Erin Silva Winston

2011 Recipient

French Pastry School: What was your background previous to studying pastry and what led you to pursue an education in pastry?

Erin Silva Winston: Most recently, I worked as a Front of House Mananger/Wine Director at a restaurant in the North Shore for two years.  Before that I thought that I might want to go to medical school so I successfully completed Bryn Mawr College's post-baccalaureate premedical program and the MCAT exam.  However, I chose to change my career because I wanted to do something creative and hands-on.  In this profession I like the creativity in pastry very much, but I also like the creativity of coming up with a concept, with promotion ideas, and all that goes along with it.  Receiving my For the Love of Chocolate Scholarship was a large factor in why I was able to attend The French Pastry School.


FPS: What was the most surprising or eye-opening moment for you so far in the program?

ESW: The most eye opening moment for me was learning that before creativity comes basic (and in some cases not-only-basic) technical skill.   This made me reevaluate how I was working and also made me much more comfortable with creating dishes and menus.


FPS: What are you doing currently in pastry?

ESW:  In January 2012, I am re-concepting and reopening my restaurant in Evanston, Hota.  I will be working as Pastry Chef designing and making the pastries, and also doing basic running-of-business duties. 


FPS: Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you hope to be?

ESW: I really love what I am doing right now.  If I am successful, though, I would like to expand to have a bakery concept attached to the restaurant.  The subjects I like the most, in many ways, are the ones associated with bakeries rather than restaurants: breads, tarts, etc.  I would like to have time to do those things. 


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?

I am so happy with the amount that I have learned and the skills I am taking away with me.  I know that with my many memories, these skills are what will stick with me overtime, as I practice them in my daily life.