For many years I have wanted to work in the culinary field as a pastry chef. A pastry chef is a station chef in a professional kitchen, skilled in the making of pastries, desserts, breads, and other baked goods. they are employed in large hotels, bistros, restaurants, bakeries, and some cafes. when I originally started at the Art Institute of Philadelphia I did not realize everything that went into being a pastry chef, for me it meant being able to make a cake from scratch and learning a few tricks along the way. There’s such a science when it comes to putting a dessert together, you have to know flavor profiles, sauces, portions, and even presentation. even the dish that it is served on is calculated.
To become a successful pastry chef a good education is needed, also a lot of training, and amazing cooking skills to help right along with the journey of becoming a pastry chef. Being a chef is not always an easy job. This job takes a lot of dedication with barely any sleep at all. If a chef gets a chance to sleep it would normally be a few hours squeezed in before the next job needs to be started. A pastry chef is on their feet for hours at a time. This job requires tons of coffee, energy drinks and stamina to keep going and working on your assigned pastry arrangement.
While working closely with Marquessa ( the pastry chef at Sbraga ) I realized you do not stop learning just because you are no longer in school. For her position Marquessa has to have a vast knowledge of different pastries, flavor profiles, and techniques. If Chef Sbraga wants her to make something, or go in a direction that she does not know to much about, she does all the research necessary to make sure that she does. She is always working towards making herself indispensable, and is constantly challenging herself to make herself a better chef.
Marquessa takes on a lot of responsibilities at Sbraga. I have had the pleasure of assisting her in making breads such as rustic, yeast rolls, country loaves, and pumpernickel bread. She is also responsible for making all of the pastries as well as breads for The Fat Ham as well as Sbraga. Her pastries include but are not limited to macaroons, sweet potato s’mores, sorbets, ice creams, malted panna cottas, and even pear tartins. Marquessa also takes on whatever new challenges Chef Sbraga throws her way, for example he will give her certain flavors or ideas that he wants to incorporate into the menu, and she has to create a recipe that accommodates his vision.