Anyone Go To Pastry School?

Decorating By sweetkisscakes Updated 17 Jan 2009 , 10:35pm by Bijoudelanuit

sweetkisscakes Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 12:29am
post #1 of 9

I love cakes and I want to have my own cake shop someday!
I have been accepted to Johnson and Wales and the french culinary institute for pastry. I think both schools would be a lot of fun but wow! are they expensive. If you went how did you like it? I'd love to just become an apprentice instead but I've had trouble finding someone to take me on. Anyone need a helper? I'm willing to relocate for my big break. It's nice to be young and have nothing to lose lol.

8 replies
DMCG Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 12:45am
post #2 of 9

I went to J&W U. Had a great experience, although they didn't really touch on cake decorating the way we do it here. I don't know if things have changed since then. I graduated in '89.
Good luck with your decision.
You may want to go to work in a bakery first and tell them you're going to school for pastry. You may get a better response that way.

HTH
Danielle icon_wink.gif

mpaigew Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 1:28am
post #3 of 9

Where in NY are you? I just graduated last May from a community college in NY that has a culinary & pastry department. It was a GREAT experience (and a LOT less $$$ than J&W, CIA) although for cake decorating...I had ONE cake decorating class, and I learned more from Cake Central than I did through that. If you want to open business that is strictly cakes, you might be better off using your money for actual cake decorating classes through a quality cake decorator. They are expensive, but when you compare it to the cost of J&W...it doesn't even compare! My pastry degree was so much more than cake decorating; if you are not into that, don't waste your time or money. If you are into the baking and pastry, I would really suggest going to a community school and getting your 2 yr degree, and then going on to get your 4 yr at J&W.

Just another little side note...unless some miracle happens with the economy, be prepared to have a really tough time finding work in the pastry field. I was hired a year ago December as a pastry chef at a cafe, and last week I was let go. I went from being so busy that I had to plan to stay at least an hour late, to being able to leave two or three hours early. People aren't spending the extra $$ for dessert after they have just shelled out for lunch/dinner. I am afraid that as the economy gets worse (and we all know it will/is) that the jobs available for those who produce "want" items like desserts will get even more sparce.

PinkZiab Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 5:57pm
post #4 of 9

I went to the French Culinary Institute for Pastry and I loved it. I will tell you though, that if all you ever want to do is cakes, it will be a waste of time and money to go to culinary school, as cake decorating is a VERY small part of the curriculum. You would be better off starting out with a job or internship at a cake studio and learning that way. If, however, you want to be a full-fledged pastry chef, then the FCI has a great program. Feel free to email me if you have any other questions.

__Jamie__ Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 6:10pm
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkZiab

I will tell you though, that if all you ever want to do is cakes, it will be a waste of time and money to go to culinary school, as cake decorating is a VERY small part of the curriculum. You would be better off starting out with a job or internship at a cake studio and learning that way.




Ditto to that!

Bijoudelanuit Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 6:19pm
post #6 of 9

I agree completely with PinkZiab.... through my pastry program we did so very little cake decorating and then when I finally got to my internship every cake just had simple borders and fresh orchids; it was extremely disappointing. Classes from professional decorators would be the best way to develop your talents! Good luck!

Pastry-Panda Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 6:22pm
post #7 of 9

I went to pastry school at the Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena CA and graduated in May. I just wanted to do cake too , that was a very expensive mistake. I loved school and I learned all kinds of awesome stuff but considering the fact that I just do mostly cakes it was kinda a waste because we only did cake for 6 weeks and they didn't get very in depth about it. Like someone else said you will learn more here on Cake central about cake that at school. I was a Pastry Chef at a catering company and I was let go right after xmas nobody wants expensive fancy desserts right now , pastry jobs are diminishing very very fast. The people who get the pastry jobs are the people who have been doing it for years not us newbies. Very sad , I know I sold my soul to Sallie Mae for nothing cause I can't even pay my student loans right now.

mpaigew Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 7:48pm
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pastry-Panda

I was a Pastry Chef at a catering company and I was let go right after xmas nobody wants expensive fancy desserts right now , pastry jobs are diminishing very very fast. The people who get the pastry jobs are the people who have been doing it for years not us newbies. Very sad , I know I sold my soul to Sallie Mae for nothing cause I can't even pay my student loans right now.




Those words could of come right out of my mouth!!!! I'm right there with you! I can't help but feel a little worthless right now...I have a husband and two kids, and thought that getting my education would be the way to go. But here I am finding myself several thousands of $$ in debt (I also had to finance day care into my school loans so I could attend classes that were only offered during the day) and now being let go from my pastry chef position, and not being able to find another. I very much feel like I sold my soul to Citibank and US Dept of Loans!!!!

Bijoudelanuit Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 10:35pm
post #9 of 9

I also had the same experience (several years ago), graduated from culinary school, worked as a pastry chef (working 60 plus hours a week) and after the holidays was suddenly laid off. Over the past few years I've heard the same story over and over again icon_sad.gif When things get tight the pastry staff is the first to go. I consider myself very fortunate that it was my second career and that I was easily able to return to my first teaching high school.

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