French Pastry School: What was your background previous to studying pastry and what led you to pursue an education in pastry?
Chrisnelle Peralto: Most of my work experience prior to attending The French Pastry School was restaurant and/or hotel related. I mainly worked the front of the house as an event planner and server. The past 5 years I've spent being a stay-at-home mom to my two children. My desire to have my own business, my passion for food (savory and sweet), my need for always being creative, and my love for this industry motivated me to pursue something I've wanted to do for so long: culinary school. I chose L'Art du Gâteau because I love creating things for people – my kids especially – and seeing the joy it brings them.
FPS: What was the most surprising or eye-opening moment for you so far in the program?
CP: Every bit of new information is eye-opening for me. I've learned so much from Chef Mark Seaman and Chef Joshua Johnson on what NOT to do when I own my own business. But I think the most surprising thing for me is how generous all our Chef instructors are with their knowledge. Whether it is a story, a recipe or useful technique, they have all been inspiring in their own unique way.
FPS: What are you doing currently in pastry?
CP: I am doing a four month internship here at The French Pastry School. After my four months are over, I hope to get a job where I can continue learning and practicing my craft, preferably overseas. Eventually, I will own my own specialty cake shop and bakery back home in Florida.
FPS: Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you hope to be?
CP: I will be in Florida with my own business. I don't hope to be there: I will be there!
FPS: In the future, what will you look back on and remember most vividly about your time as a student at The French Pastry School?
CP: I'll remember all the experiences that were available to me because I was a French Pastry School student. The stages I went on, the people I met along the way, the Chef Instructors, the Chefs of other establishments, and, of course, the fact that I was able to attend with For the Love of Chocolate Scholarship. But most of all I think I will remember my fellow students, many of whom I can call friends: they made this experience so much richer. It brings a smile to my face and will continue to do so for years to come.