Interview with Molly, Diplôme de Pâtisserie alumna
Molly Wilkinson worked for 7 years in marketing before following her passion for pastry. In 2013, she left the United States to come to France by studying the Diplôme the Pâtisserie at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. Upon graduating, she spent time working in patisseries across the United States and France. Now, she teaches private classes and online classes at her home in Versailles and she’s taking the next step in her patisserie journey with her cookbook, French Pastry Made Simple: Foolproof Recipes for Éclairs, Tarts, Macarons and More..
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Molly and I am from Dallas, Texas originally. I started working in digital marketing and it was actually my HR person that put in my mind the idea of going to culinary school! After several years of bringing desserts into work almost every week and baking in my spare time, I decided to look into schools. I had studied abroad in France, in Paris, and loved the city and this was the perfect time to return to the home of pastry. I made up my mind and started the journey of exploring baking more and ultimately changing careers. That is when I decided to go to Le Cordon Bleu Paris in 2013.
After graduating, I did my internship at La Fabrique de Gâteaux in Paris and I loved it. There were only two women chefs and me. It was a fantastic experience because I was able to learn everything that they were doing in the patisserie. I worked at several places in both Dallas and France and ultimately decided teaching pastry was my true joy.Why did you choose Le Cordon Bleu Paris?
I chose Le Cordon Bleu Paris because of the prestige, how well it’s known in the world, and the calibre of the Chefs. I knew that I would get an excellent education.
What did you learn?
Everything! Before going to culinary school, I only knew American pastries, such as cakes and cookies. This is not pastry. By going here, I loved how the program was set up because each semester we focused on certain types of cake and I found myself doing the recipe several times to where I really knew it and what to do with it. When I returned to the US, I found that my level of expertise was very high based on what I had learned, and it was easy to find a job.What is your favourite memory of your adventure at Le Cordon Bleu Paris?
Making a Croquembouche for the first time. It wasn’t easy but after the class I looked at the person that was standing next to me and we were both like, “Amazing! We need to create a croquembouche shop”! It was fantastic. That is still my favourite dessert to make. What was one of the most important thing you learned while studying?
The fundamentals of French pastry. They were the core of my education and being comfortable in the kitchen creating those increased my overall confidence in baking and skillset. What do you like the most in your job?
I love creating new recipes and teaching people how to make pastries. It is such a joy to see people succeed! My desserts are a combination of the American and French cultures, with a French finesse, that is to say good products, good ingredients, but also very accessible for Americans. What advice would you give to future students?
I would say practice as much as you can, really enjoy your time here because it goes very fast.