Pastry Experience

Joined Oct 4, 2016
I'm a cook in Atlanta with about 3 years of experience. I've held just about every position in the kitchen from Garde Manger to Sautee to Sous Chef. I'm considering taking a Pastry Cook job. It's full time, 13 an hour, reputable fine dining restaurant, and the Pastry Chef is also looking to take on an Assistant Chef down the road, possibly me.

I'm just a little worried about being away frome the line for too long and how this might impact my resume and how an Executive Chef might perceive this in the future.

Experienced Executive Chefs: does Pastry experience really stand out to you? Think it's worth it to take a break from the line to learn and get proficient at it? I figure if I do it I should really do it and give it a good year before I go back.
Thoughts? Suggestions?
Joined Aug 21, 2004
In my eyes, in general it would be a positive. It would show someone interested in the craft as a whole and who wanted to expand their skills in order to be well rounded. That having been said, if I were looking for say an absolute mad dog saute guy that can perform at a very high level, it might cause a bit of pause in my evaluation of a well rounded candidate, but only a small pause as there are many factors that go into a hiring decision.

What are your long term goals and aspirations?


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Pastry people are cleaner than line people.  That's my perception.
Joined Aug 15, 2003
Depending on what your goals are, pastry experience can be a huge boon. I once found myself working in a small, upscale fine dining Inn here in New England, where the culinary team was me (sous chef), chef, a line cook, and a breakfast cook. We'd bring in one or two more people during the high season, but that was about it. 

Found myself doing desserts quite often, and I wished I had more experience doing them. I managed to get a lot better at them over time, but there was quite a bit trial and error there for a while. 

If you plan on working mostly in large places, or chef-ing in hotels, resorts, etc, where there will be dedicated pastry chefs, then it might be better to focus on one thing rather than divide your time between the two. 

So yeah, I think it depends on where you see yourself and what your goals are. 
Joined Oct 4, 2016
Long term goals are still a little hazy for me right now. I really like the idea of a smaller traditional fine dining kitchen that places a significant priority on quality over quantity.

Low volume, high price point, highly skilled cooks and chefs, basically Aria, or something like that. So far I've definitely figured out I'm not a fan of the big food factories shoveling it out for 300, 400+ covers every night. A place with a high standard of quality and time dedicated to each course for each individual guest. Prix fixe menu. Myself as a Sous chef or tournant.

Hopefully that gives a good picture of where I want to be.
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