Until about six months ago, I had never seriously considered baking as a career path for myself. Of course, this was after I had already graduated high school and was preparing to go to college. Ever since then I have always wondered if culinary school would have been better and if I should have made baking my life.
A few days ago my mom lost her job, my school won't change our financial aid situation so I will be leaving in a week and will not be returning for the spring semester and will have to finish out my freshman year somewhere else.
Now I'm starting to wonder if I should take my chances and go to culinary school. I've always loved baking, and I think I'd be perfectly happy doing it for the rest of my life, I just need some words of wisdom from the people here who know their stuff.
For those of you that bake professionally, how did you know that baking was what you wanted to do with the rest of your life? Did you go to culinary school? What things did you consider before making your choice?
Thanks = )
This is what I can say. Be very thankful that you know what you want to do for the rest of your life. I think that's the most important thing. Few people figure out what they want to do early. And you, just being a freshman, it gives you much greater flexibility to follow the path you want to follow at this stage of your life.
As the Nike commercial says ... Just Do It. Follow your dreams and don't hesitate.
Some people don't go to culinary school (pastry arts), while some do. Some people are comfortable enough with their knowledge and skills to jump right into it by getting a job at a bakery or the like (maybe a catering company, etc), or doing it as a business (some do it as a side business at first then going full time). But in your case, you might be more comfortable entering culinary school first. If not a full pastry arts course, then some short courses (you may also think of taking business courses since for many the ultimate goal is owning one's own bakery business). The advantages would be that you would learn from the pros, you would have a structured learning cycle, you could make industry contacts, and the school may have a program to give their students real life on the job training or placements. The main consideration of course is cost. Culinary arts can be quite expensive, so you might have to explore options to do it part time. You'd know all about the other stuff because you already know what it's like looking for a school to enter. Same thing applies to culinary school.
If you literally dream of baking then you'd probably want to get into it professionally, haha. But just remember (though I'm sure you already know this), that baking professionally can be very different from baking at home. What you love doing on your own and for family and friends may be very different when you do it for people you don't know. Also, some people look at the glamor of the profession (I'm looking at you FoodTV!) and think that a job in the culinary or pastry field is all wine and roses. But the reality can hit newcomers hard, and it can be a physically demanding field to work in with small pay. But if you think you've got the passion to do it then take the plunge!
As a stay at home mom, and having a husband who is going to school full time, I didn't have the money to get a fondant cake for my daughters 1st birthday. Same thing happened for my baby shower. I ended up getting a Walmart cake, and was never really happywith that. I was not going to let that happen again. So, in May of 2008 I started researching online, and eventually finding this place. I learned by trial and error. Months later I took the Wilton classes. The only thing I really got out of them were a few new supplies because I already knew what they were teaching from reading Cake Central.
My daughter ended up with a fondant cake and beautiful cookies!