Someone recommended (very smartly) that I should have a FAQ page on my site. I agreed, but then I did Nothing about it. I’m now remedying that. 1. Are you a real pastry chef? I attended culinary school, graduated at the top of my class and held the position of pastry cook, pastry sous chef and pastry chef and restaurants in Central Florida. I no longer work in a professional kitchen. Take that information for what it’s worth. 2. What’s your deal, anyway? I mean, there are tons of cooking websites. I agree with you. There are tons of cooking websites out there. My “deal” is that I’m about much more than teaching recipes. If you wander around my site and blog enough, you’ll see that there are relatively few recipes listed, mainly because recipes make me itch. I look at recipes as a marriage of an ingredient list and a list of techniques. My emphasis is on the techniques so that you can then apply them to many different recipes. I also want to share ways for you to elevate home-style desserts to restaurant showstoppers. Plus, I’m Rather Charming, and lots of people even find me Helpful. And Hilarious. 3.  Do you take all of your own pictures? Nope. I take lots of my own pictures with my Olympus point and shoot, and I am getting better at lighting, composition, editing, etc. But, I consider the photos on my site to be more about illustrating a point or as examples or for emphasis. I’m not out here on the Hinternets to create Food Pr0n. There are plenty of folks out here who do that beautifully, and I often fall prey to their wiles. All pictures that I borrow from other folks are Creative Commons licensed photos, and the picture will always link back to their flickr photostream (or from whence it came). As much as I strive to be, I am not perfect. If I have failed to credit you properly, please send me an email at onlinepastrychef at yahoo dot com, and I will make sure to give you the credit you deserve. 4. Will you help me with my project for school? I am happy to answer interview questions, and I do it rather frequently. Before you ask, please make sure that you:
  • have a reasonable email address. Sorry, but it’s hard to take someone seriously whose email address is [email protected].
  • use a reasonable font. You know, like Times New Roman or Arial. If you’re feeling spunky, go with Verdana.
  • please check your spelling and punctuation, or get someone else to proofread for you. I was a teacher, remember?
  • do not tell me on a Thursday that you need it “by Monday for a class.” That’s your deadline, not mine.
I say all of this not to be icky or Difficult, but if you want me to take you seriously and answer you as a professional, please present yourself in a professional manner. For more on this subject, click here. 5. I’m looking for a recipe for…You are welcome to search up on the Recipes page up top there. See it? If you can’t find what you’re looking for, shoot me an email or ask on the facebook page. I’ll be happy to help. 6. Can I use your recipe on my own blog or site? Sure. You can use them just as written, but I would Smile and Smile if you used them as inspiration and then do your own thing with them. I’d appreciate a link to my place, but I shan’t hunt you down and Speak Sternly to you if you decide to lift a recipe. After all, you have to live with yourself. 7. Does The Beloved have a name? Yes. First one who gets it (who doesn’t know us In Real Life) gets a wee prize. If you can think of any other questions that should be on the FAQ page, please let me know. If you have specific baking or pastry questions–about methods, ingredients, equipment or whatever–shoot me an email at onlinepastrychef at yahoo dot com, leave a comment here or go post it on the fan page. I’ll answer in a reasonably timely manner either through a post, a reply to your comment or via email.