Christopher Curtin: The Journey of a Master Chocolatier
Chris Curtin’s journey to the top of the chocolate world started more than three decades ago, in Madison, Wisconsin, where, following his success as a nationally ranked cross-country skier, he found his next challenge in the kitchen. He enrolled at the renowned New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, but soon left to forge an even more rigorous path of independent study—he was accepted to live as a pâtissier at the Compagnons du Devoir, the premier guild for artisan craftsmen in France, and subsequently became the first American to earn the title of Konditormeister, or Master Pastry Chef and Chocolatier, in Cologne, Germany. Immersed in the realm of the world’s top chocolate makers, Chris continued honing his knowledge under some of the world’s great chocolate makers in Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Japan—legendary producers like Confiserie Bachmann in Switzerland, Confiserie Coppeneur in Germany, Herman Van Dender and Pierre Marcolini in Belgium, and Poire in Japan—where he had the privilege of sharing in confectionery’s greatest secrets and techniques. Having mastered the art and techniques of Europe’s finest chocolates, he returned to the U.S. in 2004 and founded Éclat Chocolate, where his craftsmanship rivals that of the Old World’s most storied houses. In this episode, you’ll learn: His jump from cross-country skiing to culinary Why he left culinary school to train in Europe The inspiration for opening his chocolate business Collaborations with celebrity chefs and chocolate colleagues Chris’s favorite piece of equipment in his shop Differences between European and American chocolatiers The chocolate trend Chris wants gone And much, much more!
19 May 2020
Kriss Harvey: Life of an Award-Winning Chocolatier
Named one of America’s Top 10 Pastry Chefs in 2017, Chef Kriss Harvey has worked in the pastry departments of some of the country’s finest establishments, including The Ritz Carlton in Washington, D.C., NoMi in the Park Hyatt Chicago and at Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas. Before coming to andSons Chocolatiers, Kriss was the Executive Pastry Chef at The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. Kriss trained under some of the world’s most highly regarded chefs. He began his career in the U.S. at the famed Cacao Barry Chocolate Academy near Philadelphia, spending time under the tutelage of Master Chocolatier Pascal Janvier. With a desire to fine-tune his knowledge in French pastry, Kriss moved to Paris where he studied with legendary pastry chefs Christophe Felder at the Hôtel de Crillon and MOF Emmanuel Ryon of École Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil. He staged under Spanish pastry chef Oriol Balaguer. He also studied with MOF chocolatier and candy maker Pierre Mirgalet. As a testament to his devotion to chocolate, Kriss has the chemical formula for theobromine tattooed on his right arm. In this episode, you’ll discover: How Kriss got hooked on pastry His time in Europe, and what he learned from some pastry greats Landing a job with Chef Jose Andres Making the move to andSons Chocolatiers Kriss’s best chocolate tip His best piece of advice for aspiring pastry chefs The story of his tattoos And lots more! This episode is sponsored by: Savencia Cheese USA: Creator of the revolutionary new Smithfield Pourable Cream Cheese. Created for chefs, by chefs, the pourable cream cheese eliminates the need to heat, bring to room temperature or paddle and is made with all-natural ingredients, no additives or fillers and whips beautifully to save you time. It’s time to rethink cream cheese. Find out more at: https://savenciafoodserviceusa.com/
26 Oct 2019
Emily Luchetti: Her Career Highlights, Ingredient Usage, Pastry Trends & More
In this episode, we talk with Emily Luchetti, Chief Pastry Officer of Big Night Restaurant Group. Over the last few decades, Emily helped to define what great pastry in America means. After working the line at New York restaurants and Jeremiah Tower’s legendary Stars in San Francisco, she switched to the sweet side of the kitchen and didn’t look back. She has authored many books on the subject of pastry, appeared on numerous television programs, and has been awarded of such honors as the 2001 Women Chefs & Restaurateurs Golden Whisk Award, the 2003 Food Arts Magazine Silver Spoon Award, the 2004 James Beard Foundation award for Outstanding Pastry, and she was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. In the episode we discuss: How Emily started working as a line cook The time she spent in Gérard Pangaud’s kitchen Reflecting on working with Jeremiah Tower at the legendary Stars Emily's thoughts on men and women in the kitchen - both savory and pastry The evolution of her style Where she draws inspiration for new dishes Using fruit purees and the benefits relating to consistency Emily's thoughts on savoring ingredients in desserts The process of writing multiple books This episode is sponsored by The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley Curate a complimentary custom sample pack at perfectpuree.com/pastryarts *Offer is complimentary for professional chefs and bakers only.
26 Apr 2019
Nathaniel Reid: The Path to Becoming a Dessert Entrepreneur
Nathaniel Reid is the chef and owner of Nathaniel Reid Bakery in Kirkwood, Missouri. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris with a Grand Diploma in Culinary and Pastry Arts, Chef Reid worked in top pastry kitchens around the world, including Michelin 3-star restaurant, Joël Robuchon, in Las Vegas and the AAA Five Diamond St. Regis hotel in California. In August 2016, his longtime dream to own his pastry shop became a reality with the opening of Nathaniel Reid Bakery. With his namesake brand, Reid takes thoughtful consideration into every detail of the guest experience. Each guest is greeted with a friendly, professional welcome as they are guided through his carefully curated menu of pastries and confections. From the twelve flavors of macarons to the spellbinding specialty cakes to the perfectly executed croissants and French pastries, each offering showcases Reid’s care for quality ingredients and expert technique. He built his bakery to be a place for the community and, in just a short amount of time, it has become just that – a community bakery led by a man with a superior talent and an even bigger heart. In this episode, you’ll discover: Why Nathaniel switched his studies from biology to pastry His decision to move to Paris to attend Le Cordon Bleu Overcoming a setback, when a promised job in NYC didn’t materialize Working on the opening pastry team at Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas His first gig as an Executive Pastry Chef at the St. Regis Monarch Beach His position at Norman Love Confections in FL Nathaniel’s tip for making perfect pâte à choux And much more!
5 Dec 2019
Most Popular Podcasts
Joanne Chang: James Beard Award Winning Baker Recalls Her Entire Career
A graduate of Harvard College with a degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics, Joanne Chang left a career as a management consultant to enter the world of professional cooking. She is the chef and co-owner of Flour Bakery + Café, with eight locations in the Boston area, and Myers + Chang. She is the 2016 winner of the James Beard award for Outstanding Baker and the author of four acclaimed cookbooks, including her newest, Pastry Love (HMH, 2019). In this episode, you’ll discover: What prompted Joanne to leave a career as a management consultant to work in a kitchen How she landed her first restaurant job at Biba in Boston Getting a foundation in pastry at Bentonwood Bakery Working on the opening team at Payard Patisserie in NYC for a year Becoming pastry chef at Mistral in Boston How she came to open her first Flour Bakery + Cafe Her new book, Pastry Love, and which recipes you absolutely, positively need to make And lots more!
11 Nov 2019
Lauren V. Haas: From the White House to Teaching the Next Gen of Pastry Pros
Lauren V. Haas is an Associate Professor for the International Baking and Pastry Institute at Johnson & Wales University. In addition to her role at Johnson & Wales, Lauren works with John E. Koerner & Co. as the U.S.A. technical advisor for 100% Chef and TouFoods, and is a member of the prestigious Cacao Barry Ambassador's Club. Prior to joining the faculty at Johnson & Wales University, Lauren honed her pastry skills at some of the country’s most esteemed establishments, including the residence at the White House, Albert Uster Imports, the Hotel du Pont, and the Inn at Little Washington. Lauren’s interest in sustainability led her to pursue a master’s in Sustainable Food Systems from Green Mountain College, and she also holds a bachelor of science in Baking & Pastry Arts from Johnson & Wales University. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, including So Good: The Magazine of Haute Pâtisserie, American Cake Decorating, and Pastry Chef. In 2016, Dessert Professional Magazine named Lauren one of the Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America. Well versed in the foundations of classical pastry and emerging techniques and trends, Lauren’s passion is educating students and pastry professionals in the art and science of pastry. For more information, visit www.laurenvhaas.com. In this episode, you’ll learn about: How Lauren landed her first job in pastry Her first Executive Pastry Chef position: making high-end, Indian inspired desserts Making desserts for foreign dignitaries at The Blair House in Washington, D.C. Working as a consulting pastry chef at The White House Focusing on chocolate work at Co Co Sala in D.C. Her position as Corporate Assistant Pastry Chef at Albert Uster Imports Switching gears: becoming an Associate Professor at Johnson & Wales University And much more!
21 Dec 2019
Jen Yee: Switching Careers, Working Her Way Up & Loving Every Second
In this episode, we talk with Jen Yee, an award-winning and James Beard recognized pastry chef. Yee serves as Executive Pastry Chef for the notable Linton Hopkins and his hospitality group, Resurgens, with a focus on his flagship, Restaurant Eugene. She walks us through her career and recalls the moments that shaped her professionally. In the episode we discuss: Her path from architect to pastry chef First job at Gordon Ramsey’s in London (and did she get yelled at?) Working at a trendy Chinese tea salon in London First pastry chef gig opening Charlie Palmer’s Aureole in NYC SHO in NYC: what it was like working in a Michelin 2-star restaurant Opening Andrew Carmelini’s Lafayette restaurant and bakery Her process of developing desserts and being inspired by new ingredients How she manages to maintain a personal life/work balance And lots more!
31 May 2019
Jason Licker: Career Highlights, Lessons Learned & His Book "Lickerland"
In this episode, we talk with Pastry Chef Jason Licker as he walks through his career step-by-step and recalls the moments that shaped him professionally. Plus, the story behind his James Beard nominated book, Lickerland: Asian-Accented Desserts, and the process he followed for self-publishing. In the episode we discuss: Getting hired at the world renown Jean Georges Restaurant Becoming a Pastry Chef at Metrazur for Charlie Palmer by 23 The once in a lifetime opportunity to move to China His Iron Chef Show appearance - and hilarious story Why he published his book Lickerland The process he followed for self-publishing And more!
12 May 2019
Marina Sousa: The Story of an Extraordinary Cake Designer
Marina Sousa is owner, pastry chef and designer of Just Cake, located in the Monterey Bay area of California. Just Cake opened in January 2003, and since that time Marina has quickly earned recognition for her impeccable style and the unmatched quality of her cakes. Her work has been featured in several national magazines including InStyle, Brides, Modern Bride, The Knot, Today’s Bride, GO Wedding Style and People. Brides magazine featured her as one of the country’s top 50 sugar artists, and she was named on the "Top Ten Cake Designers" list by Desert Professional Magazine. Marina is often seen on Food Network where she has repeatedly clinched first place finishes on Food Network Challenge, and has even served as a judge on the show. She also impressively battled to the end of Food Network-Last Cake Standing series. Marina was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show: Biggest Stars of Reality TV episode, building a jaw dropping eleven foot tall hanging chandelier cake confection. One of her favorite appearances was on Fantasy Weddings where she had the honor of making the wedding cake for her friend and Food Network star, Keegan Gerhard. She’s also enjoyed the privilege of designing cakes for high-profile celebrities and celebrity events including wedding cakes for Brad Pitt/Jennifer Aniston and Raquel Welch. She regularly creates cakes for Clint Eastwood’s resort properties in Carmel and his private country club Tehama. She also made a sweet 16 cake for actress and singer Miley Cyrus during one of her wins on Food Network Challenge. When she’s not in her kitchen, Marina is traveling the world teaching others her craft at prestigious institutions including The Culinary Institute of America, The Notter School of Pastry Arts and The French Pastry School in Chicago. She’s also designed her own line of sugar bead and button molds called Marina’s Molds. The sugar beads are her original designs, and the first of their kind in the sugar arts world bringing edible bling to a whole new level. In this episode, you’ll discover: Her first career in theatrical design Getting hooked on cake decorating at her first job How she started her own business, Just Cake Winning big on the Food Network Challenges The time she made a cake for Oprah and presented it on her show Her online classes on BluPrint How to deal with clients successfully Inherent challenges of the cake decorating profession And way more! This episode is sponsored by: Savencia Cheese USA: Creator of the revolutionary new Smithfield Pourable Cream Cheese. Created for chefs, by chefs, the pourable cream cheese eliminates the need to heat, bring to room temperature or paddle and is made with all-natural ingredients, no additives or fillers and whips beautifully to save you time. It’s time to rethink cream cheese. Find out more at: https://savenciafoodserviceusa.com/
8 Oct 2019
Clarice Lam: International Model Turned Decorated Pastry Chef
After more than 10 years as an international model, Chef Clarice Lam stepped off the runway and into New York City’s best kitchens donning chef’s whites. Using her access to the world’s hotspots as a stepping-stone, she pursued her education at Le Cordon Bleu in Italy and The French Culinary Institute in New York. Her travels through food and fashion capitals like Paris, London, New York City, and Los Angeles inspire her baking to this day. With experience at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market, she honed the skills to thrive in her second career. In 2012, Clarice launched The Baking Bean, an oven-to-door bakery specializing in all-natural desserts and confections based in Brooklyn, NY. Focusing on seasonality and using only the highest-quality ingredients from around the world, Chef Lam provides one-of-a-kind pastries and desserts, including Giant S’mores, Samoan Caramel Popcorn, Salted Caramel Rice Krispy Brownies, Strawberry Nutella Cookies, and much more. With original and pure flavor combinations that The New York Times calls “high-quality and handsome,” The Baking Bean can be found year-round in local pop-up markets and in various NYC restaurants, museums, and stores. In this episode, you’ll discover: How Clarice nurtured her love of pastry while working as an international model The accident that threatened to derail her baking career How she overcame adversity by sheer determination and grit Building a foundation for her second career at Le Cordon Bleu and the French Culinary Institute Honing her skills at top restaurants and bakeries Working as Head Chef at The Chocolate Room in Brooklyn How Clarice made the gradual transition from part-time entrepreneur to a full-time business owner And lots more! This episode is sponsored by: Savencia Cheese USA: Creator of the revolutionary new Smithfield Pourable Cream Cheese. Created for chefs, by chefs, the pourable cream cheese eliminates the need to heat, bring to room temperature or paddle and is made with all-natural ingredients, no additives or fillers and whips beautifully to save you time. It’s time to rethink cream cheese. Find out more at: https://savenciafoodserviceusa.com/foodservice/domestic-foodservice/pourable-cream-cheese.html
25 Sep 2019