“After four years of studying medicine, we started baking”

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Ava et Charles, 25 ans, vivent aujourd'hui de leurs formations en ligne en pâtisserie.

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Posted on Jul 7, 2021 at 8:08 amUpdated Sep 17, 2021 11:45 AM

“Charles and I met in high school, where we were in the same class. Initially friends, we got into a relationship during the summer which followed obtaining our bac S. At the start of the following school year, we began our medical studies together, at the university of Caen (Calvados).

Despite our hard work, we repeated our first year. The years that followed were also very intense and dedicated to cramming. We weren’t very fulfilled but we told ourselves that things would get better in fourth year, where we started to come into contact with patients during internships.

“Not ready”

In the end, this moment that we were impatiently awaiting was very disappointing. During the internship, we were faced with cold department heads, closed, not listening to patients. Many caregivers were at their wit’s end and lived a stressful daily life due to the lack of staff, beds, resources and tensions between nurses and doctors. We also realized that doctors worked incredible schedules that left them little time to see their spouses and children. That being a doctor meant being with sick patients on a daily basis. We weren’t mentally ready to go through all of this and we couldn’t imagine spending our whole life like this.

An event was triggered for Charles. It was during an internship in the emergency room. The doctors were overwhelmed and left him in autonomy even though he was not qualified. He made a misdiagnosis that should not have happened if the emergency room was functioning with the necessary means. This event traumatized him. It also confirmed the fact that he did not want to continue in medicine. In January 2018, in the middle of the fourth year, he left the benches of the university.

Make the show a springboard

What to do ? When you dedicate your life to studies, it’s hard to know what you appreciate outside. We liked watching the show “Le Meilleur pâtissier” on M6 and baking from time to time. Charles said to himself that it would be incredible to integrate the following season, to go far, and to make it a springboard to start a business. A bet on the future. Every day, he set out to try at least two recipes. He was studying cooking books, following tutorials on YouTube. He took notes, was very studious. In parallel, he sent his application to the show.

I preferred to continue my studies. I was disappointed with the medicine, but not disgusted. And I said to myself that it was essential that we have a back-up plan if ever it was not chosen. By validating my fourth year, it assured me of being able to work as a nurse.

When we called Charles for the castings, he felt like he was gambling our life. He knew that if he was not selected, he would have to start from scratch and think about his direction. And conversely, if he was taken, a new life opened up to us. But he and I were lucid: the notoriety he could get from the show would be fleeting, you would have to be strategic to take advantage of it.

A YouTube channel to start

When he found out he was taken it was a real relief. And what happiness to go to the final! Filming ended in June 2018, before a broadcast in September. In the meantime, we have launched a YouTube recipe channel. The idea was to have a few videos online at the time of the broadcast, so that viewers could follow us.

We were well aware that it would be almost impossible to make a living on YouTube. An idea then caught on: why not launch online training courses on the underside of pastry? When he was preparing for the castings, Charles had struggled to find supports to train from scratch.

In parallel with the broadcast of the show, I continued in the fifth year of medicine, with a modified schedule. In addition to our videos on YouTube, we gave pastry lessons in physics. Charles also took part in demonstrations in stores or at trade fairs. Services that allowed us to live.

Charles climbed to the final of season 7 of the show

Charles climbed to the final of season 7 of the show “Le Meilleur pâtissier”, broadcast in 2018.@charles_et_ava

I finally decided to stop medicine myself, without validating my fifth year. In July 2021, we launched our online training on the charlesetava.com website. We offer nine of them on macaroons, choux pastry, cookies, icings, creams, pasta… They include very complete videos in which we film ourselves to show the gestures, the textures, the material… All are accompanied by detailed written support. The price: between 75 Pounds and 800 Pounds (for the formula including all the training).

These trainings took us a long time to set up. We had a bit of the impostor syndrome, we didn’t really feel legitimate at the start. We worked hard, carried out 36,000 tests to understand why such and such icing worked or not, why such and such cookie went better with such and such cream …

Diversify

Today we make a very good living from this activity. We now use freelancers to manage the video editing, which allows us to free up time and vary our activities. We are also embarking on the production of content with other pastry enthusiasts. The idea: to produce training videos alongside them. The firsts, with pastry chef Aurélien Cohen, are due out in September on our platform.

When we decided to quit medicine, our loved ones were very kind and supported us morally and financially. On the side of our classmates, some took us a bit for crazy (laughs). We were told that medicine brought financial security, job security and social status. May be. But today, we are fulfilled and we recognize ourselves in this adage: “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” “

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