The French Pastry School: What was your background previous to studying pastry and what led you to pursue a pastry education?
Carla Lorenzetti: Prior to pastry school, I was working at a treatment facility for troubled youth in Upstate New York. I had some health issues and became sick and needed a new career path. I loved to bake and so pastry school seemed like a good place for me to expand my talents. After other expenses, my scholarship from For the Love of Chocolate gave me what I needed to get started down this path.
FPS: What was the most surprising or eye-opening moment for you so far in the program?
CL: In the program I learned so much. I knew there were a lot of areas to pastry and baking but I didn’t realize how endless the possibilities really are. I know that when I thought of pastry I always thought of cakes, pies, and cookies. I never imagined that I could cook a pastry for any meal, either savory or sweet!
FPS: What are you doing currently in pastry?
CL: Currently, I have returned to work for the same children’s facility I was working at before, but have started a baking program to help teach children how to cook and bake to be able to survive on their own upon discharge. I also make specialty cakes and desserts for a local catering company.
FPS: Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you hope to be?
CL: In five years, I hope to see myself in my own pastry shop. Growing up in a large Italian family and community, desserts and, more importantly, breads are a big part of family dinner so I would love to open a shop to keep the traditions alive for generations to come.
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?
CL: Looking back on my time at The French Pastry School I will remember many things. Most importantly, though, I’ll remember the people. I have never been a part of such a great “family.” I think that is the way that I thought of my instructors and administrators: as a family. Coming from a small town in Upstate New York to the fast paced world of Chicago was a huge change for me and everyone at The French Pastry School was so incredibly welcoming and caring. Everyone was extremely accommodating and understanding. I knew that no matter what I needed, school related or personal, I could talk to any of them. It was very comforting and made my experience there that much better. I was nervous about how classes would go and they were wonderful, I learned so much, but in a new city knowing nobody was scary and everyone there made me feel right at home.