The Pastry School Diaries: Life Outside the Classroom - Rachael Ray Every Day

The Pastry School Diaries: Life Outside the Classroom

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Editorial Assistant Lauren Katz is enrolled in the part-time Baking & Pastry Arts program at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education. Follow her each week as she shares her sweet experiences!

One of the reasons I chose to attend ICE over other culinary schools in the city was because of their externship requirement after classes ended. For nine months, I'm learning, executing, studying and creating in the comfort of my classroom, but when my 100th lesson (yep, 100!) comes to an end, I'll be expected to work in a bakery, restaurant or specialty shop for 210 hours--either on the weekends, before or after work at the magazine--to demonstrate all that I've learned.

It was a short week this week due to Rosh Hashanah, and our only class on Tuesday was dedicated to learning about the externship process from our career advisor. She explained that before we choose an externship site, we are expected to trail, or interview, at a few locations. We will visit various bakeries and restaurants, work an entire shift and decide if the environment is a good fit. She asked us to start thinking about the type of place we'd like to work: a large restaurant kitchen, a small independent bakery, a bread shop, a cake shop--the list goes on. While I'm still not quite sure where I want to focus and hone my skills, I'm leaning more towards a specialty shop, like an ice cream shop or small bread bakery. What I do know is that by the time I have to choose, I'll have enough experience in the kitchen to really understand where my skills and passions lie.

Where would you want to extern as a pastry student?

Doughn't forget to check back next week for an update on our bread unit (see what I did there!).