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Dec 16, 2007 03:21 PM

study baking and pastry arts in boston?

hello there! i'm considering studying baking and pastry for a career change - anyone have any boston school recs?

thanks in advance!

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  1. I suggest looking into CSCA (Cambridge School for Culinary Arts) located in Porter Square. I'm enrolled in the Professional Chef's Program which is focused on both savory cooking and baking, and I absolutely love it. It's hard work, but the learning curve is huge and it's a great way to step into the industry. Many of the people in the program are seeking a career change. The head of the pastry program is a charismatic frenchman named Delphin and is well loved by the pastry students and heralded as simply 'the best' by his chef colleagues. I don't know when the next open house is, but you can call anytime to set up a tour.
    good luck!

    1. Are you planning on opening your own bakery, or working in one or a restaurant. Do be sure to check out what the salary range and actual hours worked are in Boston. Call up a couple of places and ask them. I remember working with a pastry assistant just out of Johnson & Wales (not a program I'd recommend) who complained that he had to live with his mom and couldn't pay back his loans on $10/hr with no benefits.

      Delphin Gomes at Cambridge Culinary, is one of the nicest people (along with his wife, who is program director) I've ever met in my life - and definitely the most talented!

      4 Replies
      1. re: pastrytroll

        all good suggestions - thank you so much!!

        1. re: pastrylady

          If you'd like more specifics - or as many as I can come up with.... email me at
          Good luck

        2. re: pastrytroll

          Why don't you recommend the Johnson & Wales program?

          1. re: blunoodles

            This is from a very limited sample. But, from the same limited group of "students I have worked with" I've been impressed with graduates of Newbury and the CIA. I'm also quite sure the name itself, and having studied, opens doors. The students I worked with would say things like "yea, I can make that. We watched our instructor do it in class once" The pastry people would say that more than bread or culinary people. Just a very limited, very personal sample.
            And, on a much less serious note: I was in a wedding at J&W, where the bride had a buffet with a selection of desserts rather than a wedding cake. Frankly, none of those desserts were good; not in appearance or taste, a resounding 'mediocre' or maybe C minus? But for the kitchen jobs, we were all making the same $10/hour with no benefits - those of us who had studied, and those who hadn't.
            Enthusiasm, and 'having the love' works pretty well in landing jobs at good restaurants - then you get the chance to prove yourself! One of the Roberts at Maison Robert told me that "what matters is who you know and where you've worked." And yea, where you studied.

        3. I attended the Culinary Arts program at Newbury College, and I loved it. I didn't graduate, though, as I landed a good full time job in a hotel while I was in school.

          I second the recommendation about checking out salary ranges. I don't want to seem like a downer, but kitchen work is REALLY low paying. After 10 years, I got out of it. I just couldn't deal with working so hard for so little money.

          3 Replies
          1. re: manraysky

            I attended and graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence Rhode island. I went for the culinary arts program which touched on Pastry as well. Many of my friends graduated from Pastry Arts and did fine for themselves. I think the name alone opens many doors. it did for me. I worked both aspects in hotels and restaurants.

            1. re: manraysky

              Manraysky, I hear you! Cooking is my love above all else, but the hours and the hard work at slightly less than MacDonald's was paying started to wear after about 6 years.

              1. re: pastrytroll

                this has been SO informative!! i really thank all of you for your posts! happy holidays :)