Life as a Pastry Chef/Baker ? Please help me out here


Joined Mar 14, 2009
I'll be the curmudgeon here and say that after 30 years of professional baking and living on the very edge of poverty most of that time, I would NOT choose this career if I had it to do over again.  Yes, I love it and yes, it's a passion but the financial, physical, and emotional stress that often accompanies restaurant work can tear away at that passion and leave one feeling resentful and frustrated.

The problem with being in love with baking is that, in order to really make the money, you have to forgo your passion for creativity and innovation (going corporate) or be prepared to dedicate 80 or more hours a week in the relatively thankless hotel industry where you will likely be too stressed and exhausted to create anything.  My current position is a dream - I make my own hours, I create the menu, I have complete creative freedom.  The downside is I will likely be filing for bankruptcy this year because the job pays so poorly and the economic slump has beaten the crap out of our business.  When you are worked hard and payed poorly, the "love" of baking begins to sour just a bit.  At least it has for me.

I think you are approaching this intelligently by posing the questions and, more importantly, getting a college degree that you can hopefully utilize should you need it in the future.  Best of luck and keep baking, no matter what you end up doing!
Joined Dec 21, 2013
Baker's life= 6pm-6am shifts, hot deck ovens that you are standing in front if all night. Flour on EVERYTHING, clothes, hair, your face. Dough under your cuticles. Doing a 100000000 things at once. Coffee is your new drink of choice. You must be patient. You must be a badass bc you will get burned on more than one occasion.
Buuut its f&$%ing awesome. I bake bread all night long and its DOPE. I'm constantly covered in flour, i smell like yeast and i have no boyfriend nor a social life bc i work WAAY to much but its killer. My life is great and i get to do what i love. i make some great bread while listening to great music and its rad. Plus it is acceptable for me to sleep all day and no one cares if you have tattoos bc you do not deal with the public. So in short baker's life = work hard, knead hard, play hard.
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