Kristin Hamberg’s journey from amateur baker to Culinary Olympics gold medallist

In the competitive world of culinary arts, bagging a gold award at the Culinary Olympics probably ranks among the proudest of achievements. For Kristin Hamberg, an alumna of the Culinary Arts Academy in Switzerland, this dream became a sparkling reality.

Kristin Hamberg's journey from amateur baker to Culinary Olympics gold medallist 1Kristin played a vital role in the Swedish team’s recent win, designing the desserts that helped them to clinch gold at the prestigious culinary competition. Her journey from a 10-year-old girl watching bakery videos on YouTube to culinary champ is a testament to the propulsive power of drive and education.

Reflecting on her victory, Kristin says,

It was amazing! It was such a relief because we actually competed in the World Cup in 2022 and came in fourth place. That was really hard, and I can definitely say it feels much better to win than to lose! It was a big relief, and doing it with a team was awesome.

Education that caters to success

Kristen credits much of her success to her year spent studying at the Culinary Arts Academy. “As a young girl in the industry, it can be quite intimidating to try to achieve your goals, but taking that first step, going to Switzerland and studying at the Culinary Arts Academy, really pushed me in the right direction. After that, I thought, ‘While I’m on this roll, I can just keep on going!'”.

Kristin Hamberg's journey from amateur baker to Culinary Olympics gold medallist 2Currently freelancing with an exciting new venture just around the corner, Kristin first heard about the Culinary Arts Academy’s Higher Diploma whilst still at high school in Sweden. After exploring another option closer to home, she settled on the venerable Swiss school, drawn to the prospect of studying abroad and learning “the international ways of pastry”. She explains, “I wanted to explore more of what there is abroad and learn more about chocolate, especially. That’s what helped me to make up my mind.”

Over two terms and a six-month internship at the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois in Basel, Kristin honed her skills in pastry and bakery alongside delving into French lessons and an international business course. She found the instruction style at the Academy conducive to growth and creativity, praising the teachers as “very, very talented and very good at sharing their knowledge.”

With an average class size of around 15 students, Kristin felt she was in an environment that facilitated individual attention and support. This personalised approach, combined with the opportunities to challenge herself in a “fun and exciting way”, allowed her to flourish academically and creatively.Kristin Hamberg's journey from amateur baker to Culinary Olympics gold medallist 3

Beyond academics, the Culinary Arts Academy fosters networking opportunities for students, which Kristin describes as “a big priority for the school”. “Normally, in the restaurant industry, there aren’t a lot of digital opportunities to network, but the school encourages you to get on LinkedIn or apps and get out into the world. It’s definitely scary, but it’s important to take chances and not be afraid; that helps a lot.”

The post-grad pastry path

Following her completion of the programme, Kristin swiftly landed a job at the hotel where she completed her internship, and from there, her career “just kicked off”. Reflecting on the opening of this pivotal door, she recalls, “Without the school, it would have been tough to force yourself out and achieve your dreams, but they helped a lot with that.”

Kristin’s journey exemplifies the remarkable career opportunities afforded to students at the Culinary Arts Academy. In her words: “I’m really happy that I went down the path that I did. It opened up a lot of doors, and without the school, I would probably not be where I am today. So I’m just very grateful for that.”

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