Can you call yourself a pastry chef...

Joined Nov 27, 2001
Can you call yourself a pastry chef if you are self taught with no formal training? Just a subject a friend and I are debating. I am sure everyone has an opinion on this and I would like to hear it! Thanks!
Joined Jul 31, 2000
I think titles are over rated.
My grandfather was a baker for 70 years and did not give
Rats butt what you called him, as long as you were happy and he made enough money to feed his family
You do not need to be a “Culinary Graduate” to call yourself a pastry chef.

My pastry chef has never gone to formal training for 1 or 2 years but has taken a # of short courses to keep him polished and up to date.

Is he a pastry chef? You bet he is

Don’t get to caught up in names and titles, they’ll end up biting your fanny
Joined Mar 6, 2001
Cape chef is right about titles but I'll place my opinion too. I call myself a pastry chef and I'm self taught. That's title of the position I apply for, the name on my card, what everyone refers to me as and what I do.

You can be a certified pastry chef or a certified master pastry chef and then you can add those initcals to the end of your name (that's a more formal title like M.D.) and it signifies that you've been tested and meet a standard level of ability.

Actually I'm not sure I have those titles correct (I'd need to reference them quickly) but they exist and are used.

I noticed a women in my area who likes to title herself 'executive pastry chef'. But in my opinion that title is reserved for pastry chefs with full staffs. Just like an executive chef often they are running such a large operations (like hotels) that they hardly cook food anymore (they run everything, teach, order, develop, etc...). Although if you've ever been an executive pastry chef and then choose to step down to a smaller facility I think they should keep their title executive pastry chef. So to me it symbolizes experience. But 'pastry chef' is someone paid to produce pastries (and you should be capable of making ANY pastries).

My two cents....
Joined Feb 21, 2001
"Executive" is another of those leftover 90's buzzwords that sticks in my throat.
"I'm the executive associate pastry sous chef at a prestigious luxury hotel." What bs.

I think I remember reading that certified pastry cook is one level, certified working pastry chef is another, then certified executive pastry chef, and these all have to do with education level, and how many people you supervise. I'd consider being certified if it weren't so expensive. Last time I checked it was $175 bucks to join the ACF. Not gonna happen. I know you can be certified by them without joining, but another problem for me is that most of the places I've worked at over the years to verify my employment have gone out of bidness.
Joined Nov 27, 2001
Thank you everyone! I concur. You helped make my argument. As I am self taught, I find that if I can do the job than I can call myself one :)!


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Bighat, you don't have to join the ACF to be certified. BTW, what's the whole deal these days with restaurant chefs who call themselves executive chefs? I chuckle everytime I hear that so and so is the executive chef at some restaurant.

Joined Jul 28, 2001
I personally feel any chef who has full responsibility for his or her outlet or operation including administrative, bottom line, P&R, all paperwork etc should carry the Exec. title. A working chef should carry production.
Being certified does not always reflect the position you currently have. A CWPC can work Exec. Pastry Chef, Food and Beverage Managers etc. I know.
Nothing wrong with titles! Most people work hard for them. Sometimes its the only reward besides the customers.
I somehow have gotten a jacket that reads Chef/Owner. I chuckle when people ask me about it, I tell them I own a stable of chefs.
Just my 2 cents.
:D :D :chef: :cool: :smokin :crazy:
Top Bottom