French Pastry School: What was your background previous to pastry, and what led you to pursue a pastry education?
Katherine Long: In high school, I took a basic culinary class, which piqued my interest in baking and pastry. When my chef offered a course strictly on Baking and Pastry, the following semester, I jumped at it. As a senior in high school, I did an Independent Study with my chef where I was able to bake anything that interested me. Throughout high school, I competed in Baking & Pastry competitions, where I furthered my love of pastry. Additionally, throughout my years at college, I worked at a gluten-free bakery near my house during my winter and summer vacations.
FPS: What has been the most surprising or eye-opening moment for you so far in the program?
KL: I think the most surprising or eye-opening moment in the program, for me, dealt with the sugar class. The sugar candies and sugar showpiece classes were definitely my favorite, because they were not only whimsical and fun, but they were also a lot of work. The fact that sugar is so temperamental and can be changed so quickly and easily, through as simple as handling it in a different way, really opened my eyes to how much technique and work goes into this fading art form.
FPS: What are your plans following graduation?
KL: Post-graduation, I am hoping to find a job as a pastry cook or baker somewhere in Virginia.
FPS: Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you hope to be?
KL: In five years, I’d love to be established in a bakery or at a restaurant and to be working toward having a place of my own.
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?
KL: What I’m going to remember most vividly and fondly from The French Pastry School is how amazing the instructors and classes are. I have met so many great people and made so many close friends throughout the program that I know I will still keep in contact with even after we all part ways at the end of the program.