Online Pastry Chef Programs
An important part of pastry chef training involves hands-on work with flours, sugars, chocolate, and other ingredients. Students typically must participate in an internship or externship at an approved restaurant or a bakery, in addition to completing on-campus work in a kitchen laboratory. As a result, degree-level training for aspiring pastry chefs available fully online is rare. Students may, instead, complete an online certificate program in baking and pastry, or take online courses in supplementary culinary topics that they can apply towards an on-campus degree program in pastry arts.
Graduates of degree and certificate programs may find employment or advancement opportunities as caterers, pastry chefs, baking and pastry assistants, or bakery owners, among other possibilities.
Online Pastry Courses
Some online pastry chef courses may include topics in menu planning and analysis, food purchasing, nutrition and baking, and pastry fundamentals. Let's take a look at each of these courses in a little more depth:
- Menu Planning and Analysis: Students in this online course learn to select pastries and baked goods to include on a menu, taking into consideration which items are the most popular, cost-effective, and appropriate for their customer demographics. The design of menus is also examined, and students learn how a visually appealing menu presentation can impact sales. Online assignments often involve planning, creating, and submitting a sample pastry and dessert menu.
- Food Purchasing: The unique concerns of buying bulk ingredients and maintaining a well-stocked pantry are introduced in this online course. Students learn about the proper storage of food items to prevent spoilage. Other items that bakeries purchase - such as kitchen equipment and packaging materials - are discussed as well. Topics of study include pricing, ordering processes, supplier chain relationships, and payment systems.
- Nutrition: Even in the realm of cupcakes and pastries, nutritional concerns are valid. In this online course, students learn about vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. The harmful effects of nutritional deficiencies are also examined. In a pastry chef program, this course might explore recipes for healthier desserts, including low-fat items and those baked with alternative sweeteners.
- Baking and Pastry Fundamentals: Offered at the beginning of a pastry chef or pastry arts program, this course introduces students to basic equipment and its proper use, common ingredients, and the fundamentals of health and safety.
Remember, online courses for aspiring pastry chefs are rare, but you may be able to find online classes in baking and pastry basics, food purchasing, menu planning, and nutrition that you can apply to an on-campus program in pastry arts.