A chef de patisserie, also called a pastry chef, is in charge of creating breads, pastries, desserts and confections for a restaurant, hotel or bakery. Because pastries are expected to be both beautiful and delicious, a good pastry chef will need to understand how to create visually appealing desserts. A pastry chef will also need to make sure to pursue the correct educational opportunities and obtain the proper skill sets.
Education Options for Chefs
Pastry chefs have the option of obtaining many different types of degrees, including a yearlong diploma or certificate, a 2-year associate degree or a bachelor's degree if they are interested in management, teaching or becoming an executive pastry chef. Considerations when selecting a program should include cost, accreditation, the quality of the faculty and facilities and the institution's track record in placing graduates in jobs.
Kitchen and Business Knowledge
Pastry chefs need to understand the basics of food safety, design, nutrition, measuring, weighing, mixing, blending and other food preparation techniques. A good pastry chef will also keep abreast of all current trends in the dessert and pastry world in order to help her establishment create and maintain a menu in line with popular demands. Pastry chefs may also need to be competent in management techniques and business skills, depending on the nature of their position.
General Job Description
It is a pastry chef's job to help restaurant management and other restaurant chefs develop the restaurant's dessert and bread menu and then create the necessary confections for the execution of that menu. In addition to several standard menu options, this may also require creating daily specials, as well as holiday and seasonal specials. A pastry chef will also be responsible for submitting purchase orders and developing a budget for all goods necessary to create the bread and pastries needed for his establishment. In some instances, pastry chefs may also be required to help with training and managing restaurant employees.
Smaller Establishments and Alternative Careers
If a pastry chef is working in a small bakery rather than a restaurant, interaction with customers, as well as handling of cashier duties, may be necessary from time to time. Additionally, if the pastry chef is the proprietor of the bakery, the chef may be required to handle many basic business operations, such as invoicing, payroll, management and finance.
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