Waste Of Time/money?

Decorating By CrescentMoon Updated 24 Oct 2010 , 1:33pm by cakeythings1961

CrescentMoon Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 10:36pm
post #1 of 13

I decorate cakes as a hobby and bake anything and everything I can for friends and co-workers. Eventually I would love to have a "legal" kitchen in which I could do cakes, cookies, pies etc for the mass public. My question is, is spending $ on a school that specializes in Pastry Arts worth the time and money? I would love to impove my skills and perhaps learn new techniques (in cake decorating and baking alike) and am unsure where to go, other than one of these schools. Can someone let me know what your experience has been?
Much Thanks,
Kimberly

12 replies
dreamcakesmom Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 10:46pm
post #2 of 13

Kimberly,

I think you will find a mixed bag of responses from the general concensus. I run into just as many people who are self taught as I do that have graduated from a pastry program. I will only speak to my own experience and truly don;t believe there is right answer for every person but rather a right situation for each person. I am finishing culinary school this year and have found it to be a very good experience. It enables me the opportunity to learn from many different experienced chefs within a very short amount of time, I will have exposure to about 20 different chefs over my 2 years all with various backgrounds, expertise, etc. I have also worked in a high end high volume bakery where the head chef/owner never attended culinary school and she had amazing technique as well. The benefit for me of school is networking, weekly "pastry skills" opportunities which are free, your tuition covers materials, etc, exposure to everything from chocolate work, sugar work, cakes, french pastry, breads. It gave me the opportunity to play with these other areas and decide which was for me and which things I will never include in my own repertoire. Good luck in whatever you choose

HowCoolGomo1 Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 10:50pm
post #3 of 13

Is this your passion? If it is, then I vote go for it!

Cake_Karen Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 10:52pm
post #4 of 13

I did 4 years training and have found it the best time and money I have spent to learn the skills from my teacher.

CrescentMoon Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 11:08pm
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by HowCoolGomo1

Is this your passion? If it is, then I vote go for it!



I find I am very pasionite when it comes to my baking, and am always trying new recipes and for the most part, whith the exception of my failed cinnamon rolls, everyone LOVES my baking. I guess at 37 I'm not sure if going to school to persure a career in this field is "worth it" so to speak.

CWR41 Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 11:26pm
post #6 of 13

Here are some opinions:

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-687068-pastry.html+school

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-688869-culinary.html+school

I'm sure there are more threads available on the subject, but right now the search function won't let you read past the first page of results.

costumeczar Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 11:59pm
post #7 of 13

I did a pastry arts program and I think it was great. You learn a lot and it's fun, so if you have the means to do it I say go for it.

Occther Posted 21 Oct 2010 , 12:11am
post #8 of 13

Never let age be a deteriment to your aspirations. I taught an associate degree program for 7 years and many students were in the 40s and 50s!!

CrescentMoon Posted 21 Oct 2010 , 1:11am
post #9 of 13

CWR41 - Thanks for those threads, they pretty much confirmed for me that taking individual classes with local (or not so local) cake decorators may be the best way for me to go.

neecerator Posted 21 Oct 2010 , 1:17am
post #10 of 13

The Pittsburgh Culinary Inst. pastry school is $40,000.oo
Do you want to pay that back? It's up to you. Good luck! icon_smile.gif

amygortoncakes Posted 24 Oct 2010 , 1:02am
post #11 of 13

I am going to start an AA pastry program in the Spring. The main reason is because I want to work as a decorator at someone elses bakery and you really need education to get your foot in the door. I wish it weren't so, but no matter how great your portfolio is, if you don't have commercial baking experience you might as well not even apply. Also the networking that you get from meeting and working with so many people in the field is invaluble.

I know that some programs are quite exspensive, but the one I am getting will virtually be free after financial aide and grants. Look at some of your local community colleges to see if they offer an AA Pastry Program.

neecerator Posted 24 Oct 2010 , 1:11pm
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by amygortoncakes

I am going to start an AA pastry program in the Spring. The main reason is because I want to work as a decorator at someone elses bakery and you really need education to get your foot in the door. I wish it weren't so, but no matter how great your portfolio is, if you don't have commercial baking experience you might as well not even apply. Also the networking that you get from meeting and working with so many people in the field is invaluble.

I know that some programs are quite exspensive, but the one I am getting will virtually be free after financial aide and grants. Look at some of your local community colleges to see if they offer an AA Pastry Program.




Can you tell me please what AA stands for and is there a website?
I work holiday/seasonal at a bakery with no professional training. Just wilton classes and some other short term courses. That's it. I am also curious about further training, but don't want to spend $40k.

cakeythings1961 Posted 24 Oct 2010 , 1:33pm
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by neecerator

The Pittsburgh Culinary Inst. pastry school is $40,000.oo
Do you want to pay that back? It's up to you. Good luck! icon_smile.gif




icon_eek.gif Holy cow!!!! Our local community college has a wonderful culinary department with a pastry program. They frequently hold student-led demos that are quite impressive. The culinary students prepare all the food for the cafeteria--it's like a 2-star restaurant! And you never know what pastries will be available, as it depends on what the students are working on that week. icon_smile.gif

OP, if you're interested in professional pastry training, I would definitely investigate your local community college. Good luck to you, whatever you choose!!

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