Career| A Historian becoming A Baker

Hey everyone-

I hope you all had a wonderful week! So this blog post was kind of inspired by my recent weeks, in which many of my friends and family graduated college. Many of them are having a hard time figuring out what they want to- like many.

I remember especially when I graduated college. I thought I had it all figured out- I would go to law school at either Northwestern or Chicago and become a great lawyer.

After studying for the LSAT, I realized that this was a field I wasn’t 100% interested, and I kind of felt like a loser for awhile. Some of my friends were getting great jobs and I was working at a local shop for $11.00 an hour (such a bummer). But with my newly career change, I realize something I always wanted to do- and that was to bake!

I originally went into baking as the intention to open up my own bakery- yeah I won’t be doing that anymore. I will be going more towards the wedding industry and other projects instead of opening shop. It’s not just there is really no money in a bakery, but man, there is absolutely no room to move. Therefore, I need another shift within my own industry,

To my friends and readers that want to shift careers, DO IT! Although it sucks making no money (and potentially making your student loans worst) it is completely worth it. I didn’t just write this post to tell you my life story, but I wanted to give you a general outline what to do if you want to go into the pastry/baking industry from a different industry. Surprisingly, MANY people do it- so do not feel discourage.

Steps to getting into the Baking Industry:

1. Reading Culinary Material

This might seem like a simple step, but knowing what to expect of the industry, will tell you if you like it or not. Culinary Materials can involve Culinary books, materials for a certain recipe (tart pan, silicone sheet to make macarons, etc.) and autobiographies of famous chefs.

The Apprentice by Jacques Pepin

I would highly recommend this book- like I said apprenticeship are bygones, but it gives the harsh story of trying to become a chef.

Get it here.

Professional Baking Sixth Edition by Wayne Gisslen

I really enjoy this textbook because it gives detail instructions about the science behind of baking and the baking recipes itself. If you do not want to go to Culinary School, this would be a way to teach yourself.

2. Keep baking and trying different recipes

If you cannot make time to completely read something or going to Culinary school, keep teaching yourself different skills and recipes. A skill I recently mastered was baking a perfect macaron. It made me so excited when I finally conquered it!

3. Take Classes

Find your local cooking places or Wiltons and take some baking classes. You can master a lot of cake decorating if you take classes from Wilton such as buttercream, fondant, chocolate work, etc. Another place you can attend is Sur La Table- it is quite expensive but it can teach you a new technique.

Sur la Table baking class for May emphasizes British Baking. In this class, they will be showing you how to make: lemon curd sponge cake with pistachios, Rosewater droplets and prosecco scones.

4. Work at a Bakery

If you find the material and classes interesting, I recommend working at a bakery. In my opinion, there are two types of bakeries- I like to call them old school and new school. The old school bakery will be your older style bakeries- your traditional European bakeries such as your Polish and Irish bakeries. They will sell everything and will not be super flashy. Your new school bakeries will be these either flashy cupcake stores or a bakery that emphasizes more of the design then the taste. They will usually just sell cakes, cupcakes, brownies, etc. Once you decide what kind of bakery you want, find a place that is hiring and apply.

5. Go to Culinary School

If you want to make the investment and you are 100% sure about it, go to Culinary School. I recommend either going to your local community college culinary school or attending the Culinary Institute of America. Several people I know had gone to culinary school straight out of regular college because they knew it was their passion. So do not be ashamed what so ever if this becomes you- you are so young and will make many mistakes to just figure out what you want in life.

I hoped this help- follow your dreams whatever they are.

Thanks,

Lisa –

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