Kimberly has always loved to bake and cook, and she developed a particularly strong love for baking, she said, after having children. Following her discovery of the educational opportunities at The French Pastry School at City Colleges of Chicago, she realized that baking was something she could seriously pursue. She left her job, decided to follow her dream, enrolled in the full-time program, L’Art de la Pâtisserie at The French Pastry School in January, 2009, and turned her hobby into her vocation.
“The first few weeks killed me!” said Kimberly. She encountered a great deal more strenuous mental and physical activity in her daily schedule than she was used to but appreciated the challenge. She’s proud of the work she did in the program, and loves it when people are pleased with something she makes. The most exciting part for her was to be able to recreate a recipe after seeing a demonstration by her chef instructor. “In one day, to be able to do that! They teach it so well that in one day, you can do it too. That’s the coolest thing.”
“They teach [a recipe] so well that in one day, you can do it too.”
Originally, Kimberly was most excited about wedding cakes. Candies were a thrill for her, too, especially to see her nieces and nephews react to the homemade treats she brought for them. “Aunty can make candy!” they said to Kimberly.
Her education at The French Pastry School helped prepare her tremendously. She loved her chef instructors, their character, their attitude, appreciated their expertise, and the positive environment they created. “Their experiences are so fascinating, and a little scary!” Kimberly felt their stories about the “real world” better prepared her for her new career in pastry.
Currently, Kimberly is working toward opening her own business while developing and creating recipes and building her clientele. She aims to have a business that offers great support to her employees, enabling them to be able to “get home to their families.” Family life is very important to her. She particularly wants to give back to her community by helping young parents. Kimberly also hopes to one contribute to For the Love of Chocolate Foundation, saying she would not have been able to attend The French Pastry School if she hadn’t received the scholarship.