The pastry chef prepares pastries and desserts, as well as bread and other baked goods. In larger restaurants, pastry chefs may supervise a pastry team in a separate kitchen. Pastry chefs are often in charge of the dessert menu, and will research, create, and test new recipes. They may also oversee other dessert-related items, such as dessert wines, dessert beverages, and gourmet cheese platters.
In many ways, the pastry chef's work is similar to that of the head chef or sous chef: ordering supplies, preparing a pastry kitchen budget, devising menus, testing new recipes, and managing other pastry cooks. And similar to other chefs, pastry chefs spend roughly 9-14 hours at work.
Most culinary schools include courses in pastry and baking, and some offer degrees targeted to that specialty. Le Cordon Bleu offers courses in patisserie and baking, cake formulas and assembly techniques, and food and beverage cost control -- all of which are necessary for the pastry chef. The Art Institutes' Culinary Arts schools offer Professional Baking & Pastry and Baking & Pastry Arts programs, and Keiser University's Center for Culinary Arts offers a degree in baking and pastry arts.
*Survey by StarChefs.com