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Meet Our Pastry Chef

Image courtesy of Matt Chung

This week, the Cooks & Partners marketing team thought it would be interesting to give our clients an insight into the world of our pastry chef Julie. Whilst busy working away in the kitchen, we asked Julie a few questions about her role at Cooks & Partners, her favourite dessert to make and the skills it takes to make it in the pastry arena.

1. What exactly do pastry chefs do on a day to day basis?

Generally pastry chefs are responsible for creating all varieties of sweets; plated desserts, petit fours, ice-creams, sorbets; as well as some breads and pastries. For me, everyday in events catering is always different, as we are always tailoring our dishes to whatever the client wants.

2. What is your culinary background?

I trained back in Ireland where I worked in a 5 star hotel. Since I came to London ten years ago, I've been working in various events caterers, as well as a stint at a private members club.

3. What is your favourite pastry or dessert to make? Can you share some tips with us on making this?

I love to make macaroons. The best tip I can give you for making them is practice!! And be sure to sieve your almonds! It's a recipe that you really need to get a feel for to get the mix to the right consistency, so it's all about trial and error.

4. What desserts do you not enjoy making and why? Do you get asked for this often?

I don't think there's any dessert that I really don't enjoy making. But one thing I really hate to make is sausage rolls. I've been a vegetarian most of my life, so I really hate to make them! But unfortunately for me, people love them.

5. What do you enjoy most about being a pastry chef?

I mostly enjoy the creativity of making beautiful plated desserts. Especially when you create all the elements and then they all come together on the day of the event to create something to be proud of.

6. What dessert trends do you expect to see in the latter part of 2018 or next year?

I think people are becoming more conscious of what is going into the food they eat. We've already seen a movement towards reduced sugar. But I think people want ingredients that are more sustainably and ethically sourced.

7. What are some of the skills that help all pastry chefs succeed?

Being a good pastry chef is all about being calm and organised.

8. What are the best ways to find a job as a pastry chef?

The best way to learn is on the job. I recommend anyone who wants to do it to just get straight into the kitchen; either just as a junior assistant or by volunteering to work for free somewhere for a bit. But be warned, it's a tough career choice! You'll need real passion and desire if you want to stick with it.

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