General Question

seVen's avatar

Does one have to go through pastry chef school in order to open up a bakery?

Asked by seVen (3445 points ) September 4th, 2009 from iPhone

Or would a certain experience in bakery for few years suffice to be able to become a baker!?

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6 Answers

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

I’d say train under a baker for a while to get the experience
These pastry chef schools seem sketchy

casheroo's avatar

No, but it does take years of experience and lots of reading up on your own to gain knowledge of certain techniques. I’m sure there are seminars that can teach specific techniques. Culinary school is very expensive, and does give a good basis for cooking or baking..but it does not prepare you for the real world…the insane hours, the treatment, the pay.

Harp's avatar

Generally, work experience is worth more than schooling in the pastry world, though that depends somewhat on the quality of the work experience. If you’ve been stuck cranking out the same 8 pastries every day for the past 4 years, then you will have acquired a good sense of what production work is like, but you’ll have a very limited repertoire and a narrow technical base.

The ideal would be to work for a chef who has a broad experience himself, exposes his employees to a wide range of products and techniques, and has good teaching skills. The fact is, there aren’t a lot of guys like this out there. The retail pastry field in the US is not in good shape.

I currently teach in a large culinary school here in Chicago. My observation is that the pastry students are shown a wide range of techniques, but get little of the repetition that’s necessary to really develop those skills. They also don’t get a real feel for what a true production environment is like. It’s one thing to make a cake or two in a pristine, well-equiped school kitchen, but quite another to crank out 75 or more pastries of several varieties at 5:00AM with beat-up shop equipment while the chef screams at you. And the better schools cost insane amounts of money.

DylanMueller's avatar

You don’t need any formal training, just a certification in sanitization. I believe they call it a “Sani-Serv Certification”

sandystrachan's avatar

You don’t have to do anything , other than get the property and permits and whatnot . It wouldnt hurt getting some kind of teaching in the bakery field before or during .

DrasticDreamer's avatar

You can open one without having worked in a bakery as long as you put up the money to do so. I worked in a bakery for two years and feel that I gained enough experience to open a bakery, if I choose to do so (which I’m considering), but I had a pastry decorator and a cake decorator teach me a lot while I was there.

If you plan on decorating some things yourself, I would highly suggest at least working with a decorator before you attempt to do it yourself. School isn’t necessary when it comes to learning what you need to know, unless you have no one that you could work with – then it matters. It’s kind of like drawing/painting… All you need is a great imagination and dedication.

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