If you're an expert pastry chef with years of experience and leadership skills to match, then you may want to consider becoming an executive pastry chef. These chefs are tasked with creating pastry dishes and overseeing dessert preparation.
Executive pastry chefs are responsible for a restaurant's baking and dessert operations. In addition to overseeing dessert preparation, executive pastry chefs may handle tasks such as supervising employees, ordering supplies, creating budgets and adhering to sanitation regulations. Most have formal culinary training through associate's or bachelor's degree programs in pastry arts. These programs offer instruction and hands-on practice in creating a variety of desserts and breads and also teach students how to manage a professional kitchen. Executive pastry chefs usually possess several years of experience in the industry.
|Required Education||Associate's or bachelor's degree in pastry arts not required, but is common|
|Other Requirements||Optional certifications available|
|Projected Job Growth||9% for all chefs and head cooks from 2014-2024*|
|Median Salary||$51,124 (January 2016)**|
Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale.com.
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An executive pastry chef oversees the preparation of desserts and the baking of breads in a commercial kitchen. He or she develops dessert recipes and maintains an inventory of ingredients, while striving to achieve cost-efficiency for the restaurant. The executive pastry chef typically answers to the executive, or head, chef and supervises other pastry chefs.
Job Duties and Skills
Employers often seek executive pastry chefs with five or more years of experience in a pastry kitchen or related atmosphere, according to November 2011 job postings on Monster.com. Many executive pastry chef jobs require a bachelor's degree from a culinary school. A bachelor's program in pastry arts generally includes studies in baking and making desserts, as well as courses in management and psychology. Associate degree programs also are available. Certification from a national culinary organization could help in obtaining a position as an executive pastry chef.
Executive pastry chefs must possess the artistic ability to make their desserts appealing to the eye. An executive pastry chef who works in a hotel kitchen might need to know how to bake and decorate a wedding cake, according to November 2011 job postings on Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com.
An executive pastry chef also needs good communication skills since working with other chefs is a major function of the job. Additionally, he or she must possess sufficient math skills to work within a budget when ordering ingredients. Math is also vital when calculating recipe amounts and figuring portion size.
Salary and Job Outlook
The median annual salary for executive pastry chefs was $51,124 in January 2016, according to PayScale.com. The BLS states that employment of all chefs and head cooks, including executive pastry chefs, is expected to increase by 9% during the 2014-2024 decade, which is slower than average for all occupations. Competition for jobs in fine dining establishments is expected to be particularly tough.
Executive pastry chefs need to have a great culinary eye for desserts; they're expected to craft delicious desserts that look divine for their clients. Furthermore, they need to be able to teach these methods to staff, making communication and management skills absolutely essential for an executive pastry chef.