So You Want To Be a Professional Baker
Ever since I was 13 years old there was nothing I wanted more than to be a pastry chef. I would bake in my free time, I would read cook books, I would even spend my time in the bookstore looking for new cookbooks. My Pinterest is overloaded with recipes from day to day muffin recipes, ice creams, sorbets, cookies, wedding cakes, as well as composed desserts. I even have a board called ” bakery one day”. I had a dream from a young age and somehow at a very young age I made that dream a reality.
I think it’s funny because I remember one of my college chefs telling us bakers in class, “you know baking is fine and dandy, but one day you may be job hunting and there will be a higher demand for culinary help compared to the need for bakers, and you are going to have to make a decision. Do you want to be jobless or are you going to man up and take the culinary job.” I heard this and most likely rolled my eyes. I remember back in freshman year when we had knife skills classes, I never really took it seriously because I knew I was going to be a baker. What baker needs to know the difference between a small, medium and large dice? Better yet what’s the difference between tourne and bruniose, mince and chiffonade. I remember the day in class when we had to kill live lobsters for lobster bisque. The teacher took his chef knife and went right for the skull. Lots of the bakers got squeamish, some of them even asked to leave the room. There was another time when we were working with shrimp in class and we had to gut them, I had my lab partner do it for me. Why? because I was going to be a baker, and i don’t even like shrimp.
At this point in the post you may be wondering where I am going with the story… well just two and a half weeks ago I started working for a different restaurant. I thought I was being hired to work in the pastry department, but in actually I am the lead prep girl. Yes, I went from pastry chef, to lead prep cook, some people may think of this as a downgrade, but I’m using this as a learning experience. Where I was as a pastry chef there was no room for growth, but within this position I have room to grow, and I am learning so much. Im actually pretty proud of myself because how many pastry girls can say that they can successfully do what i am doing? I’m making sauces, I’m working on my knife skills, I’ve cooked mussels for the first time, I’ve gutted shrimp, I touched an octopus, and cooked it, and I’m sure there are more interesting tasks to come.
The moral of this story is even though you have your heart set on being a baker that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t explore other opportunities. Also pay attention in school,even when you think something doesn’t apply to you, it may not now, but one day it will. Believe it or not your teachers no what they are talking about!
Wise words Bailey! Glad you’re embracing the new experiences and challenges, you never know where life might take you sometimes.