The baking industry has known for some time that bakers and pastry chefs have achieved superstar status with foodies who are eager to learn some of the tricks of the trade.
Throughout the year, food festivals, trade shows and cooking demonstrations around Australia expose the public to regional cuisines and techniques by inviting them to celebrate their culture and their skills in the kitchen.
By sharing the art of bread, pastries and chocolate, our industry is keeping the artisan sector alive. We up-skill consumers and make them aware of the processes and passion that goes into quality baked goods, confectionery and desserts. In turn, consumers have a greater appreciation for artisanal products, processes and values – and are willing to seek them out and pay the price. It’s a win-win for the industry.
I believe learning enriches your life by uncovering passions you never knew were there and opening up a whole new world of experiences. All you need is something to spark the interest – add passion and you develop an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
What does one need to thrive in the study sector? Guidance, direction and a good cup of nurturing.
I’m sure all the tradespeople out there reading this remember at least a few key players, role models, mentors, who have helped contribute to their positions, outcomes and passion for their job. For some, the shaping force was their first job, or their chosen house of study.
Perhaps for some, it started at home. After, all, food is global and knowledge is power: education has always been a leveling playing field.
When it comes to learning, I love to mix it up. I’ve always been part autodidact – someone who hasn’t turned to formal education for knowledge – because there are so many sources to fill our learning desires. Luckily, as time has progressed, we’ve been given the online world of “google this” and “wikipedia that”, blogs and online classes.
Personalising this experienced of the end-consumer, with the professionals in the kitchen, has opened so many doors to the food industry, with pastry chefs shining in the spotlight.
Trying to make and bake like the pros is an exciting opportunity for everyone, including me!
The number of cooking schools in Australia and the number of people attending them is at an all time high. Training facilities are popping up everywhere. And, why not? People eat everyday, there has always been a strong interest in food and, now, people have the tools and knowledge to make restaurant-quality food at home for their loved ones. I can tell you, there is no greater feeling than executing a new technique you have learned and seeing those wide eyes starring at you with a look of, “you did that?”
Even I have opened a pop-up cooking school in Sydney. I’ve been teaching internationally for a good while now and it’s a blessing being able to share the sweet love of my world – the joy, the knowledge and technicalities of this ancient art.
I have dedicated almost 20 years to the study and practice of our sweet, chocolatey baking industry. Being a student is one of the great luxuries. Passing on the knowledge has always been an integral part of the journey as it completes the circle – after all, what’s the point of learning if you can’t share that knowledge with people who care enough to do something about it?
Food is a giving thing, and bakers and chefs are famous for it.
Jessica’s new cooking school is located at level 1, 720 New Canterbury Road, Canterbury, NSW. Phone (02) 9554 6086 or visit www.celebrationcooking.com.au, to find out more or to make a booking.