The French Pastry School: What was your background previous to pastry, and what led you to pursue a pastry education?
Antero Suarez: After high school, I originally wanted to go into the art of pastries and chocolate, but my career opportunities led me towards the savory end of the culinary business. I have been a Chef for over 25 years and have always appreciated the art of pastries and chocolate. In the last few years, I have been increasingly pulled by my interest particularly in chocolate and confections. Despite my experience in the culinary field, I feel there was much I did not know about baking and working with chocolate. I registered for one of The French Pastry School’s continuing education courses in chocolate and I was hooked. I knew that I wanted to further my education as a way to develop professionally and become better rounded, and that The French Pastry School was the right school to pursue these goals.
FPS: What has been the most surprising or eye-opening moment for you so far in the program?
AS: As an Executive Chef, doing countless of special events and wine dinners, I had the opportunity to experiment with a range of desserts and chocolate creations. But learning from the Masters at The French Pastry School has been a transformative experience. I have been able to discover a completely different way of approaching and executing desserts from what I had been doing all these years. It has been humbling to learn new and innovative techniques and to think differently about desserts and confections.
FPS: What are your plans following graduation?
AS: I am very interested in exploring professional opportunities in the Research and Development side of the business. I would like the freedom to experiment and be creative. I am also looking to establish and build my own business. I think there is still room for growth and innovation as an entrepreneur in the field.
FPS: Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you hope to be?
AS: In five years, I would like to have plenty of opportunities to exercise my creative freedom. More than likely, I will have set up my own business doing catering for special events and celebrations.
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?
AS: When I look back, I will always remember how much I have been in total awe of the talents and accomplishments of the Chefs at the School. It has been a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to be able to learn from the top masters in their field; by Chefs who are recognized as world masters. What a thrill it has been to work with them, to ask questions, and to learn directly from them how they approach the art of pastries and confections!