By Steven Ziegler
We are privileged to have another culinary student as guest blogger! This week, we welcome Kajal Narang, who is in her third week of the pastry program at L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Kajal wears her chef’s whites proudly, loves to apply her artistic sense to pastries and sweets, and regularly blogs on her pastry student blog, The Journey of an Aspiring Pastry Chef. Be sure to check out the great things she’s baking on her blog, and enjoy her post here on the WEBstaurantStore Blog.
The 5 Best Things About Being a Pastry Student
Learning New Things Every Day
This one is somewhat of a given, but I still think it’s very important. I know there are some of you out there who don’t know whether or not to choose culinary school because of your level of experience. While experience is probably one of the most important things in the food industry, it is called culinary school for a reason; if you knew everything, then you wouldn’t be there. I’m not very experienced myself, but I learn new things every single day. I was in the same situation in my senior year of high school, but I didn’t want my dream of becoming a pastry chef to remain just that—a dream. I firmly believe that if you are passionate about cooking or baking, then culinary school is definitely the way to go.
I admit that waking up at 5 in the morning can be pretty tough at times, but once I get to school and I’m up and moving, it feels great! Sometimes I have 15 hour days because as soon as I get out of school, I go to work at a bakery. By the time I get off work, my back hurts and my feet are aching, but I live for that feeling. I thrive off of the exhaustion and it feels like an adrenaline rush. It takes up most of my day so I don’t sit around all day watching Food Network, just dreaming of making those dishes.
The Brand New Set of Tools and Chef Whites That You Get
I don’t know about you, but I love the crisp look of new chef whites. Having your name embroidered on them is an added bonus! We also get our own red toolboxes at L’Academie and everything looks very sophisticated.
Meeting Different People
The one thing that I love about the food industry, other than the food itself, is the people. I’ve never been at a school where I see ages range so widely. Anyone can enter the food industry at any age. I encounter people of all different skill levels and different walks of life, and it’s great! I personally love meeting new people so working with my classmates or eating lunch with the culinary students is always a blast. I love hearing others’ opinions about food and school, because everyone’s view is different.
Not having to worry about what you’re wearing in the morning
I know most ladies (and maybe some men) hate waking up and deciding what to wear in the morning in addition to putting on makeup and doing one’s hair. It’s a chore, especially at 5AM. The beauty of culinary school is that we’re not allowed to wear makeup at school and we all wear the same thing. It’s such a relief to go to school and change into my chef whites and not having to check the mirror every hour.