What does a Pastry Chef do?
Pastry Chefs create desserts, confectionery and other sweet dishes such as cakes and pies. They typically work in restaurants, although cafes, coffee shops, bakeries and other food retailers may have a Pastry Chef on their staff. Pastry Chefs prepare recipes according to the existing menu and come up with ideas for new products and testing recipes for making them. They use different techniques to bring variety to their menu. Pastry Chefs in large businesses may work with a team to prepare dishes in bulk, whereas smaller establishments typically have a single Pastry Chef working alongside other kitchen staff.
Pastry Chef skills and qualifications
Pastry Chefs have specialist knowledge of the science of baking and an extensive repertoire of dishes and decorative ideas. A successful Pastry Chef candidate will have various skills and qualifications that typically include:
- Proven skill in baking, pastry preparation and decoration
- Extensive knowledge of health and safety procedures for kitchens and food preparation areas
- Excellent attention to detail
- Exceptional time management skills
- Ability to work autonomously, but also with a team
- A food hygiene certificate or any food handling or preparation qualification
- Ability to calculate costs and manage a budget
Pastry Chef experience requirements
Pastry Chefs need to have experience of working in a kitchen environment and baking commercially. A Pastry Chef will typically have prior experience of working in kitchens in entry-level positions where they will have had the opportunity to use a wide range of commercial cooking equipment. Applicants who have completed apprenticeships will have gained experience in a kitchen environment and learned a variety of skills. Applicants that have worked in food-service roles will have useful experience of dealing with both customers and kitchen staff.
High-end restaurants may require applicants to have had a certain number of years’ experience working as a Pastry Chef in a similar environment. Bakeries and mainstream cafes will typically require less experience and may accept newly qualified candidates.
Pastry Chef education and training requirements
There are no specific educational requirements for Pastry Chefs, although most have at least some GCSEs, including maths and English (or equivalent). Pastry Chefs typically attend culinary school and complete courses such as Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) Diploma in Patisserie or a City and Guilds NVQ Diploma in Food Production and Cooking – Pastry. Some Pastry Chefs complete internships under experienced professionals and receive on-the-job training in the techniques and methods used to create a selection of dishes and desserts.
Pastry Chef salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Pastry Chef in the UK is £25,742 a year. This depends on the level of responsibility required for the role and the area of the country in which it is based.
Job description samples for similar positions
If you’re recruiting for a role in a kitchen, but a Pastry Chef isn’t quite what you are looking for, then have a look at these similar job description samples to see if they meet your needs: