How to Become a Pastry Chef in Australia
So baking is the passion of your life, and you know at the bottom of your heart that as long as you are baking pastries, you will be the happiest person on earth. You love everything about pastry-making- the careful kneading and elaborate layering, the variety of fillings and then of course the aroma of freshly-baked pastries wafting through your kitchen. But you also want to know exactly how to turn that hobby and passion into a profession. This is what you will have to do to become a pastry chef in Australia.
Keep in mind that earning that toque is not an easy task; it involves years of study and training and there are a number of aspects you have to learn and master, before you climb to the top of the ladder and strike out on your own as a pastry chef in Australia. Let’s start from the basics.
So, who is a Chef?
Chef is actually an abbreviation of chef de cuisine. It’s a French phrase that means head/ chief of a kitchen. In order to become a chef you will have to undergo professional culinary training and being a chef is very different from being a cook. The latter need not always undergo professional training. But if you are planning on working in a commercial setting or want to set up your own patisserie, the training route is the best way to get there.
- One of the best ways of becoming a pastry chef is to complete a TAFE apprenticeship. These courses are excellent since you can study and get qualified even as you work and earn some money while you learn
- In Australia, you have to go through 4 years of training and then transition from being an apprentice to a chef’s position
- This training itself includes working for 4 days each week at a restaurant and you attend 1 full day of classes at TAFE/ college
- In most instances, apprentice chefs work only at one particular restaurant for all 4 years of the apprenticeship. But those who want to learn different styles of cooking, may switch from one restaurant to another during the 4 years
- In order to qualify to start the apprenticeship, you will have to complete your Year-10 School Certificate. Since the requirements vary from one state to the next, its best to check with a career adviser or your local TAFE about what the exact requirements are
- It’s also important to gain experience working in a restaurant or patisserie to get a feel of how the industry functions. Apart from learning, it’s a time for you to ascertain for sure whether this is the career for you
- You also have the option to get into the field by getting qualified in a specialised college or culinary school. Most programs that are nationally recognized offer specialisations in pastry-making and baking. Here too, you will have to go through a mix of class work & practical industry experience. Since the entry requirements & fees for these courses will vary, conduct extensive research before you make your final decision
The Next Steps
There are no shortcuts to becoming a pastry chef and as an apprentice chef, there are a number of things you will be doing, such a assisting with planning menus, preparing & cooking food, garnishing and cleaning, as well as ordering food equipment & supplies. All this learning will come in handy when you finally set up your own patisserie or work somewhere and you get an understanding about how every aspect of a kitchen works.
The Right Questions
This is a very exciting phase as it’s also the time for you to decide your specialisation and you can start focusing on the things you actually like doing and you need to ask yourself questions like:
- Do I want to bake only artisan breads?
- Does my interest lie in making fantastic wedding cakes?
- Are cupcakes my thing?
- Do I think that making complex presentation desserts for pastry competitions is what I really want to do?
- Does Candy-making interest me?
Since there are a number of options to choose from, it’s important to understand where your passion lies and what actually inspires you and then simply follow your heart and earn your pastry chef toque.
At Ganache Patisserie you will find fantastic breads, savoury treats and delicious croissants, cakes, pastries and other baked goods for everyday consumption as well as for special occasions. Come; explore our scrumptious world of goodies.
Thanks for reading,
(02) 9967 2882