Editorial Assistant, Lauren Katz, has enrolled in the part time Pastry & Baking Arts program at New York City's Institute of Culinary Education. Follow her each week as she shares her sweet experience in The Pastry School Diaries!

Working at Every Day with Rachael Ray has taught me a lot--not only about the magazine industry but also about the wide (and always expanding) world of food! I'm always picking up new tips and tricks issue after issue, like when specific fruits and veggies are in season, and ingenious ways to use my slow-cooker.

I developed a love of food, cooking and baking at a very young age (well, after I grew out of what my mom likes to call, "the beige diet") and time has only strengthened that relationship. When I really thought about what I wanted to be when I grew up, I knew it had to involve my two passions: writing and food. While my journalism degree has given me the knowledge, appreciation and street cred for the former, I knew I wanted to advance my skills in the latter. It took a bit of soul searching and evaluating my personality and interests to finally realize I wanted to attend pastry school.


My #TBT photo, featured in our March 2015 issue

After countless hours researching pastry programs, multiple "pros and cons" spreadsheets and a few in-person tours, I filled out an application for the Pastry and Baking Arts program at ICE. With a curriculum including all aspects of pastry arts (bread baking, chocolate sculpting, you name it), an externship program with some of the most well respected chefs in the country and a brand new facility in downtown NYC (hello, shiny new ovens!), ICE spoke to my heart... and stomach!


Trying on my uniform at the office!

Being the early riser that I am, I knew being at class until 10:00 pm three nights a week would pose a bit of a challenge. Add a full-time job into the equation and I knew I was asking for trouble. But even just four weeks in, the risks are being wildly overrun by the rewards. I've learned more valuable science within the last month than I ever did in grade school, I get to experiment with tools and ingredients I've never used and I'm working with a very unique group of people--all of whom have the same drive and passion as I do.

Be sure to check back every Friday for a new post-- I can't wait to share all that I learn, create and, of course, eat!