On the Job: Pastry Chef

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — This week, the Good Morning Richmond crew is going on the job where you live to try all sorts of different careers.

Whitney Harris and Amanda Malkowski both enjoy cooking, so they thought they would see what it takes to be a real pastry chef at Whisk Bakery in Richmond.

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From croissants, to macaroons, to eclairs; the two got to try their hand at several French pastries. The bakers at Whisk make it look easy, but they soon found out it’s much harder than it looks.

“We do everything from scratch and by hand,” said Morgan Botwinick, the owner and executive pastry chef at Whisk. “We like to play with traditional French technique, but infuse it with some more contemporary flavors — things that are more nostalgic for people, more American, something that evokes a memory for people.”

Morgan Botwinick, owner and executive pastry chef at Whisk
Morgan Botwinick, owner and executive pastry chef at Whisk

Most of what they make is a lot more complicated than the traditional cookies and cakes.

“Croissants are a six-hour process, and we make those every single day. When you get it, it’s this tiny little thing, but actually, it starts the day before. Someone comes in at 4:45 in the morning and starts working on them,” said Earl Vallery, the lead pastry chef at Whisk.

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The delicate pastries are easy to mess up. If we waited for Whitney to fill eclairs, we would be there are all week! But they were worth the wait.

Overall, we got great reviews.

“You did great. macaroon building, great. croissant shaping, great. the eclair bite in particular, was probably the weakest thing that happened today,” Vallery said.

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