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Technical and private chef schools do provide an excellent education for those wanting a spring board into the pastry chef career track. These courses generally take less than one year to complete and come with some sort of certificate. Such pastry chef education can be very helpful in landing entry level positions.
Junior and community colleges are often the source for associate’s degrees in culinary arts. These courses will take approximately 2 years and provide a more rounded pastry chef education which focuses on the business, organizational, and technical aspects.
While a good portion of your time will still be spent in the kitchen getting hands on experience the class base is also richer.
A bachelor’s degree is a fine start for a pastry chef career. This level of education will take approximately 3 – 4 years of full time study. Course work will include courses such as food safety and handling, culinary history, nutrition, portioning, business courses, computer classes, recipe creation, and food chemistry.
At this level, there is perhaps less time spent on general techniques and much more in the science of pastry and class room oriented learning. A higher level of attention is placed on nutrition.
This can also often include studies of digestive processes and dietary affected disorders. Frequently too those in masters degrees programs will focus more on one or more aspects of the culinary arts.
Whichever level of pastry chef education you begin with, your career will be all the more rewarding if you continue to build on that foundation.