Savoriesnsweets’ Blog

So Why didn’t I do Pastry instead of Culinary?

Posted on: April 24, 2009

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When I first started pondering becoming a chef, I envisioned myself as a chef much like this image, working on sweet, delectable treats.  The first time I enrolled in culinary school, about 6 years ago,  I don’t remember if I picked the pastry or the culinary arts program, but I do remember that I decided not to go down that road so that I could go to dental school.  After being miserable for a year, I left dental school and then did some more soul searching about what I should do. I thought about culinary school again, but for some reason, I didn’t think I could do it.  I then decided to try my hand at teaching.  There were a lot of pros at the time, but after trying it for a few years, I ultimately grew to resent my job and so, I quit.  All the while, I was still an avid cook & baker.  Well, more of a baker.  I looked forward to different events at school so that I could bake and I’d make bread and other treats at home.  This time, I quit my job and enrolled in culinary school and didn’t look back.

Now that I’m well into my culinary journey, I do wonder why I didn’t enroll in the pastry program.  Not that I regret doing culinary-I’m learning an amazing amount of stuff and I’m loving it!  But, I do ultimately love to bake.  Really, I’m afraid if I do what I truly love for my job, I’d get sick of it as it becomes something I HAVE to do instead of something I want to do.  Also, the culinary programs offer a little bit of everything, so I’ll get a more well-rounded education.

I’ve been pondering this more lately since my chef instructor found out I baked a lot.  Then I started bringing some of my treats into class.  It really meant a lot to me when she said she thought I have a talent for baking.  She also called me “the queen of baking”!  She happily devoured 2 whoopie pies!  I’m eager for the pastry mod but for now, I’m very happy learning how to properly make soups and sauces, how to fry, and roast and ultimately, how to function in a professional kitchen.  I do hope to work in a restaurant with active savory and sweet kitchens so I can get my hands into both!

For now I’ll focus on making my delectable treats at home.  Here are some of my latest creations, Whoopie Pies, from the Joy of Baking.  I was inspired to make these after I read the New York Times article about them.

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3 Responses to "So Why didn’t I do Pastry instead of Culinary?"

I am so in the same boat! I’m at culinary school now, but planning ot take the pastry program once this is done. Then … what? Do I bake or cook? Both appeal to me, but in very different ways.

Still, I suppose too many choices is better than too few. Or, at least, that’s what I tell myself.

Cheers!

hey – you should think about pastry after you complete this one. who knows – it doesn’t have to be your ‘day job’ – could be the side gig you do – special cake or pastry orders for parties, weddings, etc. and having the extra training and degree will make you that much more palatable if you do decide to become a pastry chef 🙂 but wow, those treats look excellent – yummy!

I was looking for pastry images when i came across this post. I went to culinary school knowing of my deep love of baked goods and now I’m done with school and stepped into the dark side.. Loving the 9-5 live style not the 1pm-1am kitchen life and even though I love cooking my true passion is for pastry.. I do plan on going back to school and keeping my culinary life at home. I know I will use it when I am ready.

I do not regret going to culinary school it teaches you more then steak and potatoes. It takes you through a world of food perceived by different cultures. But baking for me is where my heart is.

And what’s wrong with being able to stand your ground in any situation I never wanted to be the chef that just knows food, I want to expand my knowledge and learn.. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to learn that’s what sets apart the best from the great doing what you love and having a passion for it. That what makes a great Chef, not only doing something you just happen to learn or do well..

With that, follow what feels right, and what you love in the end its your life.

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