French Pastry School: What was your background previous to pastry, and what led you to pursue a pastry education?
Angela Wascher: From 2006 to 2010, I worked toward earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hospitality Management from Northern Michigan University. During my freshman year, I met a girl who had already attended The French Pastry School and absolutely loved the experience. That's when I first started researching the school. I've always loved baking and have been determined since I was 17 to learn all that I can about pastry and have a career in the industry. My senior year in college, I considered pursuing a concentrated and accelerated education in the pastry arts, and decided to apply to L’Art de la Pâtisserie. I enrolled in the July, 2010 session.
FPS: What has been the most surprising or eye-opening moment for you so far in the program?
AW: I've been most surprised by how much I enjoy working with sugar, specifically building sugar showpieces. There are so many different creations you can make with just a small amount of sugar and water. From pulling and casting to blowing and shaping, I love being able to manipulate the sugar into various shapes to create an interesting showpiece.
FPS: What have you been doing since graduation?
I returned to Bellaire, Michigan and am working for Friske Orchards Inc. at their Farm Market. I am one of two full-time bakers at the Market and love every second of it. They trust me with all the baked goods. We make several bread and pastry varieties, but the biggest seller is definitely the pies. The Friskes use fruit from their farm which is a few hundred acres of land, and has been in the family since 1962. They grow apples, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, rhubarb, apricots and pears. I love my job and hope to continue working with the Friskes for several years.
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?
AW: The people. I will of course remember my chef instructors and the knowledge they shared with us about the craft and the business, but the most vivid memories will be centered around my classmates. My class was made up of wildly different backgrounds and personalities that came together to learn about just as diverse pastries. All the little things that happened are ingrained in my mind.