It was at the age of 13 when I realized I wanted to be a Chef. I was studying home economics in school which involved baking & cooking. My final project was to make ‘something’, so I made my first cake for my mother’s birthday. Thirty years later, I, unlike being a Sommelier, have never been able to master the art of the pastry. (P.S. my mother appreciated the effort! – good thing there was a cake shop down the street!)
The role of Executive Pastry Chef, a position only seen in larger hotel kitchens or in luxury restaurants across North America, requires a specific skill set, those of which most chefs only aspire to perfect. To master the art of the pastry profession, you need a lot of dedication, passion, persistence and patience along with artistic imagination. They must be also very organized, as they use several ingredients that have to be assembled in order of sequence to produce the right desired effect.
It is a career that is interesting yet often complex. Most pastry Chefs start their day at 4am and often work 50 hours plus a week. But with the aforementioned traits, a trained pastry chef can create foods such as simple breads and birthday cakes to boxes made out of chocolate. It still boggles my mind what a pastry chef can create from things as simple as sugar. It’s almost magician like! And now, with cutting edge techniques like molecular gastronomy, new and exciting opportunities for pastry chefs have been created to revise how foods can be prepared, which in turn, has increased awareness of the pastry profession as a whole, attracting more people. In my opinion, this is great because hospitality as a whole needs to be more recognized as a career.