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May 15, 2008

Want to Go to Pastry School?


I get a lot of e-mails asking about my experience with going to a professional pastry school, how to pick a good pastry school, and whether or not to go to pastry school. Excellent questions, all of them. I finally decided to gather all my thoughts together and put them down on this page. I hope you find this helpful and perhaps you'll learn a little bit more about where pastrygirl came from!


What made you decide to go to pastry school? Where did you go to pastry school?

About 5 years ago, I was at my totally non-baking-related day job thinking about what I was going to bake that weekend. I'd been slowly moving up from my Betty Crocker and Better Homes cookbooks to fancier tomes featuring layer cakes and puff pastry, and I realized I really wanted to learn about the art of pastry - more than I was getting just by reading cookbooks at home.


I wanted someone who could critique my technique so my tart crusts would come out thin and crisp, my cake layers light and fluffy; someone who could answer my questions about what role eggs played in baking and fill in my knowledge gaps; most of all, I wanted someone to talk to who loved baking as much as I did!

I decided the answer was to take a course in pastry. I'd already taken cooking classes from various organizations but I wanted to get a full, comprehensive education this time. I went and researched the programs available in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I decided on the part-time professional pastry program at Tante Marie's Cooking School.  I chose Tante Marie for several reasons: the program was only part-time, meaning I would not have to leave my day job (and I needed that job to pay for pastry school!); when I visited the school I was impressed by the facilities, the class size, and the instructor (current students I talked to also commented positively on the program); and the cost of the program was one I could afford and which seemed commensurate with what I would gain from the program (I address this topic more specifically below).

I sent in my application with my fingers crossed and waited anxiously for a few months - when I was notified that I would be part of the new class in fall it was one of the best days of my life.


What was your experience in pastry school like?

I had a wonderful time in pastry school. I always tell people it's one of the best things I ever did, not simply in terms of entering the pastry profession or even becoming a better baker, but as something I did for just for me. It brought me a lot of happiness to be doing something I loved, getting better at it, and being surrounded by like-minded people. That said, it was more challenging to balance a full-time job with pastry school than I expected. The pastry course was six months long, and we had class two nights a week plus every other Saturday (all day). Our classes were usually structured with a lecture/demo for the first hour and then the rest of the class time devoted to actual baking and a critique at the end. We had midterms, reports, and a final project. Long time readers will probably not be surprised to know that I did a tribute to Pierre Hermé as my final project.


My instructor, Rachel, was a very talented pastry chef who had worked under Fran Gage of San Francisco's Pâtisserie Française. Rachel made the most beautiful wedding cakes and later left Tante Marie to open her own shop. I found her a very knowledgeable and sympathetic teacher; with a small class size of 14 people you always had the chance to speak one on one with her and get your questions answered. Our curriculum spanned all the basics of French pâtisserie, from custards to tarts to cakes to laminated doughs. We were given copious reference notes and recipes - the binders holding all that material is still the biggest "cookbook" I own!


Of course, one disadvantage of going to a part-time school was that you didn't have as much time to bake as in a full-time course. On weekday nights when classes were four hours long, we would usually have time to bake only one or two things. Oftentimes we would leave the class at 10:30 with still steaming-hot pastries packed in our bags. Because we only had six months to cover the curriculum, out of necessity some topics could not be covered in depth as much as I would have liked - for example, we only baked bread twice. However, Rachel encouraged us to bake as much as we could at home and to bring in the results for critique and to ask her questions at any time. She also set up days near the end of the course that were "free lab" days where we could make anything we wanted that we hadn't had the opportunity to do yet.

I really benefited a lot from having an experienced professional like Rachel to help me along and answer my questions - it helped take my baking to the next level. And not just in terms of baking technique but in learning to work in a kitchen in a clean, quick, and organized manner, and learning to work around and with other bakers. I also met some great people in class, which is what made it so fun. All my classmates were contemplating some sort of job involving pastry, which made them very hardworking, dedicated, enthusiastic, and supportive of each other. I hadn't started my blog yet back then - I wish I had done so to document the experience!


Should I go to pastry school? What do you think of pastry school X?

The more times I received this question, I more I realized I was hesitant to give a simple "yes" or "no" answer. What I realized I wanted was to ask in return, "Why do you want to go to pastry school?" And if the answer was, "To become a pastry chef," my next question would be, "Have you explored what the actual job of a baker is like?"


When I went to Tante Marie's, it was not with the intention of leaving my job and becoming a baker. I wanted to learn more about pastry and I was curious about the pastry profession, but I hadn't thought of joining it yet. As the class continued, I realized I really enjoyed pastry and working in the kitchen. I loved it enough that at the end of the class, I took a one month externship in a bakery. A year later, I left my job to work full time in a bakery.

I learned a great deal working in bakery - many things from my wonderful pastry chef, but also about what choosing pastry as a profession entailed, including long hours, intense physical labor, demanding schedules, and low pay (especially compared to my white-collar office-worker's salary). My pastry school classmates and I were told by Rachel that if you choose pastry as a profession, you do it for the love of baking. Once you've been waking up at 4:30 in the morning to stand on your feet for eight hours a day for months, you really start to realize the truth of that statement!


I'm not trying to scare people or make professional pastry sound like a terrible job. On the contrary, I loved the experience. I loved being around sugar, butter, and chocolate, knowing I was being paid to bake all day long, thinking up new recipes to try, and going home knowing I had completed a satisfying day's work. There's a very visceral, immediate gratification to baking: you can pull a tray of cookies out of the oven and two minutes later see the expressions of delight on customers' faces. You can look around the scrubbed-clean kitchen at the end of the day and see exactly all you've accomplished: it's all there, on the racks and in the refrigerators, on the counters and in the display cases. Along with cooking, baking is one the few professions that is so clearly, and purely, dedicated to bringing happiness to people. How could that not give you the warm fuzzies?


That all being said, I would be remiss in not noting that pastry quite a demanding profession. I also can't ignore that fact that the cost of culinary and pastry schools are rising, which is especially worrying because of the low starting pay in most pastry jobs. That's why I hesitate to just unequivocally tell everyone who has an interest in pastry to go to pastry school, without advising them to investigate all their options and examine their goals first.

I get a lot of e-mails asking what I think of various other pastry programs. Believe me, if I could make a career out of going around the world testing out different pastry schools, I would do it in a heartbeat!! However, the only pastry programs I have attended have been at Tante Marie's, and at SFBI, which I also highly recommend as a more expensive but extremely well-done full time program.

I am not comfortable evaluating or recommending pastry programs of which I do not have firsthand knowledge. If you are curious about options in your area, a couple of suggestions: go to local cookware stores like Sur la Table and ask if they know about local pastry programs. Contact community colleges and see if they have any offerings. Finally, if you have a favorite bakery or restaurant, see if you can find out if the head baker/pastry chef has any advice (Warning: do not try to walk into a restaurant kitchen in the middle of dinner service and ask to speak with the pastry chef! They will be too busy to give you their full attention! A better approach is to see if there is contact information on the website or ask the host if there is a good way to contact the chef.)

If you are curious about a specific pastry school, see the next question for what you should consider in evaluating whether that school is right for you. Especially, visit the school and see what the classes are like (know what you're paying for!!), and ask if the school has a list of alumni you might contact to ask about their experiences.

All right, so what do you suggest if I'm interested in a career in pastry?

I highly recommend doing the following two things:

1). Research all your options and make sure you find the right school for you. Culinary schools are getting more and more expensive these days, and pricier does not always mean better. There are many excellent pastry programs that are highly regarded and charge a hefty tuition, and rightfully so for the quality of their education. There also many pastry programs at smaller schools, or at local colleges, or at other institutions, that can also teach you a great deal, at a much lower cost. If your aim is to become a pastry chef at a four-star restaurant, a top-tier pastry school may well be worth the investment. If, on the other hand, you have a less technically rigorous goal such as starting your own home business, or a specialized goal like wedding cakes or catering, you might want to examine whether you still want or need to go to one of those top-flight schools, or whether there might be alternative programs that would suit your needs.  Let me note that this is not an intimation that some pastry career directions may require "lesser" educations, but more an extension of my belief that entering the pastry world should not necessarily entail taking on a large debt.


All right, financial issues aside, there are many other things to consider when choosing a pastry school. Who are the instructors? What are their qualifications? Who will your classmates be? What is the typical class makeup? What is the curriculum? How much actual lab time will you get? How will you be evaluated? What kind of certification will you get? Does the school offer job placement? If possible, go to the school and check out a few classes to see if you like the feel of the place. Even though I went to Tante Marie's, I would still advise prospective pastry students to visit the school since Rachel no longer teaches there and I haven't met the new instructor. And, of course, as with anything else you pursue in life, what you get out of your education is what you put into it. Tante Marie may not have been the biggest or best-known school, but all my classmates were so driven to get as much as they could out of the course, and Rachel went out of her way to be helpful and accessible, that I definitely felt I made the right choice.


I2). Try interning at a bakery or a restaurant to see what the job is like. Many places will take on unpaid interns, or stagieres, as they are sometimes called. In some places you may be directed to stand in an out-of-the-way spot and watch the kitchen during busy hours; other places will let you work alongside the staff on various tasks. This is by far the best way of finding out whether you will enjoy the job or not, and I am surprised that more people don't do this before going to culinary or pastry school. You may find out, for instance, that you enjoy working in a fast-paced kitchen plating elaborate desserts, or in a bakery making bread in the wee hours of the morning, or at a caterer's assembling platters of delicacies. You will learn a lot of practical knowledge from being around experienced chefs you won't get in class - my pastry chef taught me tons of tricks she had accumulated over her years of working in restaurants. And once you've been in a working kitchen, you'll go to school with a much greater appreciation for what you'll learn and what you'll want to learn.

I hope this little guide has answered some of the most-asked questions I get on this site. To all of you who love baking, who are contemplating pastry school, a career in pastry, or just learning more about baking, I say good luck, happy baking, and get in the kitchen as often as you can! Feel free to leave more questions or comments on this page, and I'll answer them as quickly as possible. I'll also probably revise and update this page as I think of more things to say or get more questions to answer!



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This is very helpful, thanks. I think I'm on the right tracks. !now have basic culinary and basic pastry under my belt and intend to try to get some experience somewhere to see if I can handle working in a real kitchen. I intend to stay at my job, which is a great job and well paid for the moment.

Thank you so much for sharing all these personal experience and your advice are very helpful. I am actually thinking about going to a pastry school. As you mentioned, the financial burden of going to a school is huge, especially for someone who is just out of university. Your post answered some of the questions I've always have but never get a chance to find out an answer or get to explore. I think I am more clear about what to do next. Thank you for sharing Anita! =)

I'm glad that I asked you for advice about going to pastry school. Although I still don't know if I will end up in a career in baking, I definitely didn't regret going to pastry school. It opened my eyes to the pastry world and I learnt much more than just baking techniques.

Most of all, it made me realize how much I love pastry-making. Thank you so much. :)

Thank you for sharing all this experience with us! It sounds like a wonderful experience, but also a tough life. Too bad we can't have our cake and eat it too, a baking job as well as good pay! I also liked the photos very much.

I have actually been highly considering going to a part time pastry school here in Sacramento. I mainly want to go just to improve my own skills and for personal self growth, I dunno if I am made for a pastry job, but who knows? =)

That picture of the strawberry savarin looks so good! Where can I find that recipe?? Thanks!

What a good explanation! I've been a long time reader but don't think I've commented before. I was actually in the class just before yours at Tante Marie! All those pics bring back lots of memories.

Keep up the great blog.

Nice post. I, too, went to pastry school with similar intentions (after having moonlighted at a bread bakery to get the feel for it all). I'm 38 and single...and can't quite afford the financial and physical sacrifices it would take right now to do it full time. I think my goal in the near future will be to pull my former careers more into line with something food related, as well as to keep teaching private/community classes, blogging, and feeding people on the side! It's all become such a huge part of my life. I wish you continued success and enjoy your blog very much!

FYI for anyone considering an education and/or career in Pastry Arts: You really don't need to go to a pastry school. The American Culinary Federation sponsors apprenticeships all across the country. You get paid training and instruction, and the only expense to the student is textbooks and personal equipment. Of course, such an apprenticeship is pretty much a full-time job, and for some people the apprenticeship alone isn't enough to live on.

Also, many community colleges have culinary programs where the cost is about 1/4th the expense of a traditional culinary school.

For myself, I went ahead and got a basic culinary education (an 18th month program), but the school did not have a dedicated pastry program, so after I graduated, I signed up for a 6-month paid apprenticeship for a more in depth baking and pastry education. That was nearly 9 years ago, and I'm still working in the baking & pastry field.

Yes, it is extremely hard work, very physically demanding. The company I work for is constantly short staffed, so I regularly work about 50+ hours a week. I also work the graveyard shift, as my company is a bread bakery that also sells a ton of morning pastries, so we bake all night long.

I've been doing this for so long, I'm now dealing with carpel tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow in my right arm, and I now have to wear orthotics in my shoes from being on my feet so much. I'm predicting that I'll only be able to this kind of work for another 5-8 years maybe before my body finally says it's had enough. And then I'll need to find something else to do (It's a good thing I have another college degree to use).

My advice is that if you decide you absolutely truly love this kind of work (which I do or I wouldn't still be doing it after 9 years), then go after it and work in the field for as long as you physically can and still enjoy it.

Fabulous posting! As a former pastry chef I get many of these question too. I advise those who are interested in the field to work in a kitchen or bakery before signing up for culinary school. It'll help put many of the aspects you've talked about into prospective :)

I always want to go to pastry school in paris. but I had different path in my life.
I use french cooking book his name is Jacque he cooks with julia child his book had taught me alot of pastry.
i love your blog.
continue your goal, i wish you all the luck. may be one day
I will go to learn the basic skill

This is such a great advice, Anita.

As a Thai who grew up without baking skill at all, I was always curious about baking since I moved to live in San Francisco 6 yrs ago. Instead of continuing another accounting degree in the U.S., I decided to take a professional baking program at CCA for 8 months last year to persue my new goal.

Like you said, what you get is what you put into it. This is really true.


I just found your website and I'm so glad I found this page! It answers so many questions I've had. I think after reading, I will go afterall, in a couple of years. I also really enjoyed reading many of your blog posts. Looking forward to reading more in the future!


Hi Jenny,

Thanks so much for writing and I'm glad this was helpful for you! I hope you get to try working at a bakery or restaurant and find out what direction you want to take!

hi Lili,

Thanks so much and I'm glad to be of help! It's true that the cost of culinary/pastry school is getting to be really daunting, and I wanted to let people know that there are other ways to get into the industry besides paying lots of money. Good luck and let me know if you have other questions!

Hi Verena,

thanks so much for writing - I've enjoyed hearing about your pastry school adventures and I look forward to seeing where you'll go next, no matter what you do!

Hi Astrid,

Thanks so much for writing! Yes, it's too bad that most professional pastry positions are not that well compensated - it makes me admire those who stick with it all the more! But we can still enjoy baking even if it's not our career!

Hi Garrett,

Hey, great to hear about your pastry plans! Even if you don't plan to become a pastry chef, it's always great to keep learning - and you can have the confidence of saying you've been professionally trained! let me know how it goes!!

Hi Jen,

The strawberry savarin was something I made in pastry school - I don't think I've gotten around to re-making yet! The recipe isn't on my site, but I'm sure if you do a search on the internet you'll be able to find basic savarin recipes you can adapt!

Hi Millie,

It's great to hear from another Tante Marie grad! You had Rachel too, right? I think I stopped by the class one time. Are you baking in the Bay Area still? thanks so much for writing!!

Hi Mary,

Thanks so much for writing! I think the great thing about pastry today is that people are realizing there are other things to do with a love for pastry besides just becoming a baker - there are so many opportunities! Good luck with your goals as well and let me know what happens with you!

hi Roxanne,

Thank you so much for visiting my site and leaving such a thoughtful post! I really appreciate feedback from people in the industry - it will make this page much more useful! I'm also glad that you wrote in to say that it's not necessary to go to pastry school to enter the pastry profession - it really concerns me that young people are spending thousands of dollars to go to school, not realizing the reality of what working in a bakery is like or that they could be heavily in debt after they graduate. Thanks so much for adding your voice and encouraging people to explore the pastry career thoroughly before entering it!

Hi CocoaGal,

Thank you so much for writing in - I'm really appreciating the feedback from others in the industry! I'm glad to see that my experiences from even my short time working in a bakery are matching up with those of long-time veterans! I really think people should try working in a bakery or restaurant before going to pastry school, and I'm always surprised when they don't - I'm afraid they'll be in for a rude awakening after school! Thanks so much for contributing your advice!

Hi Diane,

I'm glad you enjoy baking as well! I think baking from good cookbooks is also a great way to learn - keep it up!

Hi Thip,

That's great! Are you finished with the program yet? I bet you must have had a great time! I really miss my days in pastry school!

Hi Jessie,

Thanks for visiting and I'm so glad I could be of help! Pastry school can be a great place to learn new skills and be around like-minded pastry lovers! Good luck and let me know how things go!

I've been meaning to write you and ask about your time and experience in pastry school, and then I check your site today (it's been a while, I know, I know :D) and see that you've written a post dedicated to the very subject that I've been tinkering with for the past year.

Your post really helped in cementing my desire to pursue an education and career in baking. I absolutely love baking, and even just to learn about it without going forth in a career afterwards would be just fine. You broke down the components of choosing and picking the right school for an interested baker, and I may just have to take notes as future reference, hah!

I'm really glad (and grateful) that you've decided to create a page dedicated solely to pastry school and a path in the baking career. It's definitely opened my eyes even more and made me want to endure the challenges that may come!


I am greatly impacted by your posting " want to go to pastry school". I am where you were 5 years ago - in a non-baking job wondering what I would try out this week end. Infact , I am baking a carrot sheet cake this weekend for friend's daughter.
Pastry school is a dream but an expensive one. I have decided to bake and sell pastries every major holiday to raise at least the 1st semester's tuition.


I wanted to let readers know that the current pastry chef teaching the professional pastry programme at Tante Marie's - Jennifer Altman - is FANTASTIC too!

After completing the full-time professional culinary programme at Tante Marie's I spent nearly 2 months assisting Jennifer when she took up the job, and also occasionally working with her at Bay Wolf, where she is the pastry chef. She is hugely talented, and her classes are informative, friendly and professional. She is a treasure trove of baking information!

I watched her first class progress over their 6 months - the majority had never been anywhere near a professional kitchen before, but by the end the standard of their baking products was outstanding. It was a joy to watch!

Your post is spot on I think, and very good advice for people considering their options. Everything you write about Tante Marie's chimes well with my experiences there (as a student, assistant teacher and occasional teacher!)

Frances Wilson, the chef instructor for the full-time culinary programme, is also a fantastic teacher. Any student would be lucky to work with either of these of wonderful people.

Cheers, Anna

Wow! Thanks for your post! I've been thinking about going the pastry/baking world for a few years now and this post just convinced me! Thanks so much! :D

Hi Alyssa,
Thanks so much for writing in, and I'm so happy that this article was helpful to you! I know going to pastry school is a big decision, and when I was considering it I wished there were more resources for me to learn about professional pastry. Good luck to you and let me know how things turn out!

hi Tetta,
Thanks for writing in! I know, pastry school can seem like a expensive and daunting prospect. Actually, baking a lot at home is also a great way to learn about pastry! You can also see if there is a local bakery where you might be able to volunteer or work part time, to learn more as well. Good luck!

Hi Anna,
Thanks so much for writing in - contributions from other professionals like you will help make this page much more useful for others! I'm glad to hear the pastry program at Tante Marie's is in good hands, and that you had a positive experience!

hi Krisma,
Thanks you much! I'm glad I could help out with your choice! Good luck and let me know how things go!

If Pastry School taught me how to make all of those at a relatively inexpensive price, then yes I want to attend Pastry School. Right now if possible.

Your website is beautiful! Do you have any suggestions for a less intensive pastry course for a 51-year-old full-time Mom, part-time journalist? We live in Montclair, NJ, so anything in our area or in the city would be of interest. I love to cook and bake, but just for family and friends!
PS....I'm in the process of starting a blog on a topic near and dear to my heart from my pre-Mom career days: energy (how to conserve energy in your home/workplace etc. and how to understand all the energy/ environmental issues that are out there). I realize it's a topic far removed from yours, but I still found your site inspiring. Thanks!

Wonderful article. Congratulations. Could you please recommend any pastry course (1 or 2 months) where I could study and also receive a certificate for this particular class?

I live in Florida but am willing to travel. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

I took a recreational class at ICE in NYC. It was 1x/week for 12 weeks, 5 hr classes (included dinner). The cost (~$1400) was feasible & gave you a taste of everything. Breads, tarts, chocolates, cakes, cookies. It was a great experience to dabble in the pastry world & see if you truly love it. Just a thought for those on the East Coast. :)

Thanks, Anita, for sharing your experiences with us. I look forward to reading more of your yummy blogs. :)

What a helpful, articulate, and encouraging article. I'm so glad I found it. (I'm currently in a baking and pastry arts program at a local culinary studies institute in a community college, but have not yet worked professionally nor interned in a bakery/pastry shop setting, so your post is right up my alley. Food for thought!)

I really love your site. Your photos are just beautiful and your prose is always fun and interesting to read. Keep doing what you're doing!


Thanks for that helpful advice.
I'm only 15 and my parents decided to give me some buisness cards for my birthday and a few more hightech baking stuff, even my own small room/closet under the stairs to put all my things. !
So yeah, I've made a few hundred dollars already baking dozens of cookies, pastries and pies for my parent's coworkers. It's the most amazing thing in the world to bake. I'm 100% sure it's what I want to do for the rest of my life. So if anyone has any advice, please email me with some, or anything else you might find handy.

Hi Anita -- reading your post here was like taking a walk down memory lane for me. I went to Tante Marie in 2001 & completed the pastry program. Worked for several months at Masse's Pastries in No. Berkeley and did some work on my own before returning to my "real job" in corp America (where I still am today). I still bake a lot -- no blog, tho -- I'd love to do it, but I don't know how you guys find the time!! I loved seeing your pics -- I have so many of the same ones, going all through the course at TM. & -- hold on -- I ALSO had a business called ... "Dessert First". I'll have to send you a pic of myself at the farmers mkt, with my little banner up. Love all your stuff -- keep baking!!!

Barb Florin

Thank you very much for sharing us that kind of information!!! I really admire your dedication and creativity.

I enjoy baking and love to share it with family and friends... they love it too! :)

Hi, Pastrygirl, you have been so much kind posting these information! I would ask something to you... I write from Italy, I'm a nineteen "baker". I'm attending university, but after graduation I'd love to fly to England and work in a bakery for a while. Well, would it be possible to be recruited in a bakery without a degree in pastry? Would they make me work for free, would they engage me as a baker after a while if I show that I'm ok for that job, would they simply engage me, or it is very hard to happen?... I'd like to attend a pastry school, but I imagine that it would be a little difficult for me to do it in a new country, with a little money. Would it be better to take a degree here in Italy and then go to England?...
Thank you so much. It has been so pleasent to read this post, it's very helpful for pastry lovers! :)

I've been considering taking a pastry course for some time and your blog post is very compelling. I'm convinced. I've been evaluating Tante Marie's, too, so the background in the course (although I am thinking about the six-week course to start) was helpful. What finally convinced you to leave your higher-paying office position to bake full time? Very impressive - thanks for blogging about your experience.

I am very glad to find this website and it really helped me to decide on an internship :D Thanks!

Thanks Anita. This is so helpful, everytime i visit a site, it always makes me curious and want to find the answer to my questions, like how you did above. thank you and please update this page if you've got more advice. it is very much appreciated.


btw, i'm from Sydney, Australia.

please write more..

Thanks for sharing your experience. I really love reading your blog and looking at your beautiful photos. I'm a bit timid, though, to attempt some of these recipes. Would you have any suggestions for baking classes targeted for home bakers that, like you initially, just want to learn more? I have 2 kids and work full-time, so anything like the Tante Marie course is just too time-consuming for me.

Hi Anita,
I've had a rough time lately trying to take pastry classes and working at an actual bakery. Today was kind of the tipping point when my boss told me I need to straighten myself out because I'm not doing my job well enough. I still love what I do, and if anything, today's situation has renewed my motivation to be the best I can be. True, I don't get enough sleep and I'm on my feet and in a kitchen for 8-10 hours a day, but nothing beats the feeling of making something with your own two hands and seeing someone else's delight after eating it. Recently I feel a bit overwhelmed by my schedule and am contemplating taking a break from school to work. Hearing encouraging words from others is helping me pull through. Thank you so much for your insight and inspiration. : ) Your blog is always one of the highlights of my day!

Hi Anita,
I read this post at a good time today because lately I've been feeling overwhelmed by my pastry courses and working at an actual bakery. The tipping point came today when my boss told me I'm not doing my best at work and I need to straighten myself out. I wasn't surprised by this as I've been feeling worn out lately and unfocused. But still, despite the lack of sleep and energy and the 10 hour days (though they might be longer), I love what I do. Making something with my own hands and seeing someone else enjoy it and take delight in eating it, that's the nicest feeling. Reading this post has reminded me of where I want to be, and hearing encouraging words from others has definitely helped. Thank you for your insight and inspiration. Your blog is one of the highlights of my day! : )

This is so informative and I really appreciate the time you took to share with everyone your experience!

This probobly will sound like the most stupidest question ever but do you need to know how to speak and write french fluently to go to a french pastery school......?


No, you don't need to know French, unless you're going to a pastry school in France! Even then, I believe there are schools in France that teach in both English and French, but you would have to check - and I imagine if you were going to school in France it would be to your advantage to know a little French at least. But the major pastry programs here in the US would be held in English.

Thank-you for this website. I was almost ready to move with my chihuahua, Bruce, to some unknown parts of Florida, with outrageous prices for schools with unknown chefs, with tuition exceedingly unaffordable. Worse part was, they didn't have a place for anyone my age, 51. I was baking before they were born. I would enjoy bread baking skills, and decorating cakes, ie, piping, sugar art.....signed, out to pasture

Pastry girl hello : ) this is the first time i've been to your blog and i find it really lovely and informative!! I'm from Hong Kong and would like to go somewhere else and attend a pastry program too. Do you have any recommendations for me??

Keep writing!! Thanks so much!!

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