After completing her undergraduate program at Ohio State University, Kaitlin Bolt knew she wanted to go to pastry school. Kaitlin had practiced and competed in synchronized swimming for 12 years, and discovered pastry to be the first thing since swimming that she could truly connect with. After beginning a job at Pistacia Vera, she experienced the “ah-ha” moment, realizing that pastry was indeed her passion, staying with the dessert boutique in Columbus for one year. Her chefs encouraged her to continue her pastry education at The French Pastry School, and Kaitlin took their advice.
Kaitlin enrolled in the January, 2010 session of the six-month long L’Art de la Pâtisserie. Whenever finishing a two-week segment on a particular topic, she felt proud of the work she’d done, and subsequently loved seeing the excited reactions from people she shared her delicious projects with. As for her favorite topic, Kaitlin couldn’t decide on just one. In wedding cakes, she enjoyed working with the decorations, color, and miniscule details. With bread, she was fascinated by the process of taking four basic ingredients and employing different techniques to make so many different types of beautiful loaves. Being able to transform chocolate and sugar into works of art amazed her. Kaitlin found sugar work to be a real challenge, realizing the care and diligence required in working with the delicate medium. In sculpture, she devoted particularly focused concentration:
“There are so many factors to think about,” said Kaitlin. “At the end of the sculpture section, you feel proud of what you’ve made in just one week, and you also realize how much practice it takes, how far you could go.”
Getting to know her fellow students and the people in her new pastry community was a very rewarding aspect of the program. She appreciated being surrounded by students with different backgrounds and finding a common ground in artisan pastry. Kaitlin especially valued “being able to learn from some of the top pastry chefs in the world, and they’re always available.”
Following graduation, Kaitlin took an internship at Blackbird in Chicago, working for fellow alumnus, Pastry Chef Patrick Fahy, who recently was nominated for a James Beard Award and named a “Rising Star” by StarChefs.com. Kaitlin looks forward to continuing with her what she learned at The French Pastry School and applying those values to her future work, knowing that the knowledge, techniques, and skills gained in her program have prepared her for a successful, rewarding career.