Pastry Chef Schools & Requirements
If you enjoy the idea of designing and making intricate and beautiful cakes, pastries, desserts and breads, a career as a pastry chef might be the life for you. But what are the requirements to work as a pastry chef, and where can you get qualified? We list the major schools in the US where you can get a world-class baking education.
Pastry chefs are an essential part of any high-end kitchen, charged with providing the finest of desserts and breads to customers, which as we all know, can make or break a meal in high end hotels and restaurants. Pastry chefs are expected to provide meals that are not just delicious, but innovative, creative and original.
It’s one of the more glamorous roles in the kitchen, as you’ll be tasked with building desserts, giant elaborate wedding cakes and other foods that truly stand out from the pack and are visually spectacular as well as being gastronomically amazing.
In saying that, however, before you consider a career as a pastry chef, you should make sure you’re truly passionate about it, because you’ll often (especially as an apprentice) be subjected to long shifts, irregular hours, and low pay at first, as well as work conditions that can be physically brutal at times – it’s not uncommon to have to stand on your feet for up to twelve hours at a time. It’s not a career for the unmotivated, noncommittal or non-physical types.
On the positive side, though, as a pastry chef you will often be given the opportunity to work anywhere in the world you want – pastry chefs are needed everywhere – and you’ll get the chance to meet awesome people and have a lot of fun doing it.
If this all sounds good to you, and you could picture yourself in the kitchens of the Sofitel or the Ritz Carlton, or a 5 star restaurant in Paris, or even just your local bakery, read on to find out where you can get the qualifications necessary to become a world class pastry chef, which will undoubtedly help you break into the often competitive industry.
You don’t technically need qualifications to work as a pastry chef, and usually a few years experience working as a pastry cook in a restaurant or kitchen will be enough to land most pastry chef jobs.
But if you want to work for the big boys and get the higher paying jobs in high end hotels, resorts and restaurants, you’ll almost definitely need some sort of formal qualification in Baking and Pastry Cooking from a higher education institution.
Below is a comprehensive list of institutes across the United States, all of which have a top-class program that offer either a Baking and Pastry Arts Degree, Certificate, or Diploma.
All of the courses below offer world-recognised accreditation in baking, have professionally trained and qualified chefs who have worked all across the world, and have a full range of equipment and fully stocked kitchens where you can learn on industry standard equipment.
Find By State
Kansas City (Lenexa)
New York City
Salt Lake City