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Culinary Arts vs Baking and Confectionery: What is the difference?


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Is watching a cooking show or reading a cookbook your hobby? Do you often like to visit the kitchen and try making a new dish? Then why not make passion your profession? While preparing savory dishes is termed a culinary art, confectionery deals with making desserts or pastries.

But are you wondering which is better, culinary arts or baking and pastry, as a career choice? Here’s a blog that explains the difference between the two fields so that you can make a better decision.


From pan to plate: Culinary arts vs baking and pastry

Here’s a quick overview of the two fields, which will give you a better idea:


What is culinary arts?

Culinary arts is simply the art of cooking. As a chef, you will mainly work on savory dishes, appetizers, main courses, soups, sauces, and more. 

You will use various techniques like grilling, braising, roasting, and other cooking techniques. Chefs focus on the aroma, texture, and flavor of a dish. Thus, you will focus more on experimenting, mixing, and matching flavors to create new dishes.  


What is baking and confectionery?

Confectionery is the art of baking and dessert making. As a baker, you will work on the sweet elements, like cakes or pastries. 

You will use techniques like kneading, mixing, and baking methods to create a perfect dessert. The focus here is on the precision of elements and attention to detail so that you can create an amazing dish.


Spices or sprinkles? Look into the contrasting worlds

What is the difference between culinary arts and baking and pastry? Read on to learn about the unique elements in each field.

Culinary Arts Confectionery
A B.A. degree in culinary arts, where you will learn about various national and international culinary arts. A B.Voc degree in bakery and pastry arts, where you will learn about the fundamentals of baking and advanced baking methods and have an internship program.
After obtaining your UG degree, you can advance to a PG degree, diploma, or other certificate courses. You can opt for a PG program or a diploma course after your UG.
Course duration
Culinary Arts Confectionery
The UG course takes three years and is divided into six semesters. The UG course usually takes two years. However, some universities offer a course for 18 months as well.
Culinary Arts Confectionery
You can opt for specializations like:- Food and beverage, Mixology, Food and styling presentation, Recipe development You can opt for specializations like:- Artistic pastry, Chocolate and pastry, Frozen desserts, Vegan & allergen-free desserts
Course fees and expenses
Culinary Arts Confectionery
Your costs can range from INR 1 lakh to INR 6 lakh. The course fees vary depending on the institute and location. A diploma will cost you between INR 25,000 and INR 50,000. The UG course may cost you between INR 4 lakhs and INR 6 lakhs. The course fees vary depending on the institute and location.
Career scope
Culinary Arts Confectionery
In the culinary arts field, you can explore a range of career opportunities: In the confectionery field, you can work in any of the following roles:
Chef: You can be a private, celebrity, or chef engaged in restaurants. Chocolatier: As a chocolatier, you will work with chocolate delicacies. You will be in charge of tempering the chocolate, molding it, and giving it a shape of your choice.
Food writer: If you love food, but not the process of making it, be a food critic or writer. Cake decorator: As a cake decorator, you will work closely with clients, understand their requirements, and decorate a cake accordingly. You can also work with cake brands or baking houses.
Beverage professional: Beverage is an umbrella term, and under this, you can be a brewer, winemaker, barista, or sommelier. Baking instructor: You can combine the two if you love to teach and bake simultaneously. Be a baking instructor and teach the art of baking to aspiring bakers.
Food photographer: If you love food and photography, consider combining the two. In this role, you will stage foods for aesthetic photographs for magazines or websites. Pastry specialist: You will prepare and bake pastries, cookies, and pies in this role. You can also create attractive menus to engage your customers.
Required skills
Culinary Arts Confectionery
Stress management: In busy hours, a kitchen can become similar to a fish market, with lots of chaos. If you’re adept with stress management, these scenarios would be a cakewalk, and you’d deliver perfect results. Basic mathematics: This might seem strange, but measurements are the key to a baker. Add ingredients in perfect quantities to create a perfect dish and ensure balance.
Quick decision-making: In a kitchen, you may be required to make quick decisions amidst a chaos of instructions. Quick thinking comes in handy here. Creativity: Being creative helps in designing and crafting new dishes. You can also experiment with flavors and create new designs.
Teamwork: As a chef, you will work with a team and the management. So, working with such a variety of contrasting ideas becomes difficult unless you are good with teamwork. Organization: This is a key skill for a baker. You can work on your dish efficiently once your workstation is organized and your ingredients are sorted.

Whip up wonders with a rewarding job!

Once you know the salary figures, you can easily decide on your career. Read about the difference between culinary arts and baking and pastry salary:


Average salary figure in culinary arts

Culinary arts is a vast field with many career options. A private chef can be a first choice, and on average, they make INR 3.5 LPA.


Another attractive career option is to be a chef. Here, you can work for various restaurants and earn an average salary of INR 2.5 LPA.


Other career choices for you:

  • Food technologist
  • Purchasing manager
  • Food safety specialist
  • Beverage director 


Average salary figure in confectionery:

In the confectionery field, you can be a baker who earns an average of INR 2.7 LPA.



How do you choose between culinary arts and baking? 

Here are a few tips on how to choose between culinary arts vs baking and confectionery:

  • Check your interests first, whether you prefer making dinner or pastry.
  • Attempt a few recipes from both the fields to check which one is more comfortable for you.
  • Go for a few cooking classes. This will clarify which field you are more curious about.
  • List your soft skills, and cross-check with the skills demanded in each sector.


Culinary arts vs baking and pastry: Make your delicious choice!

Culinary arts or confectionery, the choice is yours. However, the one thing you must choose wisely is your course. ITM offers the Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Studies where you can study elements from culinary arts and confectionery. This course assures 100% on-the-job training and an opportunity to learn from the best faculty. Visit ITM to learn more about this course.


Frequently asked questions

1) Is formal education mandatory for working in culinary arts or baking and pastry?

No, a degree is not mandatory for working in culinary arts or baking and pastry. A formal degree helps build a strong foundation for your career, but many successful chefs and bakers have learned with experience.

2) I am trained in the culinary arts field. Can I pursue a career in confectionery? 

The two fields are very different in their elements. Hence, it may be difficult for you to switch your career, although not impossible. You may have to rework your skill sets and ideas.

3) Is any internship mandatory for working in culinary arts or baking and pastry?

No, internships are not mandatory for any career in the two fields. It's entirely your choice to opt for an internship, which helps to add work experience to your resume.

4) Is there any scope for higher education in culinary arts?

In this field, you can pursue a master's degree or a diploma as your higher education. You can choose from a food and beverage diploma or kitchen management diploma. A craftsmanship course is another option for your higher studies.

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