now is a fantastic time to earn your degree in pastry arts and begin a career in the production of desserts and pastries. Whether you choose to work in a restaurant, bakery or food company such as Sara Lee or Bimbo, the future is quite promising. However, as with any growing industry, the competition for the jobs will also be high. A degree in Pastry Arts from a culinary arts institute may ly increase your chances for success and a promising career.

Pastry Chef Job Description: What is a Pastry Chef?

A Pastry Chef is what's commonly known in restaurant or commercial kitchen as a station chef or 'line cook'. Also known as a Patissier or Patisserie Chef, the position is quite important to any food service organization. Dessert, as mentioned earlier, is big business. Pastry chefs are in charge of providing the organization and production of a restaurant's dessert menu each day. Additiony, pastry chefs may have the responsibility of developing and providing the baked goods used by that restaurant as well, regardless of its use. Many head pastry chefs are ultimately responsible for developing the dessert menu for the restaurant in close coordination with that restaurant's executive chef, owners and general managers.

Pastry chef duties range widely on a daily basis, depending on menu, type of restaurant, region and establishment's organization. However, many of traditional pastry chef duties include:

pastry chef
  • Creation of dessert menu to match menu of executive chef
  • Development and baking of baked goods and pastries
  • Managing entire pastry and bakery staff, as well as any other staff under this department
  • Baking & Dessert research to acquire and develop new menu items
  • pastry inventory and costs
  • Work closely with executive chef, sous chef, restaurant manager and others

Pastry Careers

A pastry chef's career can take him or her to a wide variety of locations and work settings. The environment is up to you, and many pastry arts degrees will ow students a good deal of information to help them make this type of career . For many pastry chefs, however, the is simple. They work with the types of foods they like to eat most.

Careers in pastry arts can be in restaurants, including large or sm establishments, fine dining or casual, bistros, dessert bars and even catering companies. Many pastry chefs prefer to work in restaurants located in larger establishments in hotels, resorts and spas, convention centers, cruises, casinos and more. Salaries can vary depending on your career type, place of work and region of the country. Many pastry chefs will tell you that they work in this industry because they love to cook. However, there is good money in this field as well, if you know where to look. Desserts and pastry arts have become big business, and the world's love of sweets and desserts means that this career can take you to just about any part of the globe in which you wish to travel.

Pastry Chef Salaries

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), salaries for pastry chefs cover a wide range. Many factors to consider when planning a career in pastry arts are the region for which you are living and the types of restaurant and food service establishments in this area. For instance, areas such as New York City, Los Angeles or Miami may offer many more opportunities with higher paying positions than other areas including Montana, Idaho or Nebraska. On a regional level, however, larger cities including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Denver, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, Orlando, Washington DC and Boston were shown to have the highest salaries and most career opportunities for new entrants. Lower density states such as Nebraska, Montana, Indiana, Oklahoma and Mississippi showed the fewest opportunities with the lowest corresponding average salaries. Find out about the region in which you are expecting to work to see what your specific opportunities may be.

Experience is also a major factor. Pastry chefs with a degree of experience can often command the highest salaries. Skills such as menu creation, team building and organization, managing personnel, understanding of restaurant operations and cost and supply analyzing skills are important qualities that employers, including restaurant and hotel owners, executive chefs and restaurant and hospitality managers are looking for. A good reputation can also go a long way. And a way to build both your skills and your reputation is to attend and complete a well regarded, culinary school with a degree in pastry arts or patisserie and baking.

While an entry-level pastry chef can expect to earn between $30,000 and $50,000 annuy, salaries can go up much higher. If pastry arts is the career you are looking for, then get started now with a degree from a school and get moving on your way to a rewarding career in pastry arts.

Culinary Degree Schools

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