By: Ryan Hodros, Culinary Arts Graduate
You might remember Rose McPherson from my new perspectives piece from last year detailing her new and exciting career as a pastry chef at the Empire Lounge. I caught back up with Rose to see what she’s been up to over the past year and find out if her Escoffier experience prepared her for her time in the industry so far.
How did you learn about Escoffier in the first place?
Finding Escoffier was kind of just luck. I have wanted to go to a culinary school since I was 10. It was always a passion of mine. During my last year of high school, I was having some trouble finding which school to go to that wasn’t going to cost me an arm and a leg. I found several, but none that felt like a good fit for me. My older sister told me about Escoffier, so I thought I would check it out and it turned out to be the one. I am still very happy with my decision.
What have you been doing since you graduated Escoffier?
Since pastry school, I have worked at The Empire Lounge and Restaurant and am now working at Bittersweet Café and Confections.
What have those jobs been like?
Both of these jobs have been great experience and I have learned several different things from working at each. Some things that don’t even have to do with pastry arts (oh no!!).
How prepared do you think you were by your time at Escoffier?
I think I was pretty prepared after graduating at Escoffier, but mostly just in the skills. I don’t think I was as prepared as I could have been for working in a real kitchen. Working in a real kitchen and pastry school are two very different things and I don’t think I was prepared for the change.
Do you miss Pastry school?
I miss pastry school so much, but mostly because I miss being surrounded by my friends, doing what I love, and learning something new everyday.
Do you keep in contact with your classmates?
Absolutely! I became really good friends with several of my classmates and I try to keep in contact with them as much as I can. That can get difficult though sometimes. Life occasionally gets in the way.
What advice do you have for Escoffier students about to go out into the workforce for the first time?
Keep an open mind about everything. You never know what you can learn and/or from who. Also, don’t get discouraged if you make a mistake. Trust me, I have made plenty mistakes and some of them had me wondering if I chose the right career path. Don’t let that happen. Take a deep breath, and remember what made you go to Escoffier in the first place.