Business & Economics Degree Department | Baking & Pastry Arts

Baking & Pastry Arts - Frequently Asked Questions


Who can attend? Do I need to have a culinary background? What degrees and certificates are offered?

A diverse group enrolls in the program. Although it is not a requirement, it helps to have some outside experience so that students understand the career they are pursuing. It is advisable to remember that professional baking can be a physically demanding career and hand skills are important. CSI currently offers a Post-Secondary Certificate, a Technical Certificate and a two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree. *Application and Instructor approval is required for enrollment the program

Will there be reading, math or homework?

Students are required to read the textbook and study at home. Students are also required to read formulas (recipes) accurately in class. Basic math and comfort with numbers.

What does a typical day in the Baking & Pastry Program look like?

Although some theory is taught in the kitchen through demonstration and hands-on learning, there are classroom lectures, quizzes and, semester projects. Students prepare products for the student-run Desert Café and other catered events. Every day in the kitchen includes cleaning and sanitizing the bakeshop lab, equipment and tools. This program includes heavy lifting, and operating commercial bakery equipment. Ovens and burners are hot and work in the bakeshop lab is done while standing. Although students will learn some decoration techniques, this is not a cake decorating class or a “Home Economics” class. The focus is on the science of professional baking & pastry with the intention of gaining employment in one of the many facets of the baking industry.

What is the job outlook when I finish?

Upon graduation, students should have a good beginning foundation for a career in baking & pastry. Success depends on your willingness start at the bottom to work your way up through the business, which can be a long process. There are several in-store bakeries in the Magic Valley as well as restaurants, hotels and resorts in the Wood River Valley and Jackpot. Opportunities for networking with Pastry Chefs around the U.S., and the world, may be discussed with the instructor. Students should be aware that time, practice; patience and enthusiasm are the keys to success in the food industry.

What you should know about culinary school:

It is a commitment. The popularity of food TV programs has boosted interest in culinary arts and has sometimes glamorized it unrealistically. Students are encouraged to research their field of interest before enrolling. Success requires focus, dedication and effort. Pastries, in particular, require the three P's: patience, passion and precision.

What are the costs?

Textbook: Professional Baking by Wayne Gisslen
9781118456286 - Bundle - $140

What’s in the bundle?
9781118083741 - Text - $106.75
9781118158333 - Study Guide - $40
9781118431375 - WileyPLUS CLM card - $66
9781118233672  - Method card - $26.75

Approved Uniforms: (From www.newchef.com. Students must use CSI access code from instructor for correct uniform logos and prices. Includes CSI logo and personalization, 3 chefs jackets, 2 pants, and 2 caps) Approx. $100-$120.00

*The costs of the following items are variable depending on the student’s choice of quality, and purchase location. Please wait until after orientation to purchase these items. We will go over them together in class.

  • Shoes: Black, closed-toed, flat-soled, non-skid, non-sneaker, work shoes: $30 to $100 (variable). Again, please wait until after orientation to purchase these.
  • Pocket Calculator: $5.00 to $10 (variable)
  • Personal Timer: $10.00 to $15.00 (variable)
  • 3”-Thick, Heavy Duty Binder and report covers for bench book project (Baking formulas):
  • Binder $15.00 (variable)
  • Covers $10.99 per 100 (variable)
  • Heavy Duty Washable Dividers X 3 8-tab sets: $18 (variable)
  • Sharpie Original (5-pack $4.79) (variable)

Bakeshop Lab Tools

  • Digital Scale Minimum 11 Lb (Must weigh in increments of 1/4 Ounce and weigh both metric and imperial weights: $30-$100.00 (variable)
  • Personal Timer: $10.00 to $15.00 (variable)
  • Optional:
    • Offset metal spatula: $10-20 (variable)
    • 14-inch Serrated Cake Knife: $20-50 (variable)
    • French Knife (aka “Chef’s Knife): $15-80 (variable)
    • Paring Knife: $5-$20 (variable)
    • Decorating Supplies: (variable)
      *Small tubes: Rose, Leaf, Plain & star
      *Large Tubes: Plain and star tubes in a variety of sizes.
      *Large Rose Nail
      *One large Pastry Bag (18 or 24-inches) $5-25 (variable)
      *One small (12-16-inches): $5-25 (variable)

Approximate Total
Textbook and approved uniform: $260.00
Tools and other required supplies: Ranges from approximately $225.00 to approximately $600.00.