The French Pastry School: What was your background previous to pastry, and what led you to pursue a pastry education?
Vivika Rechtschaffen: I have a background in music and have been playing classical violin for over ten years. After attending one of the top arts high schools in the country, I realized I wanted music to be more of a hobby rather than a serious career. My love of food and using my hands to create art makes pastry and cake decorating the perfect career for me.
FPS: What has been the most surprising or eye-opening moment for you so far in the program?
VR: The most surprising part of the program is realizing how much time and effort go into building and decorating a single wedding cake. There are so many small details that can be added to a cake’s design, and the techniques we learn are applicable to pretty much any design you could think of. There are endless possibilities!
FPS: What are your plans following graduation?
VR: My plan is to find an apprenticeship in Denmark following graduation or work in Los Angeles for some time. I really want to learn as much about pastry as I possibly can, and luckily, my dual-citizenship allows me to work anywhere in Europe.
FPS: Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you hope to be?
VR: In five years I see myself either working at various pastry shops around Europe, or possibly landing a hotel job that will allow me to work at different chains around the world. My ultimate goal is to open my own Danish pastry shop in my hometown of Los Angeles – once I feel that I’m ready and experienced enough.
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?
VR: I will most vividly remember my experiences staging in various establishments around Chicago. I helped out with production in a couple of restaurants/ pastry shops, and was an intern pastry plater at Sepia for one month. It was great getting to see how kitchens are organized and operate differently from each other.