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What Is A Pastry Chef? More About Choosing A Specialty

This is step 7 in your multi-part online course about how to become a top chef.

Pastry Chef

A pastry chef needs to know how to create baked dishes, confections and specialty items. Pastry chefs generally specialize in deserts.

This is a specialty that requires much creativity and a great sense of taste for deserts. If you chose to work in a hotel environment, you will likely have to report to an executive pastry chef.

To be a good pastry chef you need to be able to manage people. It really is a must. You also need to be able to coordinate staffing with production requirements.

You must be in charge of ordering your ingredients as well. It is a very specific specialization that requires great business sense. You will also have little room for error in this specialization as many of your dishes will be lengthy to prepare.


This is just as it appears. This chef specializes in making sauces, and sometimes meats that are cooked in sauces.

This type of specialty is actually quite prestigious among chefs out there. Because sauces are often the basis of French haute cuisine, the saucier chef is considered a very important person in the kitchen.

The best trained sauciers know that the five bases of all sauces rest on the five mother sauces.

These sauces are:

Espagnole (brown sauce): This is made of dark roux of cooked flour and butter as well as brown stock made from roasted bones and vegetables.

Velouté: (white sauce) is made of a pale roux and a light stock.

Béchamel: a basic white sauce that is made from milk, butter and flour. Sometimes cheese is also added.

Vinaigrette: This is simple oil and vinegar sauce. Sometimes other ingredients are added, such as garlic, shallots and herbs.

Hollandaise: a mixture of egg, oil or butter, and mayonnaise.

Of course, these are just the basics of the training that a saucier has to know. You must have a great sense of taste to be a successful saucier, and it helps to be creative in your mixes. Knowing what sauces would taste best with what foods is a key factor in being a good saucier.

The saucier is the most important person in the room for many gourmet dishes. A meal can be prepared to perfection, but if the sauce is bad, there goes the meal!

To continue to the next section of your chef training, please click this link: What is a Sous Chef?

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