GUEST CHEFS AT L'ÉCOLE VALRHONA

 

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CHEF ANTONIO BACHOUR
Pastry Chef/Partner Bachour Bakery + Bistro 

For Antonio Bachour, whose earliest memories are kneading dough in his family’s bakery in Puerto Rico, his professional aspirations were simple: he wanted to be a pastry chef.  With three top-selling cookbooks under his name, accolades including “Top 10 Pastry Chefs” in America from Dessert Professional Magazine; International Chef Congress Mainstage presenter and judge; two-time Johnson and Wales Zest Award winner for Baking & Pastry Innovator; repeated guest chef at the prestigious Basque Culinary Center in San Sebastián, and now restaurant owner of celebrated Bachour Bakery + Bistro –he has truly realized his dream.
A graduate of baking and pastry arts at French Culinary Institute, Bachour’s first working years were spent honing his trade in his homeland of Puerto Rico as pasty cook at Sand Hotel and Casino, before moving on to the Westin Rio Mar where he was pastry sous chef from 1996-1999.  A move to the United States in 2000 landed him on Miami Beach where an exploding restaurant scene presented many promising options.  He secured a position as executive pastry chef at the revered Talula Restaurant, where his sweet creations were acknowledged as “Best Dessert” in Miami New Times’ annual “Best Of” issue.  From there, Bachour began to try his hand at Italian delicacies at both Devito South Beach and Scarpetta Miami.
In 2009, Bachour was asked by KNR Food Concepts to be a part of the opening team at the W South Beach Hotel. Shortly thereafter, he took over responsibility for all pastries for The Trump Soho hotel and its restaurants in New York City, as well as pastries for all other KNR properties, a time during which he earned many of the aforementioned awards and accolades. In 2011 Bachour took a position as Executive Pastry Chef at the St Regis Bal Harbour Hotel.
In 2013, the pastry chef released his stunning debut cookbook: Bachour featuring the signature flavor combinations, cooking techniques, and stunning presentations that made him such a celebrated culinary figure, selling out the first printing in only four months. The second book, Bachour Simply Beautiful released in 2014 sold out as well. The third, Bachour Chocolate, released in 2015, sold more than 10,000 copies in the first two weeks.
During his various book tours and promotions, Bachour has conducted cooking demonstrations with world renown pastry chefs Oriol Balaguer and Carles Mampel in Bolivia, Italy, Panama and Spain, and as well as guest chef stints at Valrhona Chocolate School.  In 2015, Bachour was honored with an invitation to cook in Milan, Italy with Massimo Botura, Italian restaurateur and the chef patron of Osteria Francescana, a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Modena, Italy.
Currently, Bachour concentrates his efforts on owning, operating and baking at Bachour Bakery + Bistro, along with directing pastry classes around the globe in countries such as Australia, Brazil, Japan, Peru, Russia, Spain and Thailand.

 

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CHEF LINCOLN CARSON
Owner, Lincoln Heavy Industries 

Chef Carson is the owner of Lincoln Heavy Industries, a pastry consulting firm specializing in developing full pastry programs through conceptualization, R&D, kitchen and systems design, recruiting and training.
Formerly Superba Food + Bread’s Executive Pastry Chef, Carson created and developed the brand’s pâtisserie and dessert programs and led the growth of a new concept focused on community dining in a casual and accessible all day atmosphere.
Chef Carson previously served eight years as the Corporate Pastry Chef for The Mina Group, where he was responsible for all facets of the dessert program development, conceptualization, staff training and execution at all of Mina Group’s restaurants. During his tenure he opened 18 restaurants with The Mina Group.
A career constructed in the kitchens of great traditional French and contemporary American restaurants, his experience has included, among others, New York’s Le Bernardin, La Côte Basque and the Waldorf Astoria’s Peacock Alley, Caramel’s Highlands Inn as well as Las Vegas’ Daniel Boulud at Wynn Las Vegas and Bellagio’s Picasso. He also gained valuable experience at both the Olives and B.R. Guest restaurant groups in New York, and was named one of Dessert Professional’s Top Ten Pastry Chefs of 2009. Additionally, Carson is one of the founding chefs and organizers of the nationally recurring pastry event, Killed by Dessert.

 

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CHEF PATRICE DEMERS
Chef/Owner, Patrice Pâtissier 

Passionate about restaurants and pastry for many years, Patrice decided in 1999 to enroll in cooking school. After his training in pastry and in professionnal cooking, he worked for more than 15 years in some of Montréal's best restaurants, creating desserts where fruits and acidity play an important part and where sugar never dominates.
In 2014, he opened his own pastry shop: Patrice Pâtissier near Atwater Market in Montréal where he creates desserts using local and seasonal ingredients. Besides serving lunch and brunch, Patrice also gives pastry classes in the evening.
Because he loves to share his passion for pastry, Patrice has published 3 books and hosts a TV show "Les Desserts de Patrice" for 5 seasons on Canal Vie. Some of his recipes have also been published in magazines like "So Good" and "Fou de Pâtisserie". He's also been invited twice to Paris to give demonstrations at the Omnivore Food Festival.

 

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CHEF GINGER ELIZABETH HAHN
Chocolatier/Owner, Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates 

Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates is a Northern California chocolate boutique specializing in chocolate bonbons, macarons and ice cream.
Ginger Elizabeth Hahn has been working with chocolate and pastry professionally for her entire adult life. Her journey started in the kitchens of her mother and grandmother and led her to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York where she graduated at the top of her class. She has studied with respected professionals from Santa Barbara to New York and Chicago. She returned to her native Northern California having reflected on the experience and knowledge she had gained and began to develop and distill her own distinct style which is imbued with impeccable craftsmanship and technique, memorably pronounced flavors and a touch of playfulness and femininity.
At 24, Ginger Elizabeth started her first company – a wholesale venture selling chocolate bonbons – with just a credit card as financing for the operation. Her drive and determination led her, 2 years later, to take a leap of faith and open her retail boutique on a premier block in Sacramento’s trendy Midtown neighborhood. Today her eponymous boutique is a neighborhood landmark and foodie destination with frequent lines down the street.
Ginger Elizabeth lives in rural Davis with her husband and business partner, Tom and their 3 children. Tom brings both business experience as a cum laude graduate from USC’s Marshall School of Business and fine dining experience from time spent at The French Laundry and Manresa restaurants. As a family, they enjoy cooking and baking together, entertaining and traveling.

 

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CHEF GIANLUCA FUSTO
Executive Pastry Chef 

Gianluca Fusto, a passionate lover of the art of baking, was born in Milan in 1975. After his culinary studies, he met Aimo Moroni, who helped him understand the best path to direct his talent. Chef Fusto’s talent was able to develop and mature during a unique culinary journey that led him to work alongside the best professionals in the world.
He worked at l’École Valrhona for five years, where he learned and perfected the best techniques for working with chocolate, through the teaching of Frédéric Bau, Yann Duytsche and Philip Frost.
His professional life is a continuous discovery as he shares his knowledge and expertise of pastry and baking with others.

 

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CHEF RON BEN-ISRAEL
Chef/Owner of Ron Ben-Israel Cakes 

As Chef/Owner of one of the world’s finest couture cake studios, Ron and his accomplished team have made specialty cakes that have been hand-delivered to destinations throughout the continental US and abroad. Ron started his confectionery adventures after a 15-year career as a professional modern dancer. Upon retiring from performing with companies spanning three continents, he incorporated his art training, military background and ballet regime into the discipline of pastry arts. Ron’s cakes were discovered by Martha Stewart while on display in the windows of Mikimoto on Fifth Avenue, an encounter that propelled him to a prominent position in the print media and TV. In 1999, he established
his flagship design studio and bakery in Manhattan. Along the way he became the only guest master pastry chef-instructor at the International Culinary Center in New York City, has been awarded prestigious gold medals for his confectionery achievements, and influenced countless aspiring cake designers. He has been the sole host and judge of the three seasons of the hit Food Network show “Sweet Genius”, and continued with three seasons of the channel’s popular “Cake Wars”. Ron is sought after as a teacher and a lecturer for cake techniques and design as well as the wedding and special events industry.

 

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CHEF CARLES MAMPEL
Pastry Chef/Owner, Bubó Barcelona 

Carles Mampel is a Catalan Pastry Chef who is passionate about what he does and it shows. His creations are inspired and he is aware of the importance of details – the visual, the flavors, textures and aromas – every part has a purpose and his creations make perfect sense. Carles Mampel was awarded the title of Best Master Pastry Chef in Spain in 1999 following a succession of other international prizes. From 1999, Carles Mampel went on to win Champion Pastry Chef of the Euro Americas in 2000. He captained the Spanish team in the world championship in Las Vegas in 2002.
In 2004, the team finished in a meritorious number two position in Rimini. In 2005, he won the press prize for “The World´s Best Chocolate Cake,” his Xabina chocolate cake in Lyon. These achievements served as a reward for the effort and dedication he puts into his work and also helped to push the limits of what he does and how he does it. He was incorporated into Relais Dessert in 2008, a body which recognizes the world´s best pastry shops.

 

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CHEF GREG MINDEL
Chef/Owner, Neighbor Bakehouse 

Greg Mindel is a New York Native, born in Brooklyn. His culinary adventures began in South Florida, where the diversity of people and exposure to a range of flavors and cuisines inspired him to set forth on an exploration of the rich food traditions of different peoples and places.
After touring the savory food scene of the East Coast, Greg made his way to California. Over the last ten years in the San Francisco Bay Area, Greg has worked in great kitchens including the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, Tartine Bakery and Spruce Restaurant.
Outside of traditional kitchen work, Greg has been a Chef Instructor at Tante Marie, The San Francisco Baking Institute, and SF Cooking School and is a Chef Consultant for the Center for Culinary Development.
His main focus over the last several years has been viennoiserie and baking. In January 2012, Greg opened his own baking company called Neighbor Bakehouse. He provides viennoiserie and morning pastries that harken back to the classics, yet focus on modern techniques and global flavors.

 

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CHEF NATHANIEL REID
Pastry Chef/Owner, Nathaniel Reid Bakery

Nathaniel Reid is owner of Nathaniel Reid Bakery in St. Louis, Missouri. He has held pastry chef positions for many luxury brands including The Ritz-Carlton Hotel and St. Regis Hotel.
Dessert Professional Magazine recognized him as one of the Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America in June 2012. In 2010, he was selected as winner of the US Pastry Competition and named Pastry Chef of the Year. In 2009, Nathaniel was awarded the “Golden Scoop Award” for the best chocolate confection in America.
A graduate of the Le Cordon Bleu, Paris with a Grand Diploma in Culinary and Pastry Arts, Reid specializes in contemporary bakery creations with a European flair.

 

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CHEF STÉPHANE TRÉAND
MOF & World Champion 

A veteran of the food industry, Stéphane Tréand's pastry journey began in Northern France when his father sent him to work at the local bakery. When he discovered there were so many ways to express himself within the world of “la pâtisserie", he realized his passion for pastry.
Stéphane has held a variety of positions at bakeries and pastry shops in the Paris area, where he learned the fundamentals of French pastry and bakery. In 1989, Stéphane opened his own pâtisserie tearoom “Pâtisserie Tréand,” located in Brignoles in Provence, South of France. Already a food lover, he focused on the quality products that the South offered which gave him freedom to express his creativity.
While running his pâtisserie, Stéphane found another way to share his passion through teaching. In 1994, he decided to become a Pastry Teacher while still running “Pâtisserie Tréand”. In 1999, an apprentice from his shop won the prestigious title of M.A.F., (Meilleur Apprenti de France), “Best Apprentice in France.”
In 2001, Stéphane sold his pâtisserie in order to devote more time to teaching and to pursue his lifetime dream of achieving the title of M.O.F., (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) “Best Craftsman in France” which he achieved in 2004. The title of M.O.F. is the highest honor given by the President of France to a professional in an individual trade.
In 2005, Stéphane was given an opportunity to move to the United States when he accepted the position of Executive Pastry Chef at The Four Seasons Hotel & Resort in Newport Beach, CA and then moved on to the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, CA.
In 2005, Chef Tréand won the Food Network's “Sugar Daredevils Challenge” in Phoenix, AZ and in 2007 he won the gold medal at the National Pastry Team Championship (NPTC) in Nashville, TN. In 2008, he took the title of World Pastry Champion at the WPTC in Nashville, TN. Pastry Art and Design Magazine named Stéphane one of the Ten Best Pastry Chefs in the US in 2007 and 2008.
Currently, Stéphane is the Executive Chef Consultant for Occitanial, a pastry shop in Tokyo where he took the challenge of creating South of France pastries with a pinch of Japanese sensitivity.
With his superior knowledge and innovative techniques, Stéphane’s dream of living in the US and running his own school has been realized, and he dedicates his time to sharing his passion and love for the Art of Pastry at his The Pastry School in Costa Mesa, CA.

 

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CHEF WILLIAM WERNER
Chef/Partner, Craftsman and Wolves 

William Werner is Chef/Partner of Craftsman and Wolves (CAW), an award-winning contemporary pâtisserie and café, based in San Francisco. With a nod to classic French technique and an emphasis on seasonal change, the menu offers pastries, cakes, confections, confitures, breads, desserts, as well as savory fare and signature drinks.
Current locations include CAW Valencia in the vibrant Mission district; CAW Pacific in the growing Russian Hill neighborhood; and The Den in Bayview. CAW also has a farmers’ market stand at the venerable CUESA Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, and an online retail shop shipping nationwide.
Since opening the first location in 2012, Werner has garnered praise both locally and nationally in publications, including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Real Simple, Esquire, Food & Wine and Bon Appétit. GQ magazine named his famous “Rebel Within” as #6 on "The 50 Best Things to Eat and Drink Right Now." Werner serves as a Valrhona Pastry Chef Consultant and leads professional culinary demonstrations and classes around the US and Canada. 

Awards and accolades:
James Beard Foundation “Outstanding Baker” 2016 and 2015 finalist and an “Outstanding Pastry Chef ” 2012, 2013, and 2014 semi-finalist
Dessert Professional’s “Top Ten Pastry Chefs of America 2015”
The Passion Company’s “2015 Most Passionate Chef/Restaurateur in San Francisco”
San Francisco Magazine’s “2014 Best Pastry Chef ”
Plate Magazine’s “2014 30 Chefs to Watch”
Star Chefs’ “2013 Rising Star Artisan”

 

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