The French Pastry School: What was your background previous to pastry, and what led you to pursue a pastry education?
Crizaida Rendon: My background has been mostly administrative work; nothing close to a career for me. Baking was just something I used to do with my mom as a kid and then as an adult. The thought to turn it into a career never crossed my mind. About 8 years back, my nephew was having a pirate themed birthday party, and I volunteered to buy the pirate ship cake for a 30 person guest list. After the initial shock of what a cake like that actually costs, I decided to get it done myself, no take backsies. Everyone, including myself, was impressed with how my pirate ship cake turned out and I’ve been making custom cakes ever since. I absolutely love it!
FPS: What has been the most surprising or eye-opening moment for you so far in the program?
CR: The dreams I had of the dish pit and the mountains of meringue we made. But mostly the amount of detail and attention the chefs and school staff gave each and every one of us. I’ve never seen or heard anything like this before, and it just made me fall in love with The French Pastry School…and gloat about it some more to my friends.
FPS: What are your plans following graduation?
CR: Obviously to land a job since I’ve realized Oprah might not get around to handing me the keys to a Shelby Mustang anytime soon. I know I have to start small, and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. I plan to continue to immerse myself in all things pastry related through my work, through my own researching, through stages, and through networking. I want to humbly absorb all that I can and be committed to this career to eventually have a business of my own and carve out a little spot for myself in our pastry community.
FPS: Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you hope to be?
CR: I have a 10 year plan to have my own bakery so in 5 years, hopefully after being quite noticed because of my custom cakes, I hope to start changing my mindset to business mode.
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?
CR: Honestly, I could talk on and on of how much I learned about pastries and desserts at The French Pastry School, but I think the first thing I’ll always look back on and remember most are the people I’ve met both in and out of school, the doors it has opened for me, and how much my taking a chance to make this very terrifying, yet very gratifying, career move has changed my life for the better.