Patisserie Training: A Life Long Mission

Emma Paff has quickly turned her hobby into an award-winning career in colourful cakes.

29 Jun 2017

Freak shakes, donuts, vegan desserts, cronuts – with all these obsessions going around you couldn’t be blamed for thinking it’s a great time to undertake patisserie training.

patisserie extravagance
Patisserie skills are being redefined by the unique demands of today’s consumers.

Globally, the food world has never been more exciting. Trends, techniques, and tastes are quickly shifting, within neighbourhoods and across continents.

According to leading research group IPSOS, Australians shifted their food preferences in terms of portion sizes, prices, sugar content, and freshness just in the past year.

For Certificate IV in Patisserie (SIT40716) graduate Emma Paff, this is a welcome challenge. Over the past few years, she has turned a passion and hobby into a genuine career path.

“I was making cakes for friends and family and it just escalated from there until it was more than just something on the side. I couldn’t just leave it at that”

Her business, The Cake Lady, offers custom cakes for weddings and other occasions, wholesale small cakes, and pastries, as well as a range of delectable bites at some of Brisbane’s top weekend food markets.

“I chose to complete a Certificate IV to gain professional skills in order to feel confident in expanding my business into smaller baked goods.”

This new skillset and product expansion are working for her so far and she knows why.

“The best part of my time at TAFE was spending time with the extremely knowledgeable and helpful pastry chefs that were our teachers. All of them had recently come straight from working within the industry themselves, so they were able to impart up-to-date skills and practices.”

Even with all of this, Emma won’t kick back and settle for status quo.

“I understand how important it is that I learn new skills to keep up with changes in the industry and the tastes of my customers. I need to be flexible enough to take the time to pick up new tricks, techniques, and qualifications along the way“

Founder and lead cake maker of The Cake Lady, Emma Paff
The Cake Lady, as run by Emma, is on the rise.

And the business is growing thanks to this determination; that and her acknowledgment as the 2016 Patisserie Student of the Year. This honour was based on her remarkable skills in class and her already incredible success as a cake maker.

“I was so shocked and honoured. It has been a real boom for my business – it’s a clear sign of authentic quality to employers and customers that I have the right skills”.

Emma is keeping the momentum going as she continues to promote her business and looks to attend some of Australia’s top specialist patisserie short courses to further hone her craft.

With new skills and fresh trends, there’s no telling what incredibly delectable treats Emma can and will unleash upon the world. We can’t wait!

Did You Know?

According to the Australian Federal Government, 32,000 persons were employed as Bakers and Pastrycooks in 2015, and job openings in these roles are expected to be between 10,001 and 25,000 over the next 5 years. And, as proven by Emma, this is an industry where it is more than possible to create your own opportunity; proof being the combined projected 5.3% growth in cafes and specialist bakeries through to 2022.

While the start-up craze is fading out, there is no shortage of demand for businesses that focus on traditional skills with modern twists. So don’t be afraid to pave your own path.

Patisserie Training

According to World Skills,

They will be proficient in a wide range of specialist techniques to produce and decorate confectionery and sweet items. An artistic talent and gastronomic flair are required alongside the ability to work effectively and economically in order to achieve outstanding results within set timeframes and budgets.

In some circumstances the confectioner/pastry cook will need to work directly with clients, so good customer service skills are required alongside the ability to discuss a client’s needs and to offer advice and guidance. The ability to work on their own initiative is essential.

The expert practitioner will work using a range of specialist equipment and materials. The confectioner/pastry cook must take account of the quality of ingredients, respect those ingredients and work to high levels of food hygiene and health and safety.

Does this sound like you? If so, why wait to make great in the world of patisserie?

© TAFE Queensland Brisbane 2017.
RTO 0275 | CRICOS 03020E.