Starting From Scratch

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by farahlynn, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. farahlynn

    farahlynn

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    OK, I know there are a million and one posts on advice about starting over, but I am really in need of some help.  I work a corporate America job and am ready to pull out my hair!  I am a baking enthusiast with no pastry/baking education under my belt.  I just love to be in the kitchen.  I am now at the point in my life (late 20's) where I feel like it's now or never for me.  I got offered a dream job at a local small bakery and had to turn it down due to the pay and lack of insurance benefits.  If I could afford to cut my salary in half and have no health insurance, then believe me, I would have done it.

    That being said, I have looked into the Art Institute of Michigan and was impressed with their kitchens and staff.  I've read a lot of not so good reviews in the forum about the school though.  Are there any suggestions on whether or not I should make this investment?  How do I get my foot in the door at a local bakery, while juggling my corporate job and going to school?  Is starting a home business a good idea?  My goal is to get my name out in the area as well.  I literally am a scattered mess on where to even begin.  I am currently working on my portfolio, as far as the decorating aspect, but how do I get people to try my baking?

    Any guidance and opinions would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. chefross

    chefross

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    Hello and welcome to Cheftalk.

    I am not going to steer you in the wrong direction but I am going to give you a reality slap in the face FarahLynn.

     "I got offered a dream job at a local small bakery and had to turn it down due to the pay and lack of insurance benefits.  If I could afford to cut my salary in half and have no health insurance, then believe me, I would have done it."

    [font=tahoma, verdana, geneva, lucida, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]After an education, after the money spent, after the time away from home and juggling a job, going to school and raising a family, your new career as a baker will leave you with less money then you are making now. [/font]

    [font=tahoma, verdana, geneva, lucida, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]That's a fact you can take to the bank.[/font]

    [font=tahoma, verdana, geneva, lucida, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]I understand your love for the craft but please understand that we (the collective "we") in the industry are here because we love what we do....not for the money.[/font]

    [font=tahoma, verdana, geneva, lucida, arial, helvetica, sans-serif].0000001% of us are in a job that pays all the bills and keeps our heads financially above water.[/font]

    [font=tahoma, verdana, geneva, lucida, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Still determined????[/font]

    [font=tahoma, verdana, geneva, lucida, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Finish up that portfolio. This has your creativity, and style to show everyone. The yellow pages is a great place to start. Check out bakeries, both corporate (lots of great benefits) and locally owned. You'll be trying to get a "benchman" job. This will allow you to become acquainted with the different types of yeast doughs and other items in the bakery.  I offer my best.[/font]
     
    farahlynn likes this.
  3. farahlynn

    farahlynn

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    Thank you for the great feedback chefross.  To answer your question, yes.  I am still determined.  I know I need to get over my fear of the unknown and just take the plunge.  Going for a corporate bakery is a good idea, seeing as though I cannot, in my health, not have health insurance at the moment.  Any suggestions on what I should include in my resume?  I try to be as honest as possible in expressing that this is my love, I just don't want to sound "corny!"  Thanks again!
     
  4. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Not trying to be harsh, but if you were truly passionate, if you lived and breathed pastry/baking; do you think you would even think about uttering that statement.

    I believe you enjoy and receive much pleasure from pastry/baking. Why not pursue it as a sideline in your spare time without making any major lifestyle decisions? Maybe in 6 months to a year, who knows??? At that time, you will have some valuable hindsight in your favor.