What is a Dessert Chef Called: Baking and Pastry Terminology for Culinary Students

What is a Dessert Chef Called: Baking and Pastry Terminology for Culinary Students

Culinary professionals blend their cooking skills with a splash of creativity and artistry to create a wide range of baked goods and pastries. If creating tasty tarts and clever cakes sounds like something you would love doing, consider enrolling into a culinary school and work hand in hand with chef instructors and experienced bakers to navigate this dynamic segment of the food service industry.

If you're wondering just how you're going to learn all of the terminology that goes along with baking and pastry arts, let's take a look at some of the common words used to describe and define the science of baking and the art of dessert.

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Baking and Pastry Terminology

Here are the common baking and pastry terminologies to understand before you begin your career in this exciting field.

Blanch: Blanching is a two-part process. First, the item in question, for example, almonds, are put into boiling water in order to soften them. Then, to stop the cooking process, the almonds are placed into ice cold water. It's similar to how hardboiled eggs are made.

Caramelize: If you want to make a particular tasting caramel, all you have to do is melt sugar together until it browns. When doing this, always watch your pan! You don't want anything to burn.

Soft Peaks: You might have heard someone in a cooking show talk about turning an item into soft peaks. But what does it mean? Basically, soft peaks occur when egg whites or whipping cream are progressively beaten until the mixture becomes fluffy, slightly solidified, and can create gentle, sloping peaks. This is best accomplished with a mixer.

Patissier: A dessert chef is often called a pastry chef, or, if you're fancy, a patissier. They are considered the dessert experts in the kitchen!

There are so many more baking terms for you to learn. Be sure to start familiarizing yourself now, before you even step into the school kitchen.

Why is Formal Education Important in the Culinary Arts Field?

If you love food and fun, the culinary arts field could be your best bet. There are numerous seasoned chefs and cooks who never stepped into a formal classroom. However, many established hotels and bakeries seek bakers and culinary arts professional with formal education. So, why is education important for someone who aspires to work in the culinary field?

A formal culinary arts education is designed to equip students with skills and knowledge to effectively work in a kitchen. Food safety procedures are vital for every food worker's job. With formal education in culinary arts, students could get helpful instruction on temperatures, cooling, and hygiene to ensure that future customers are protected from food-borne illnesses.

The activities in a working kitchen can be enormous, and no one has the time to instruct beginners on how to handle knives, cook, or spice. All these essential skills are taught in a culinary school. Moreover, your best recipe can be useless without the right ingredients. With culinary education, students typically learn how to select the best ingredients within any budget.

The Benefits Culinary Arts Professionals with Formal Education Over Self-taught Cooks

Other than generally equipping students with the right skills to land a professional culinary job, formal education in culinary arts has several career benefits. They include:

  • Exposure to a variety of job duties and techniques in a kitchen set up. That exposure can help you make a decision on your next career path.
  • Self-taught cooks and bakers are often limited in their abilities due to lack of exposure to different kinds of cuisines, misinformation from unreliable sources, or limited local supply. Going to a culinary school should expand your knowledge of different flavors and combinations, which enhances your ability to incorporate them effectively in your own dishes.
  • Graduating from a formal culinary program is an indicator to potential employers that you are serious about your cooking career.
  • A diploma or a degree from an accredited cooking school can validate your knowledge and skills and help you land your first kitchen position.

Are You Ready to Step Into a Culinary Arts School Kitchen?

Interested in learning more about baking and pastry arts? If you want to earn an Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts, ECPI University's Culinary Institute of Virginia offers this program at an accelerated pace. For more information, connect with a friendly admissions advisor today.

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