Wisconsin native attends Kendall College
After completing every available culinary and baking class offered in high school including a course at Western Technical College, Leslie Burch knew that a career in baking and pastry arts was in her future. In order to achieve her career goals, she applied for a WBA Scholarship to pursue her education. After reviewing her application, the Scholarship Committee awarded her a $1,000 scholarship.
“I was so excited when I received the phone call from Dave Schmidt telling me I was selected to receive this scholarship!” Burch told us. She felt it was an honor that the Wisconsin Bakers Association wanted to support her in achieving her dreams in the industry. She also stated, “There aren’t many scholarships out there for students like me. I couldn’t be happier and am so thankful for this scholarship!”
Burch is currently enrolled in the Baking and Pastry program at Kendall College and expects to graduate in December 2014 with plans to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in business at Kendall as well. In high school, Burch attended one of Kendall College’s summer camps for baking, pastry arts, and cake decorating. After experiencing two weeks at Kendall College, Burch realized that a career in baking and pastry arts was her calling and decided to enroll.
After finishing her first quarter at Kendall College, Burch thoroughly enjoyed the Intro. to Baking class. It covered just the basics: quick breads, pies, cookies and bread. She really enjoyed the bread making portion. Having no experience with bread baking prior to the class, Leslie found that she really liked it.
Prior to moving to Chicago for school, Burch worked at the Festival Foods bakery in her hometown of Onalaska, Wisconsin where she decorated cakes for over a year. Her responsibilities included decorating cupcakes and cookies for the service case and occasionally helping out with special order cakes. She also made éclairs, whoopie pies, and cream puffs as well. “It was a great experience to work at Festival Foods and get a taste of the industry before making the commitment to attend culinary school,” stated Burch.
Living in Chicago, learning the art of baking and pastry, and traveling the world through internships are the things that Burch is looking forward to most. Her career goals include becoming a certified executive pastry chef and working as an executive pastry chef either at a hotel, restaurant, or a country club. She would also like to decorate wedding cakes and create beautiful sugar showpieces.
When she does manage to find some free time, Burch said that she is just like every other college kid. She enjoys spending time with her friends, going to the beach, shopping, and attending plays and musicals. “Chicago is an awesome place to go to school, since it offers so much to do when I’m not busy with homework.” Burch added.
In addition to Burch’s strong desire to learn, she also has a desire to compete! “I am trying out for Kendall’s Knowledge Bowl team, which competes through the American Culinary Federation all over the nation. I am also planning on competing in some local competitions, specifically the American Culinary Federation student competition in Columbus, Ohio this November.”