What makes a pastry chef different from all other chefs across the globe? Does it mean having more knowledge than others? Will it lead to bigger salary package? When getting into culinary arts, it is also important to have a specialization sometimes. Others would not want to do this because it could limit their opportunities.
The truth is, specializing in a particular culinary area will make one even more valuable especially to employees who have specific prerequisites from the people that they hire.
If there is a chef who concentrates on assembling the most sumptuous meals, a pastry chef is in charge of creating artful desserts and sweet masterpieces. In hotels, bakeries, restaurants, cake shops and other places for desserts, a pastry chef is in charge of all the aspects involved in creating the products—from recipe, creation process and even up to designing.
Different Types of Pastry Chef
Pastry chefs are all the same in a sense that they all focus on making desserts. However, there is also a slight variation among pastry chefs, depending on the nature of what they are really good in and what they regularly do.
Cuisine-Centered Pastry Chef—It can not be denied that different cultures have varying types of desserts too. Being a pastry chef could mean focusing only on French, Italian or other desserts from specific cuisines.photo credit: flickr.com/NGI197
Style Pastry Chef—Some pastry chefs do not really learn all the different variants of desserts. Yes, they start with all the basic knowledge about making these sweet delicacies but they eventually put all their attention to one style. For example, a pastry chef may only create cakes for weddings and special occasions. On the other hand, there are those who excel in assembling single-serve desserts in fine-dining restaurants and premiere hotels. Interestingly, the work of a pastry chef always bears his/her signature. It could be the way that the toppings are placed, the method of layering the cake or even the swirls that are created with the top layer of icing.
Small or Medium Scale Service—Not all pastry chefs would end up serving dessert for 100 people or for a big event. There are some who opt to downsize the number of customers but pump up the quality and excellence of what they create. A pastry chef who works for a hotel, restaurant and other venues with bigger number of diners is more trained when it comes to high volume dessert preparation. On the other hand, a pastry chef for an elite family, a small café or a specialized bakeshop, is more focused on smaller volume of orders but usually the desserts are more sophisticated too.
Other Roles of a Pastry Chef
Aside from creating interesting desserts, a pastry chef should also keep in mind that there are other tasks that are included in his/her occupation. Among the pastry chef duties are ensuring that kitchen staff is doing their work the right way, regular checking and inventory of supplies and maintaining the cleanliness, tidiness and sanitation within the workplace.