The main difference between a true pastry chef specialist and a mediocre wage worker lies in self-development. Even the best and the most talented people always find something to improve in themselves, and we believe that’s the secret of their success.
Today, we’d like to discuss several simple steps that can contribute to your skills in baking. This article will be useful for both professional pastry chefs and baking fans. Let’s get started!
Courses, Online Tutorials, and Master Classes
This method attracts a lot of masters by its simplicity and versatility. The modern market for services and education has built up a huge base of diverse skills development programs. Moreover, both novice masters and experienced professionals will be able to find something useful and new for themselves.
Firstly, depending on your busyness and preference, you can choose live classes or online courses. Each option has its pros and cons.
Offline, face-to-face classes allow you to immerse yourself in the process more fully, observe the work of the teacher and colleagues. Instant feedback is another great advantage of the option.
Online courses and video master classes help save a lot of time. Besides, when taking training through the Internet, you can work whenever and wherever you’d like. Most students prefer working in familiar conditions like at home or own bakery with your personal equipment. In general, the choice is yours. Although if you’re a beginner pastry chef, we’d recommend starting with live classes.
Also, it doesn’t matter what side of your baking skills you’d like to improve. The market of tutorials let you choose exactly the direction and specialisation you would like to develop. For example, you are a real ace who wants to start working with unfamiliar equipment, learn new techniques, or improve decoration skills. Be sure there is a worthy course on any of these areas.
Online tutorials are generally more affordable. In addition, many pastry chefs have vlogs and post their master classes for free. Live classes are more expensive, and the price depends on the teacher’s level of skills. However, any pastry chef can easily afford such courses. Try to take them at least once a year, and you’ll see improvements.
Learn from the Colleagues’ Experience they Share on Social Media
And here is another wonderful and absolutely free way to self-development. As we have already mentioned in the previous part, today, almost anyone leads an active life on the Internet. Social networks help in promoting their services and business, attracting new customers and advertisers. So, you can take this opportunity for your own purposes.
It’s a great idea to find blogs, Instagram, or Facebook profiles of your colleagues on the Internet. You can subscribe both to friends and unfamiliar masters all over the world. Even the most famous pastry chefs post photos of their works, small tutorials, interesting professional stories. So why don’t you draw on the experience of colleagues?
However, please remember about respect for other people’s work and property. In the pursuit of other people’s experience, many stand on the slippery path of plagiarism (accidentally or intentionally). We highly recommend not copying the work of other masters for the sake of further earnings. You can try to make a dessert according to someone else’s recipe or photograph. It helps a lot in self-development. But please never try to use another person’s ideas for your income!
Also, we’d like to mention books on confectionery and pastry, where other masters share their recipes and experience. Now, you can find them both in bookstores and on online platforms. The list of worthy best-sellers includes Grand Finales: The Art of the Plated Dessert by Tish Boyle and Timothy Moriarty, Pâtissière by Claire Heitzler, Pastries by Pierre Herme, and many others.
Start Your Own Business
Practice shows that self-employed pastry chefs become more versatile professionals. When your profit depends only on your work, you are more motivated to learn new techniques, come up with unique recipes and desserts. Employed chefs are more susceptible to a routine when you make standard desserts and don’t have the time or opportunity for experiments.
Therefore, if you are a hired employee in a restaurant or pastry shop, perhaps, it’s time to consider starting your own business. At the same time, it is unnecessary to quit your job and start building a business empire. An account on the social network may become an excellent first step. You can also hire an IT specialist for relatively little money and create your own small site. Thus, you’ll get a platform to post your works and experiments and build up a base of new clients.
Unfortunately, not all employers are positive about such additional earnings of their employees. If you already have your own business like a small pastry shop, allow your employees the freedom for experimentation. Try, and you’ll see that fresh ideas are useful both for your professional level and income.
Take Part in Pastry Contests
If for some reason, you think that competitions and contests cannot teach you something new, you are deeply mistaken. Professional contests are a huge base for self-development and self-promotion.
Firstly, participation significantly increases the customers’ interest in your services. In addition, you will also feel the excitement and surge of motivation, which always has a positive effect on work and skills.
Secondly, the organisers of the competitions create excellent platforms for communication between chefs and the experience exchange. During contests and exhibitions, you can communicate with colleagues live or via the Internet if this is an online event. It’s an excellent opportunity to watch how other masters make pastries, how they work with ingredients and equipment. Speaking about new equipment, we’d like to note that it is often presented at contests. So, here is your chance to improve your arsenal and skills.
Thirdly, participants get the opportunity to evaluate themselves and their strengths, competing with hundreds of other masters. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is always a step towards self-improvement.
Finally, you may not notice it, but during contests, you develop many professional and soft skills. They include the ability to work in a team, cope with deadlines, present yourself to potential clients, etc.
Baking is a much more complicated profession than it may seem. But though it requires certain talent and knowledge, it also gives ultimate freedom for fantasy and creativity. So, don’t neglect all those opportunities for self-development, and your efforts will be rewarded.