A pastry chef, or patissier in French, can work as part of a larger kitchen or restaurant staff or may work independently at a bakery. Traditionally, a pastry chef is a part of the brigade de cuisine in a large kitchen, and works as the station chef of the pastry station. Most pastry chefs work under the supervision of an executive chef, but depending on the size of the bakery, some restaurants also hire an executive pastry chef. Some pastry chefs choose to open their own bakeries or cafes specializing in baked goods, designer cakes, or chocolate and candy. The pastry chef is responsible for creating baked goods and desserts for hotels, restaurants, cafes, and bakeries.
Job Duties of a Pastry Chef
The pastry chef is primarily responsible for creating desserts, but he or she can also be assigned to other tasks in the kitchen. The following is a list of the most common tasks performed by a pastry chef:
- Create and prepare dessert menu items. Often, the pastry chef will consult with the executive chef to create desserts that go well with menu items. The pastry chef often prepares dessert items well before seating for a meal begins, and then plates items as they are requested during the meal. Pastry chefs can also be responsible for dessert wines, cocktails, and other dessert beverages.
- Ordering food and supplies for dessert menu items. The pastry chef will be responsible for submitting orders for any food or supply items necessary for running the kitchen.
- Preparing and submitting a budget. The pastry chef is responsible for determining what items need to be purchased for the kitchen and submitting a budget for those items.
- Supervising and training other chefs in the pastry kitchen. The pastry chef is often responsible for supervising other kitchen workers as they assist in the preparation of dessert items. He or she may also be required to train other chefs in pastry techniques.
- Preparation of baked goods. Often, pastry chefs are also responsible for providing baked goods such as fresh loaves of bread in addition to desserts and pastries.
- Researching and developing recipes. The pastry chef must continue to learn new recipes and test them in the kitchen to keep the menu up to date and interesting to draw in customers. Dessert menu items in particular must be visually appealing and tempting in order to encourage patrons to order them.
Pastry Chef Salary: How much money does a Pastry Chef make?
The entry level pay for a pastry chef is about eight dollars an hour if the chef has little to no previous experience. Pastry chefs who have completed culinary school or who have several years of experience can expect to make around $25,000 annually. Pastry chefs who work in fine restaurants, bakeries, or large corporations command a salary upwards of $60,000 a year. Jobs in this career field are expected to continue growing over the next ten years. Many people enjoy eating at restaurants that offer quality desserts, and bakeries are employing more pastry chefs to create everything from bread to chocolate and gourmet cakes.