With a diverse range of tempting pastries becoming soothing dessert for the mood of young generation, need of skilled and professional Pastry Chefs is rising in the food industry with the every passing day. While skilled Pastry Chefs are making a blooming career in a Hotel, Restaurant or Patisserie, they are also optimizing the opportunity of using their entrepreneurial skill by starting own ventures – Chocolatiers, Artisan Bakers, Cake Designers and Pastry Shop.
Aiming at presenting a clearer picture of scope, opportunity and other aspects of this thriving career, Careers360, recently, interviewed Chef Dinesh Rawat, Director, Academy of Pastry Arts, India. Emphasizing on the importance of necessary skill-set and varied creative needs for a Pastry Chef, Rawat describes it to be interesting and creative at the same time challenging and complex career. Moreover, he also shares various aspects of making a Pastry Chef career, whether a professional or an entrepreneurial.
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Read below the excerpt of the interview:
Tell us about the career opportunities for a pastry chef – in both Indian and international contexts.
A Pastry Chef's job is interesting, creative, challenging and complex either they are working in India or any other country around the world. Pastry chefs are not limited to baking bread and making cakes. There are many career options one can work in a hotel, restaurant, patisserie, food industry or could be an entrepreneur or a teacher.
What skill set is required for the aspirants seeking to be part of the food industry, particularly in pastry making?
Pastry chefs need to be organized and detail-oriented. Pastry chefs are hard working. They work long hours and they spend many of those hours on their feet. It takes stamina and strength to do the work of a pastry chef. Creativity is an important quality. To be a good pastry chef, you need an understanding of the scientific principles behind your craft. You also need to know the basics of design – how to create visually appealing desserts. There are many skills you’ll acquire as you learn to be a pastry chef. Further, team-work, management and business skills are all necessary skills for the pastry chef.
"Look for a school with teaching chefs who have worked in hotel/restaurants – in the real world – and understand the environment along with the art and science of being a pastry chef."
Please tell us the specific courses related to it.
There are several different educational opportunities for you to choose from if you want to become a pastry chef. You could get a diploma or certificate, usually in less than a year. This gives you the skills and knowledge for an entry-level position. Management training in a hotel gives you more skills and more basic education. If your goal is management, Executive Pastry Chef or teaching, you should consider eventually getting a diploma from a pastry school, bachelors or advanced degree. Whatever level of education you choose, it’s important to choose the right program.
Can you please elaborate on specific courses (India & Abroad) which enable one to become a pastry chef?
The great thing about being a pastry chef and going to a pastry chef college is learning that your creativity knows no boundaries. We can’t emphasize how important it is to choose a program that’s right for you, with the instructors and pro kitchen facilities and equipment. For instructors, look for a school with teaching chefs who have worked in hotel/restaurants – in the real world – and understand the environment along with the art and science of being a pastry chef. And definitely be sure to find an accredited school like Academy of Pastry Arts India. The course you choose could be of a short term or long term depending on how much you need to learn.
What is the earning potential of pastry chefs? What could be the entry-level challenges in making pastry making as a career?
Earning potential varies from organization to organization and your experience. Greatest entry level challenges in pastry making as a career would be lack of structured training in baking and pastry making, thus face a challenge in taking up responsibilities, leading to slower growthand frustration.
How important is Industry relationships for culinary profession? How does a new-comer do it?
While industry relationships are important for career progression, it’s easy to climb the ladder with skill, dedication, creativity and sound knowledge of your work.
Please share your suggestions to those who want to start their own venture in readymade food industry?
To be an entrepreneur is a great feeling as you work for yourself and know your boundaries. You need to understand and map your market and its needs. You need to be honest to yourself and to your work to succeed. Believe me, being the reason for smiles on your customers’ faces would be the sweet reward you would want, and of course money would follow you.