Online Pastry Chef Courses, Classes and Training Programs
Pastry chef courses, classes and training programs are sometimes offered in hybrid formats that combine on-campus and online work. Students practice the art of baking desserts and pastries on-campus, rounding out their studies with courses on hospitality management and nutrition online. This distance-learning coursework can be part of a degree-completion program leading to a bachelor's degree in pastry arts.
Overview of Online Pastry Chef Training
An important part of pastry chef training involves hands-on work with flours, sugars, chocolate and other ingredients. Students typically must participate in an intern- or externship at an approved restaurant or bakery, in addition to completing on-campus work in a kitchen laboratory; because of this, pastry chef training is usually not offered fully online. However, students may complete courses and classes in supplementary topics - such as food and beverage management, nutrition and menu planning - through distance learning.
Semi-online pastry chef programs leading to a degree are rare, though they typically take the form of degree-completion programs. Designed for individuals who have already completed an associate's degree (and the corresponding hands-on baking practice) in pastry arts, these programs allow students to advance their education to the bachelor's level. Graduates may find employment or advancement opportunities as caterers, pastry chefs, baking and pastry assistants or bakery owners, among other possibilities.
Students enrolled in the online pastry courses must have a computer with Internet access, preferably high-speed (broadband) Internet, and an e-mail address for correspondence with instructors. Schools may use different methods of delivering learning materials to students, though Web-based course management systems are the most common method; systems of this type include Moodle and Blackboard.
Distance learners may also need an up-to-date browser, a sound card, speakers and a headset. Some programs may require specific software plug-ins, including Adobe Acrobat Reader, Macromedia Flash Player and Java Runtime Environment.
List of Online Pastry Chef Courses
Menu Planning and Analysis Course
Students in this online course learn to select pastries and baked goods to include on a menu, taking into consideration what items are the most popular, cost-effective and appropriate for their customer demographics. The design of menus is also examined, and students learn how a visually appealing menu presentation can impact sales. Online assignments often involve planning, creating and submitting a sample pastry and dessert menu.
Food Purchasing Course
The unique concerns of buying bulk ingredients and maintaining a well-stocked pantry are introduced in this online course. Students learn about the proper storage of food items to prevent spoilage. Other items that bakeries purchase - such as kitchen equipment and packaging materials - are discussed as well. Topics of study include pricing, ordering processes, supplier chain relationships and payment systems.
Even in the realm of cupcakes and pastries, nutritional concerns are valid; students learn about vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and lipids in this online course. The harmful effects of nutritional deficiencies are also examined. In a pastry chef program, this course might explore recipes for healthier desserts, including low-fat items and those baked with alternative sweeteners.
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