Top Chef Skills for a Career in Patisserie

If you wish to become a skilled patisserie chef, take note of the chef skills briefly introduced below.

Physical Competence and Strength

You will work long hours and will often have to start your chef duties early in the morning, and sometimes even before the break of dawn. Your work hours may also extend to late evenings and with so many hours on your feet in a hot kitchen environment, you will need a lot of physical stamina. Expect to put in a lot of physical labour when mixing and manipulating pastry, and then there is the restocking function to consider as well. Apart from such, you will need to constantly improve on your existing skills, in order to create masterpieces that will inspire and simply be memorable.

Social Adaptability

Do not for one moment think that you will never need to deal with customers and thus will not need any social skills. Depending on the work environment, you may have to take orders, contact clients to discuss their particular requirements for weddings and introduce your desserts to customers in the restaurant.

Administration & Planning

Planning the menu and accurately estimating costs, ingredients and the amount of each, will take some organisational skills. You will need excellent time management skills, in addition to essential administrative, budgeting and planning skills. Record keeping and cost control, in addition to hygiene and kitchen safety regulation compliance, will form an important part of your work.

Culinary Mastery

Perhaps the most important of your chef skills for a career in patisserie is exceptional knowledge of various ingredients, temperature requirements, combinations of ingredients, display and the usage of sweeteners for sugar-free pastries, as well as expertise in crafting gluten-free desserts and pastries. You will need to be precision-oriented, as patisserie – perhaps more than any other chef specialty, is about precision.

If you are creative, detail-oriented, organised and enthusiastic about the sweeter and often delicate field of chef work, you will enjoy being a patisserie chef. Of course, you must also be willing to work hard, stand for hours on end and never lose your creative spirit. Developing new desserts can be a challenge when you are constantly under pressure, but the patisserie career field is certainly well-suited to the individual that loves pressure and never runs out of ideas. Patience is a virtue, especially if you have to wait 45 minutes before being able to open the oven when you are in a hurry.

Career Opportunities

Unlike the general conception that most pastry chefs work in bakeries, patisserie chefs can work in any type of kitchen. Whether you dream of working in a catering environment, bakery, restaurant, hotel kitchen, patisserie or a cruise ship, there are many career opportunities for someone specialising in patisserie.

Where to Study

Carefully select the educational facility, as the chef school’s reputation, the level of education and your general enjoyment of the course will be important for the development of your career. Select a culinary school with an international reputation for excellence, as this will help you to get a valuable internship at one of the top culinary establishments and kick-start your patisserie career. Such a school will offer you ample opportunities to develop your chef skills through practical, theoretical, in-house and internship training.

Prue Leith Chefs Academy is a renowned culinary academy located in Centurion and we offer you the opportunity to develop your pastry chef skills under the guidance of some of the best chefs in the industry. Enrol in the six month diploma in patisserie, which offers classical French training and modern techniques. Upon completion of the course, you will be able to work in 5 star restaurant pastry kitchens. You will write the Prue Leith and City & Guilds IVQ diploma in patisserie exams, ensuring that you will have a national and internationally recognised qualification.