About the concentration:
A Baking Concentration within the Culinary Arts A.O.S. degree program is a great way for students with a zest for baking to learn how to create everything from chocolate espresso cakes and fresh fruit tarts to scones and regional American and classical breads. Their fresh creations are then sold at Pane e Dolci, the popular on-campus bakery open to the public as customers walk away with their savory pastries and breads.
The School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism has a wood-fired oven on campus constructed by Patrick Manley, a highly-regarded oven builder. The oven combines modern masonry techniques and materials with a classic style oven dating back to the Romans. Wood-fired baking and cooking has enjoyed a resurgence and is being featured in restaurants and bakeries across the country. Our lead baking professors, Chefs Susan Hatalsky and Vanessa Traver, are passionate fans of wood-fired baking and utilize the oven with their commercial baking classes and for special events. As the oven gradually cools, it is used for roasting, slow cooking and drying by other second year culinary classes.
In fall 2021, the College opened a new Confections Lab in the Mill Lane Artisan District in downtown Schenectady. The Confections Lab features a roaster, winnower, nib grinder, melanger, sifter, and enrobing, tempering, and conching machines. The lab also features three large monitors and cameras that follow the professor so as they are teaching at the front of the lab, students will follow along at their stations.
Students will learn the process of making chocolate from start to finish and how to make other confections from chocolate and sugar. The skills covered in courses in the new Confections Lab will prepare students for careers in bakeries as pastry chefs, chocolatiers, as well as other roles in the Culinary and Hospitality fields that require knowledge of chocolate and confections.
"The Baking Concentration affords students an opportunity to focus and explore the pastry arts. The program provides a total of eight baking classes, each of which build upon the previous. Large scale production of breads, pastries, cookies, laminated dough, chocolate and confections, and much more provide students with a real-world experience."