January 2, 2014

Student Spotlight: Melissa Reimer


Melissa Reimer, Culinary Arts October 2012, Pastry Arts September 2013

Student Melissa Reimer knew that after high school graduation she wanted to attend pastry school. Encouraged by her family to not only attend a pastry program, but a culinary one as well, Reimer can share first-hand the benefit of attending both programs (Culinary Arts October 2012, Pastry Arts September 2013). Here Reimer shares a bit about how she chose to attend Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, her plans for the future, and why it’s okay to make mistakes in class.

Escoffier: How did you choose to attend Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts?
Reimer: Because they focus on cooking. I don’t have to take pointless classes; I can just come to school and cook all day and all night. I can just do what I love.

Escoffier: If you want to be a pastry chef, why attend both the Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts programs?
Reimer: I actually wanted to do the pastry program first, but my family told me to do culinary first and then pastry so that I can be well rounded within the industry. I see that now; it benefits me. For example, as a pastry chef, if you’re needed on the line you can do that. Or, you can bake a cake. [Having both culinary and pastry training] makes you more valuable.

Escoffier: Does your experience in Culinary Arts affect how you approach pastry? Or vice versa?
Reimer: [Culinary Arts training] has been helping sweet and savory come together for me. Pastry is more of a science, so I might be more aware, more careful, when approaching cooking.

Escoffier: Tell us a bit about your goals after graduation.
Reimer: Ultimately I want to open a bakery one day…which I kind of am doing right now with some other people. We are going to start out as a food truck (in the Boulder area) with a breakfast and lunch menu before opening a storefront. It’s going to be called Sugar High Bakery. I heard about the position through a friend. [The other team members] don’t have baking experience so I would get to do menu ideas!

Escoffier: Wow; that sounds really cool! Knowing this next step, does it affect how you approach class each day?
Reimer: It is definitely making me pay attention in school more and has me thinking of garnishes. It also has me thinking more [intensely] about the business aspect and [generally] gets me more interested in pastry.

Escoffier: Do you feel that school is preparing you to start a business?
Reimer: Oh yeah, school has such nice support groups. If I am unsure of something I can just go talk to a chef and they can help me. There’s an endless amount of help here. Right now, I need to ask Chef Ashlea for a carrot cake recipe. I haven’t had much luck and she seems very resourceful.

Escoffier: Would you recommend students take both programs?
Reimer: Yeah, I would because it makes you more valuable. Be ready, it is high-paced and quick. You start and then you are done. I wish I had taken culinary more seriously because it is a great program. Give it your all; you may mess up, but it’s school; you can’t get fired at school.