Pâtisser – Blogger
About the author:
Baking My Way Through Germany is about me, Katie, a 27 year-old girl who whisked herself off to Germany at the age of 21 to complete an apprenticeship (Ausbildung) as a pastry chef. Now that I’ve completed my apprenticeship, I’m really baking my way through Germany working as a full time pastry chef!
I finished my apprenticeship in June of 2013, first moved to Bavaria for a position with Patisserie Walter, then, I headed back up in the North with Cafe Hauptmeier and also worked with at Rittergut Valenbrook. Most recently, I am with Romantik Hotel Boesehof!
How did I get to where I am?
I love baking and cooking and just about anything that involves the kitchen. One day, I picked up a cake decorating book and starting teaching myself all about cake. From there I followed through making cakes and cupcakes for special occasions, family, and friends. I knew after a short time of cake designing that I wanted to pursue a career in the pastry arts.
Fortunately, I found out about Germany’s education system and how different it is from the United States. In the U.S. it is typical that after high school students will then go to a college or university in order to gain a bachelors and/or masters degree in the field that they choose to have a good and successful career. In Germany, after school, students can choose a field of study and apply to a company. This is called an apprenticeship or ‘Ausbildung’. Once hired, the company trains you in that profession while you work for them and attend school at the same time. On hand, real life experience from the very start? In my opinion that’s extremely practical. After hearing this, I knew that this would be an amazing opportunity for me because Germany widely known for it’s delicious cakes, pastries and bread. Not to mention the international experience is a huge bonus.
The apprenticeship was not an exchange program, and no, I did not speak very much German before traveling to Germany. All my schooling and training was in German. In the end, this has proven to be one of the most beneficial experiences I have ever had in my entire life and I plan to take it for what it’s worth. As for the language? It seemed like an impossible feat and was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. German is not an easy language! However, I can now say that I am fluent in German (something I never thought I would be) and can finally converse with others and complete an entire day of work and school with ease. I’ve cried, I’ve been so frustrated to the point of wanting to come home, but the benefits and the feeling of success outweigh every tear and bad day.
This blog has been about my entire experience in my 3 year apprenticeship including everything from my daily life, my struggles with learning German, my travels across Europe and tips and techniques in baking that I learned while working and going to school. Now that I’m finished with the program and still living in Germany, this blog has evolved into a dessert and baking “Foodie” blog with recipes, tips and tricks directly from the professional!
Are you interested in completing an apprenticeship or ‘Ausbildung’ as a pastry chef (Konditor) or baker (Backer)?
Check out my eBook about the German apprenticeship program!