The French Pastry School: What was your background previous to pastry, and what led you to pursue a pastry education?
Amanda Stimpfl: I knew I wanted to go to pastry school my sophomore year in college. I had absolutely no pastry background but had always been an artsy person and cake decorating interested me because it contained so many different techniques like painting and sculpting. I decided to try my hand at cake making and before I knew it I was decorating cakes for family, friends, and coworkers and I completely fell in love with it. I fell in love with the art and creativity that goes into decorating a cake and I loved that I was making edible art. After I finished college (and continued to make cakes) I decided to take the next step and go to pastry school.
FPS: What has been the most surprising or eye-opening moment for you so far in the program?
AM: My plan was to always own my own specialty cake shop and having chefs who have also owned their own bakeries and pastry shops in the past is amazingly helpful. They give you real life advice on how to run a shop along with stories and do's and don't's of the business. The most surprising thing that I've learned is just how hard it is to own your own shop. Being your own boss is great, but it also comes with a lot of headaches that you have to deal with that come with the territory of owning a business and maintaining that business.
FPS: What are your plans following graduation?
AM: After graduation my initial plan is to head back home to Pennsylvania. I'd like to work in a cake shop somewhere on the East Coast where I can learn more about the industry and add more experience to my pastry education.
FPS: Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you hope to be?
AM: Where do you hope to be? In 5 years (or hopefully sooner) I hope to own my own specialty cake shop somewhere in the Northeast. I want to be able to deliver unique, creative, and amazing cakes that will "wow" the crowd and make a special event even better
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?
AM: I will most definitely look back and remember the people that I've met during these 4 awesome months. I've met some amazing people who I know will be friends for life. These past 4 months have flown by, but it still amazes me how close my Stream mates and I have become. I'm sad to leave, but I know that I will look back at my time at The French Pastry School and know that it was the best decision I could have ever made.