An executive pastry chef is responsible for overseeing the entire production of pastries, breads, sweets, ice cream, fillings and toppings, including their design, creation, execution and presentation. Executive pastry chefs are employed in many different culinary capacities, but mainly in the higher-end establishments such as restaurants, hotels, resorts, private catering companies, cruise ships and casinos. But private residences and businesses also employ them. The responsibilities of an executive pastry chef extend beyond baking delicious desserts.
Recipe and Menu Creation
The executive pastry chef creates items that feature fresh, seasonally appropriate ingredients. The executive pastry chef is responsible for creating innovative desserts that not only taste delicious but also pair well with items on the existing food and wine menus. A world-class dining experience involves the entire sum, not just individual parts. Appetizers, main courses, beverages, desserts and service should all complement one another to bring out the best of each. This means regular communication between the executive chef, sommelier and executive pastry chefs as fine establishments change menus regularly to offer the freshest ingredients and seasonal selections.
Supervise and Manage Labor
The executive pastry chef supervises and manages the entire pastry staff. He must ensure the recipes that have been created are being executed correctly, and he must also ensure quality control measures are being adhered to daily. The executive pastry chef is responsible for managing the labor costs of the pastry station or department; determining how many staff members are needed for each shift; and adjusting this number according to demand and profitability.
Inventory and Cost Control
An important job of the executive pastry chef is to create and plan menu items with the highest quality ingredients while keeping costs within the budgetary restrictions. Pastry creation must factor in both ingredient and labor costs in order to maximize profitability for the establishment. The executive pastry chef is in charge of ordering inventory for the items that are included in the dessert menu along with any items that are featured in any other menu. This position is also responsible for making sure that costs are kept within the budget set forth by the general manager or organizational leader. The executive chef deals directly with food vendors and local farmers.
It is the responsibility of the executive pastry chef to stay current with techniques, preparations, ingredients and any other topics related to the area of desserts in the culinary industry. This means ongoing education and professional development, including workshops, seminars, classes, meetings, etc. The executive pastry chef must either attend them herself or select a staff member to go, and then make sure that the individual trains the entire staff on the subject matter. She is also responsible for training her staff on the preparation of the menu items she creates on an ongoing basis.
Another aspect of the executive pastry chef's position is to be involved within the community. This might mean baking or food preparation demonstrations; training programs for local businesses, charities, organizations and vendors; participation in special events that are sponsored by the restaurant or catering company; or representing the establishment at local events or fundraisers. It is important for executive pastry chefs and other more high-profile positions within food-service organizations to have a relationship with the community that surrounds their establishment.
- Photo Credit dessert image by Leonid Nyshko from Fotolia.com
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