How to Be a Bakery Chef

by Jennifer Kimrey

There are few moments that smell as good as walking into a bakery. The warm, sweet smell of baking breads, whipped toppings and fruity fillings is enough to make anyone's stomach grumble in anticipation. Bakery chefs work at and sometimes run these shops, creating delicious, aromatic baked goods that bakery visitors happily buy. For some, becoming a bakery chef is a lifelong dream -- one that can be realized with skill, patience, hard work and, most of all, a passion for tasty baked goods.

Assess your interest in becoming a bakery chef. List factors such as your current and future finances, time needed for training or schooling, skills applicable to the craft and, especially, your passion for baking.

Practice basic baking skills to prepare yourself for more intensive training at an apprenticeship or school. Learn about the biology of food safety; measurements and conversions; tools and equipment used in bakeries; and baking terms such as dissolve, lattice top, proof, rest and stiff peaks.

Research culinary schools in your area. Most schools reward graduates from their programs a certificate or degree in the culinary arts, which can be useful on a resume and during job interviews. However, some require previous and applicable work experience, so research the program requirements well before applying.

Attend culinary classes if enrolling in school is not an option. Honing your baking skills and networking with others in the field will boost your experience and fill out your resume.

Round off your training with an apprenticeship at a bakery. Apply to a number of bakeries that are looking for entry-level employees. Initially, you may work as a kitchen cleaner or at the bakery counter. With patience and hard work as you train, you may progress until you reach bakery chef status.

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