A Note on Trailing

A blog by 2013 Professional Pastry Arts graduate Julie Couture.

In the culinary world, in-person interviews are a piece of the puzzle in getting a job. In order for employers to decide if they want to hire you, they ask you to do a trail.

Like many people new to this industry, I had no clue what this meant. I soon learned a trail involves working a few hours at the establishment. The responsibilities on each trail can vary based on the chef. On my trails, I was asked to make brownies, lime filling, and granola.

I’ve made all of these items – or variations of them – in school or at home. It is a different story when making recipes in a new, unfamiliar kitchen.

Some people thrive in these conditions. Adrenaline flows, stress builds and these thrivers turn out one recipe after another as though it is child’s play. Others, like me, feel immense pressure, making me wonder where my brain is hiding.

If you do well under pressure, I salute you. If you don’t, all is not lost.

With most things, continually doing something can help improve your confidence. Going on trails in different kitchens and making various recipes can better your skillset. Sure, it’s a tad nerve-wracking, but so was learning how to ride a bike and you figured that out, right? With practice and patience, success will happen.

Lest you get discouraged because you make mistakes, remember that making mistakes is part of the process. Those who are the most proficient and most revered in their chosen fields didn’t get there overnight. Rather, they spent weeks, months and years practicing and making mistakes in order to get where they are today.

Nothing beats a fail but a try. When it comes to trails, try…and keep trying.

Learn more about Julie’s class: Professional Pastry Arts