Pastry or Culinary School?

Joined Jan 14, 2011
Hey Everyone! I have two passions: pastry and healthy/seasonal cooking. I could very easily see myself baking all day or working in a restaurant that prides itself on healthy food. Should I take the culinary or pastry route in school?


Joined Mar 3, 2011
I'm not in the culinary business, but from an outsiders perspective, if it were me, and I loved to bake, I would concentrate exclusively on a Pastry Chef's curriculum.

The way I see it is there will always be a need for pastry chef's as well as culinary chef's.

This seems to be a business where you are not limited in what you want to achieve. 
Joined Dec 17, 2009

I would suggest that you apply for work as a baker, or pastry cook in a bakery, cafe, country club, hotel, restaurant to see what the vocation is like before spending a fortune attending any school.

I also suggest reading So You Wanna be a Chef by Anthony Bourdain.

ACF school list

Shaw Guides: Texas

The following community colleges in Texas offer Baking and Pastry Arts programs:

Austin CC: Pastry Arts Certificate

El Centro College: Pastry Arts AAS, Pastry Arts Certificate

El Paso CC

Houston CC: Degrees

San Jacinto College [left-click: Degrees & Certificates: CULA Pastry Chef AAS, CULA Pastry Chef Certificate]

St. Philip's College:  Baking & Pastry Arts AAS Degree, Certificate, Factsheet, Additional Costs

Good luck. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gif
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Joined Dec 16, 2008

I would also recommend looking into getting a degree in nutrition as you COULD learn a lot of the cooking or baking skills on the job. The human body is a magnificent thing and if you want to really make an impact, having more knowledge in the human body could be a better move. 

With that being said, there's a need for healthy eating in general. 
Joined Jan 14, 2011
thanks guys! I'm currently looking for an internship so I can "test the waters" before I go to school. It seems like there has been a big comeback for healthy eating the past couple of years! I'm deffinitely leaning more towards pastry but it would be really interesting to learn the culinary side too. If only I could learn the best of both worlds!
Joined Sep 19, 2010
Hi Molly,  I think you could do both.  Today with more people worried about weight, the raise of people with allergies (nuts, gluten...etc).  I think you could go into healthy baking.  If you can for your internship, find a bakery/restaurant that leans towards healthy eating and one that uses the different grain flours (rice, quinoa, spelt, amaranth, sorghum, tapioca...etc).

Good Luck.
Joined Mar 7, 2011
Hi Molly,

I'm a 2nd year apprentice living in Australia and i go to school 1 day a week, but have spoken with the full time students as well and as far as schooling goes in Australia, in culinary school we do a full semester on desserts and pastrys. Also if you can get into a 5 star dining place or hotel they usually have a pastry section and you can spread your wings there plus be able to get all the culinary cooking you need. All you need to do is show some inititive and speak with you exec chef.
Hope this helped!
P.s i aso have an interest in pastry but am doing culinary first to get basic idea then going to do pastry full time, long way round but at least i can be both if needed and i have a great knowledge and understanding.

GL :)
Joined Mar 7, 2011
Hi Molly,

To answer your question, I go to Box Hill Insititute, One of Melbourne best Tafe school for Culinary, in my opinion. A lot of Melbourne famous chef graduated from the school that i am attending. Other then a bit of an admin nightmare the teaching staff are great, very realistic and supportive. I love it, with the exception of a few inmature people in my class. But i just ignore them! :)

Glad my suggestion helped, i like to hl where i can...

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