After graduating in October 2017 from our Elite Diplome de Patisserie in Pastry Arts, Gold Summa Cum Laud, Alumna Yamila Orrego opened her own bakery in early 2018. From her engineering career in the oil industry, to opening Lovie Bakery, Yamila never ceases to delight and astonish us!
Name Yamila A. Orrego
Hometown Buenos Aires, Argentina
Current City Houston
Course of Study Elite Diplome de Patisserie
Year of Graduation 2017
Live a life where you can help others and everything else will work out just fine.
What is your story?
I am a graduate engineer from the University of Buenos Aires and have worked 17 years in the oil industry in various countries around the world before settling down in Houston in 2008. During the 2016 recession, I decided to take a break and take a non-degree 10 weeks baking course. But it turned out I liked it so much that I just couldn’t stop. I then enrolled in the whole program and graduated in October 2017. During my internship at a local bakery specializing in wedding cakes, I realized there was more demand that Houston was able to fulfill. I took a few months to get organized, networking and practicing, practicing and practicing some more! Finally, I launched my business, Lovie Bakery, in early 2018. I still have a long way to go, learn and create! Giving the best of myself every day is definitely what keeps me going. I am also intrigued to see how my passion for baking and the business around it will develop.
What did you do before culinary school? Why did you choose CIL?
I was an engineer working in the oil industry, sitting in an office all day! Now I never sit! Well, only sometimes early in the morning or late at night! I remember when I still had a corporate job, I use to daydream about taking a year off and going to France to become a pastry chef. At that time I had no idea there was a French school right here in Houston!
What inspired you to become a chef? How was your journey to becoming a chef?
My passion for baking. I have always baked from an early age along with my mother. My mother would never measure her ingredients; in fact, she never even owned a scale! Her cakes were delicious but my engineer mind would tell me having a scale was probably the right thing to do!
How would you describe the impact of your courses at CIL on your life?
I loved the ambiance in the school, the students, and the chefs. It is really fun and motivating. What I appreciated the most was being in a room with people doing what they really like! I have never experienced that in corporate life!
What is the best memory you keep from the school?
Level 1 & 2 with Chef Yann Migault. He taught me the basics of everything and what it meant to be a professional pastry chef. He once had me redo pastry cream 3 times! Another time I finished icing a cake and it wasn’t perfect but I told him it was “good enough” and there was nothing else I could do with it. I went to look for something in the refrigerator and when I came back I saw he had messed up all my buttercream on top of the cake. He then told me “yes, you can do something else with it, you can redo it!” And I did. And it turned out perfect!!!
I also have great memories of the students I met in my class. We helped each other a lot and had lots of fun. I am hoping these friendships will last a lifetime.
What are your future projects?
Growing my business to do more than just baked products.
What is your signature dish, the one you love the most and why?
Fraisier. I just love the combination of mousseline cream and strawberries. And I add my personal touch to it when I decorate it.
Any words of wisdom or advice for our current and future students who dream of a success story like yours?
If you are really passionate about baking don’t give up even if you think you don’t have the right skills, you will eventually. It takes time and lots of hard work. If there is something you can’t do right, practice one hundred times and you will get it right! Learn from the best, read, read and read some more! Watch videos, use social media, follow great chefs, take courses and be focused!
From macarons to celebration and wedding cakes, her wonderful creations will leave you speechless! Have a look at Lovie Bakery!
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