What Do Pastry Chefs Do?
Any foodie worth their salt knows that good food is an art form. But nowhere is the term "culinary arts" more appropriate than when it’s applied to the dessert course.
Whether making sugar sculptures, constructing elegant wedding cakes, or simply adding that final drizzle of chocolate to the perfect torte, a pastry chef knows the importance of visual appeal—as well as good taste.
With pastry chef training, your job description may range from tasks as essential as producing baked goods for a grocery store, restaurant or a neighborhood bakery, or as glamorous as creating delicious desserts for a high-end restaurant. Either way, there's no doubt that a pastry chef job is rewarding—and certainly sweet.
As a pastry chef, your job description may include the following kinds of tasks:
- Overseeing kitchen staff
- Ordering supplies
- Producing baked goods
- Decorating and plating various pastries and desserts
- Keeping the kitchen organized
Skills Needed for a Pastry Chef Job
- Culinary Ability and Creativity – It pretty much goes without saying, pastry chefs need to be able to bake, which involves attention to detail, knowledge of ingredients and a fair amount of patience. They also need to have artistic ability and creativity to produce pastries and desserts that look as good as they taste.
- Attention to Detail – Small changes in a recipe can make a big difference. So pastry chefs need to pay attention to what they're doing, even while performing routine tasks.
- Customer Service – Some pastry chefs may supply other businesses with baked goods, while others may serve their confections at their own neighborhood shops. No matter who their customers are, pastry chefs need people skills in order to establish thriving businesses.
- Stamina – While working with your hands can be very satisfying, it can also be exhausting. A pastry chef job often requires long hours on your feet. Many require early morning hours—starting around 3 or 4 a.m. There may also be some lifting involved. You'll need to be physically able to handle the stress to your body and mentally prepared to persevere through repetitive tasks.