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  Tomas Flanagan

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Pastry Chef

Job Zone

Education
Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, electricians typically complete four years of training in order to perform the job.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€26k > 35 
Pastry Chef
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€26 - 35 
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
RecruitIreland (2014)

Last Updated: July, 2015

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Produces bread and confectionery products, such as cakes, pastries and biscuits.


Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records: 1

David Kehoe
Chef  

David Kehoe is the Executive Head Chef in the Tower Hotel in Dublin.  When he completed his Leaving Cert he went to study in Athlone IT on a 2 year fulltime professional cookery course.  He also is qualified in HACCP (Food Safety Mgmt) up until management level.  He was one of the chef presenters on "Corrigan Knows Food", which was on RTÉ1 television.

Go to Interview  
 

The Work header image

A pastry chef’s job is interesting, challenging, creative and complex. You create wonderful breads, pastries and desserts that must also be beautiful. Artistic presentation is more important for dessert than for any other part of the meal - people want something that is a feast for their eyes as well as their palates.

Pastry chefs are not limited to baking bread and making cakes. There are many career options open to you. You can work in a bakery, restaurant or patisserie. You can open your own business, become a food critic or writer, or even teach. You could even become Executive Pastry Chef at top class restaurant or hotel.

Personal Qualities

Pastry chefs need to be organised and detail-oriented. Making desserts often requires several components that must be assembled individually and then brought together to create the final product. Every ingredient has to be measured precisely and added in the correct way and in the correct order. Good pastry chefs are very organised.

Pastry chefs are hard working. Baking can start as early as 3 or 4 am. Pastry chefs work long hours and they spend many of those hours on their feet. It takes stamina and strength to do the work of a pastry chef.

Creativity is an important quality, more so than for any other type of cooking. For example, Executive Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier, US White House pastry chef for 25 years, never served the same dessert twice in all that time. Now, that’s creativity.

Patience is definitely a virtue for a pastry chef. Desserts can require extensive preparation and time.

To be a good pastry chef, you need an understanding of the scientific principles behind your craft. You’ll be using perishable and fragile foods and will need to understand the biology of food safety. There’s a chemical basis for the way certain foods are combined.

You need a good understanding of nutrition and of human physiology and to know the basics of design and how to create visually appealing desserts.

There are many skills you’ll acquire as you learn to be a pastry chef. How to measure correctly, how to mix and blend. Specific food preparation techniques. How to make food visually appealing.

People skills, management skills and business skills are all necessary skills for the pastry chef. 

The main difference between a pastry chef and a baker is the word "chef" which literally means "boss." So while pastry chefs may bake, their title indicates that they have authority. A pastry chef is also a baker, but a baker isn't necessarily a pastry chef.

 

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Observe color of products being baked and adjust oven temperatures, humidity, or conveyor speeds accordingly.

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Set oven temperatures and place items into hot ovens for baking.

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Combine measured ingredients in bowls of mixing, blending, or cooking machinery.

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Measure or weigh flour or other ingredients to prepare batters, doughs, fillings, or icings, using scales or graduated containers.

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Roll, knead, cut, or shape dough to form sweet rolls, pie crusts, tarts, cookies, or other products.

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Place dough in pans, molds, or on sheets and bake in production ovens or on grills.

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Check the quality of raw materials to ensure that standards and specifications are met.

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Adapt the quantity of ingredients to match the amount of items to be baked.

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Apply glazes, icings, or other toppings to baked goods, using spatulas or brushes.

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Check equipment to ensure that it meets health and safety regulations and perform maintenance or cleaning, as necessary.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Handling and Moving Objects:  Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Analyzing Data or Information:  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Performing for or Working Directly with the Public:  Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

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Provide Consultation and Advice to Others:  Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Food Production:  Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.

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Production and Processing:  Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

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Customer and Personal Service:  Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Administration and Management:  Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Operation Monitoring:   Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

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Time Management:   Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Entry Routesheader image

Much of the training for a baking career comes through experience. Getting a culinary education will help to give you the confidence and the skills to advance more quickly than you would otherwise in this field.

A degree in culinary arts, specialising in baking and pastry arts will prepare you for a career as either a baker or a pastry chef.

Courses are available at Level 5 and Levels 6-8 at Further Education Colelges and IoTs countrywide.

Private courses include the Professional Three Month Certificate Cookery Course run by Dublin Cookery School which is widely recognised as a credible and practical route to acquiring the expertise and skills needed to pursue a career in the food industry.

Last Updated: March, 2016


Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Bord Bia
  Address: Clanwilliam Court Lower Mount Street. Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 668 5155
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Dublin Cookery School
  Address: 2 Brookfield Terrace, Blackrock, Co. Dublin
  Tel: (01) 2100 555
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Fáilte Ireland
  Address: Amiens Street, Dublin 1
  Tel: (01) 884 7700
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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