October 6, 2017

Three Important Traits Of A Pastry Sous Chef

By Clara Grove, L’Academie Alumna

After graduating from L’Academie de Cuisine about three years ago, I completed my externship at Petit Louis, a Foreman Wolf restaurant on the lake in Columbia, MD. I stayed on as a pastry cook for the next two years before receiving a promotion to Pastry Sous Chef at Cinghiale Osteria in Baltimore, another Foreman Wolf restaurant. This new position was exciting and presented a number of challenges and opportunities.

Interested in being a Pastry Sous Chef? Prepare for the responsibilities by polishing these three important traits:

An Open Mind. Assisting the Executive Chef in coming up with new menu ideas was a challenge for me. As a notoriously picky eater, learning to broaden my palette has been a gradual process over many years. Fortunately, the Executive Chef was understanding and pushed me to experiment with flavors.

Business Savvy. As the Pastry Sous Chef, and only pastry representative in the business, I was also the Back of House Manager (BOH). This entailed opening the restaurant five to six days a week, doing all the prep work, ordering and managing inventory, setting up transfers with other restaurants in the company to get rid of excess products, and handling any incorrect or damaged deliveries. It was a big list, but also offered hands-on insights into how a business runs and operates.

Commitment. While the manager side of being a Sous Chef came naturally to me, I still have plenty to learn, improve on, and explore. The best chefs always do!