Sweet Culinary Careers

A recently released survey in the Nation's Restaurant News reports restaurant patrons' top ten dessert choices--and the winner is (drum roll, please!)--ice cream. While you may not learn to make ice cream in pastry chef school, you will learn to make the second and third place finishers, cakes and pies, and most of the other top ten finalists, too: cheesecake, cookies, pudding, non-frozen desserts (mousse, bread pudding), brownies, crisps, and cobblers.

A Sweet Deal Means Good Culinary Career News

Pastry chef school students take heart. A recent proposed merger between pie giant Marie Callender's and the Perkins restaurant chain heralds a potential boom in pastry chef jobs, since Callender's is known for its pies. Nation's Restaurant News sees the merger as a win-win for both chains, reporting that "while 481-unit Perkins has strong brand penetration in Eastern and Midwestern states, Marie Callender's, with 138 units, has a big following--and higher store volumes and check averages--in the West."

Pastry chef school graduates from coast to coast may be looking to these family-friendly chains for employment, since both chains have made their fame in part on their in-store bakeries.

Small and Alternative: A Culinary Career Plan B

If the impending ban on sodas in schools has you worried about the sweet in your culinary career, then you need to know that you can always parlay your pastry chef school education into a sweet Plan B--sugarfree dining. The Little Rock, Arkansas bakery and cafe Seredipities originally intended to cater to the needs of the state's quarter million diabetic diners.

However, Serendipities' "flaky apple turnovers, moist red velvet cake, and dense chocolate brownies" have scored big with a weight-conscious general public, too. Inevitably, the University of Arkansas Medical Center noticed the healthy alternative, increasing the culinary venture's profits by a third.

Between Serendipities' success and the bakery-based chains, rest assured that having a dessert-centered culinary career means never having to say you're sorry you went to pastry chef school.


  • "Perkins, Calender's bake up merger," by Lisa Jennings. Nation's Restaurant News 40.17 (Apr 24, 2006).
  • "Serendipities bakery-cafe finds a sweet niche with sugar-free treats," by Louise Kramer. Nation's Restaurant News 40.16 (Apr 17, 2006).
  • "Top 10 Desserts at Full-Service Restaurants." Nation's Restaurant News 40.17 (Apr 24, 2006).