The French Pastry School: What was your background previous to pastry, and what led you to pursue a pastry education?
Leah Newton: Being 18, I really don’t necessarily have a background previous to pastry. I have always loved to bake and wanted to be a pastry chef. I started a farmer’s market business, One Nerd Bakery, when I was 15 to raise money for college. When I was 17, I toured The French Pastry School and knew it was the place for me. The For the Love of Chocolate scholarship helped me get here.
FPS: What has been the most surprising or eye-opening moment for you so far in the program?
LN: It is crazy how much you can learn in such a short period of time. One week I'm making plated desserts, the next I'm doing sugar work... I never imagined myself making sugar and chocolate showpieces, but low and behold I did and can make them!
FPS: What are your plans following graduation?
LN: After I graduate the L’Art de la Pâtisserie program I will be returning to The French Pastry School to attend the L’Art du Gâteau program in the spring.
FPS: Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you hope to be?
LN: Looking toward the future, I see myself back in my hometown with One Nerd Bakery as a brick and mortar bakery thriving in our downtown community.
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?
LN: What I believe I will remember the most about my time at the school will be all the people I have met. It is remarkable to me how you can start the program as a class of complete strangers and in this short time build such strong relationships. It’s almost like a family. The same goes to the chefs and staff. I will remember them just as fondly.