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Old 03-16-2006, 08:30 AM   #1
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Hey! I am interested in becoming a better cook, but am not sure the best way to do it. I know that just cooking more for experience is the best, but am not sure what to do next. I'd be interested in working at a bakery to learn, maybe be an aprentince or something. (I'm 15 years old)

Does anyone know if the bakery is a good place to learn baking skills, or do they require workers with more experience? Maybe this is a questian I should ask the bakery about.

Any help?

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Old 03-16-2006, 08:51 AM   #2
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I think each bakery will be different. Going to them and asking sure won't hurt. I think that is a great thing to do.

Spending time here at DC will help you as well. We have a lot of great bakers with a ton of info they can share.

Experiment at home. Actually baking is going to be where you learn the most. Jump right in and start making things. If/when they do not work then post what you did here and we can help troubleshoot with you and then you can try again.
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Old 03-16-2006, 09:32 AM   #3
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go to the bakery, if they won't hire you as a baker, see if there is something else to do like sweep and clean up. As you are there express interest, they will show you things and that is a great way to start. I had a dishwasher that was curious and i showed him things and eventually he was cooking on my line.
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Old 03-16-2006, 09:35 AM   #4
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Welcome to DC, R2L!! That is great at 15 you have a focus on what you would like to do in the future!! I would like to encourage you to pursue it with a full vigour!! Yes, start experimenting at home, but keep in mind "baking" is one of the trickier aspect of cooking, start with faithfully following the proven recipes in order to get the hang of the whole thing... There will be lots of trials and errors but don't let them discourage you... post all the questions you need here, as GB said, there will always be someone who will offer you a helping hand and some valuable tip.
Good luck to you and we look forward to seeing you around often, the more you hang with us, the more you will learn!!
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Old 03-16-2006, 10:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef_Jimmy
go to the bakery, if they won't hire you as a baker, see if there is something else to do like sweep and clean up. As you are there express interest, they will show you things and that is a great way to start. I had a dishwasher that was curious and i showed him things and eventually he was cooking on my line.
That's exactly how Emeril Lagasse got his start, washing dishes in a bakery. Think it worked out rather well for him...

(That reminds me, I need to start a new thread on something...)

John
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Old 03-16-2006, 10:06 PM   #6
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I would start by talking to your guidance counselor at school. Second choice would be the person that teaches the cooking classes at school. They may know of some opportunities (and can pull some strings) that you might not find just walking in off the street. If your school has vocational programs you could get credit toward graduation for the job, too!

If that doesn't work - then try making the rounds of the bakeries. At 15 with no experience I wouldn't expect to be hired as a baker. But, like Chef_Jimmy and RonJohn said. once you get your foot in the door doing anything show an interest in learning and you will.
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Old 03-16-2006, 11:57 PM   #7
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I'm not so sure a bakery would be the place to start at 15 unless you're talking summer vacation. Bakers typically have to get up VERY early in the morning and work well into what would be your school day. All the bakeries around where I live are closed for the day by the time the kids are out from school.
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:40 AM   #8
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I am not a chef, but I am extemely passionate about cooking. in addition to the above suggestions, watch cooking on tv, and pick up a few cookbooks books at the library/bookstore. Hands on experience is the best, especially if you want to pursue this as a career, and research culinary schools as well. In the meantime, get watching and reading - I have gotten many ideas and all my technique from watching my favorite chefs on foodnetwork and curling up with a good cookbook. all the best pursuing your dreams!
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Old 03-17-2006, 11:39 PM   #9
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At 15, cooking at home or friends' houses is your best start. I doubt a bakery would take you on ... I don't know the laws where you live, but working in a bakery at bottom level is very hard work, and and it might not even be legal until you're a year older. It may sound overly-simple, but since your interests seem to lie in baking, you might start with making cakes and pastries and breads for family and freinds, then offering to do them for birthday parties, dinners, and such for them. Start by doing it for the cost of ingredients, and you'll know if your good enough when they pay you more. By then you'll be old enough to be hired at a baker in a more serious manner. In some states at 15 businesses cannot legally hire you.
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Old 03-20-2006, 02:01 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the ideas! I'm actually homeschooled...so my school doesn't have a cooking class . But I have been baking plenty of bread as gifts for people, which has been good experience.


There is a bakery right near our house that is offering baking classes this spring, so hopefully I'll be taking one of those. I'm excited about that!

Maybe I will look into working as a cleaner of something at the bakery...it's a really cool place with a great atmosphere and I'd love to work there someday!

Thanks for the advice!
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"O love that will not let me go,
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I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean's depts it's flow
may richer fuller be."

-George Matheson

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