Portraits

GUEST CHEFS AT L'ECOLE VALRHONA BROOKLYN

CHEF ANTONIO BACHOUR
Executive Pastry Chef

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. He won the title of 2018 Best Pastry Chef in the World at the Best Chef Awards.

 CHEF ORIOL BALAGUER
Executive Pastry Chef/Owner 

Oriol Balaguer was born in Calafell (Tarragona), Spain in 1971, showing a true passion for pastries from a very young age. With his childhood memories, he still has a clear portrait of his father working at the confectioner’s shop while he played at his feet creating miniature imitations of his pastries and sweets. 
After attending the Confectionery Trade School of Barcelona and training at the best pâtisseries in Spain and Belgium, he was hired to work with the team of Ferran Adrià, who defined him as “one of the most well-rounded professionals in the world of gastronomy”. At the age of only 23, he received the distinction of the Best Spanish Artisan Confectionery Master. In 2003, he decided to take a leap forward and demonstrate his creative talent, formidable energy, personal attitude, and critical thinking by creating a brand that would bear his name.
With an outlook inspired by architecture and design, Oriol Balaguer creates sweets and pastries that harmoniously blend refined artisan techniques and the perfect balance of flavors.
As an inventor of new sweet indulgences, in a few short years he has created an exceptional culinary heritage with recipes that combine innovation and quality to meet the high standards of his clientele.

Awards and Accolades:

  • Best Artisan Panettone in Spain 2017
  • Best Artisan Butter Croissant in Spain 2014
  • Best Pastry Chef in Spain 2008
  • Best Gastronomy Shop in Madrid 2008
  • Award for Professional of the Year 2006
  • Best Gastronomy Website in Spain 2005
  • Best Pastry Chef in Catalonia 2003
  • Best Dessert in the World 2001
  • Best Book in the World 2000
  • Best Spanish Restaurant Pastry Chef 1997
  • Best Dessert in Spain 1997
  • M.M.A.P.E. 93 Best Spanish Handmade Pastry Master 1993

 

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

As Chef-Owner of one of the most established couture cake studios in the world, Ron Ben-Israel started his confectionery adventures after a fifteen-year career as a professional modern dancer. Upon retiring from performing with companies spanning three continents, he utilized his fine art schooling and ballet training to master the discipline of pastry arts.
After apprenticeships and engagements in Toronto, Canada and Lyon, France, he was led to New York City. In 1996, his cakes were discovered while on display in the windows of Mikimoto on Fifth Avenue and commissions quickly followed from Villeroy & Boch, Baccarat, DeBeer’s, Bloomingdale’s and Bergdorf-Goodman.
In 1999, Ron established his flagship design studio and bakery in Manhattan’s fashionable SoHo neighborhood. After calling SoHo home for fifteen years, the company moved to a new, expansive location in the heart of Manhattan’s iconic Garment District. The new facility includes a design studio, showroom, production kitchen and teaching classroom. It also hosts social and corporate events under the name Above Twelve.
The collections of trendsetting cakes can be spotted in many of New York’s premiere hotels and venues. They also have been featured in countless publications, including The New York Times, In Style, Vogue Magazine and Martha Stewart Weddings, with which Ron has collaborated extensively for over 20 years.
Many television shows, films and books also have chronicled the success of the bakery. Ron and his work have been highlighted on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Bravo’s Top Chef—Just Desserts, The Late Show with David Letterman (CBS) and The Martha Stewart Show. Ron also has appeared in Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva and HBO’s Everyday People. The bakery was fictionalized in the New York Times’ bestselling novel Shopaholic Ties The Knot, by Sophie Kinsella.
In 2011 the bakery received further acclaim when Ron became host and judge of the Food Networks’ hit show Sweet Genius, which aired for three seasons. Since then he has been a favorite judge and guest on numerous Food Network programs, including Chopped, America’s Best Cook, Worst Cooks in America, Guy’s Grocery Games, Halloween Baking Championship and All-Star Gingerbread Build. Ron also is a co-judge on Cake Wars, which is airing its third season during Summer 2016.
Ron travels the U.S. and internationally as a teacher, lecturer and motivational speaker. He is a popular headliner at culinary and pastry conventions as well as at special-events and fundraisers. He is is the only Guest Master Pastry Chef at the renowned International Culinary Center in New York City where he shares his passion, techniques and secrets with the students through exclusive demos and classes.
Some of Ron’s most well known cakes include the trendsetting Sex and the City 2 cake in partnership with Swarovski, as well as The Plaza’s 100th birthday cake—an exact confectionery replica of the famed New York landmark, measuring over 12’ tall and serving 1,500 guests.
Ron is a proud member of City Harvest’s Food Council and its Advisory Board, which brings together over sixty of New York City’s top chefs, restaurateurs and food industry professionals to aid the organization in the fight against hunger. Ron also is an active supporter of Lambda Legal Defense and an advocate of same sex marriage.

CHEF LINCOLN CARSON
Owner, Lincoln Heavy Industries

With over 28 years of experience, award winning Pastry Chef Lincoln Carson has been recognized as an industry leader and innovator, most notably from his eight-year tenure as the corporate pastry chef for The Mina Group.
Carson’s experience has included, among others, New York’s Le Bernardin, La Cote Basque and the Waldorf Astoria’s Peacock Alley, Carmel’s Highlands Inn as well as Las Vegas’ Daniel Boulud at Wynn Las Vegas and Bellagio’s Picasso, and Superba Food & Bread in Venice, California.
Carson is currently a guest educator and consulting pastry chef with Valrhona Chocolate, and owner of Lincoln Heavy Industries, a pastry and hospitality consulting firm specializing in building restaurant, hotel, bakery and patisserie programs.
He has been featured by numerous print, radio and television media outlets including New York Magazine, The New York Times, Food & Wine, Dessert Professional, and in 2009 was named one of Dessert Professional’s Top Ten Pastry Chefs.
In 2018, Carson opened a multi-purpose restaurant concept with a heavy emphasis on baking and pâtisserie, in downtown Los Angeles.

 

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 professional cooking, he worked for more than 15 years in some of Montreal 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 Montreal 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 has been hosting a t.v. 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 gives demonstrations at the Omnivore Food Festival.

 

CHEF GHAYA F. OLIVEIRA
Executive Pastry Chef, DANIEL

Chef Ghaya Oliveira

Ghaya F. Oliveira brings her talent in both the science and creativity of pastry to her role as the Executive Pastry Chef at DANIEL. Ghaya’s first career was not in the kitchen, but as a stock trader in her native Tunisia, but after moving to the United States in 1998, she chose to pursue creative challenges in the kitchen rather than on the trading floor. Nearly 20 years later, she reached the pinnacle of the pastry profession, winning the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” in 2017.
Upon graduating from the Culinary Academy and then earning a degree in Restaurant Management from the French Culinary Institute, Ghaya joined Café Boulud in New York in 2001. At Café Boulud, Ghaya was promoted on several occasions, first to Pastry Cook, then to Pastry Sous Chef. “I slowly worked my way up,” says Ghaya. “Time didn’t matter because I was so hungry to learn.”
When Chef Daniel Boulud opened Bar Boulud in 2007, he called upon Ghaya to become Executive Pastry Chef. She became responsible for menu development and sourcing ingredients, citing the local farmers’ markets as inspiration. When neighboring Boulud Sud opened in May 2011, Ghaya’s sheer talent and ambition led Boulud to make her the Executive Pastry Chef there, too.
In July 2013, Boulud named Ghaya the Executive Pastry Chef at his flagship DANIEL. She brings traditional French pastry training, a refined palate, and unexpected flavor combinations, juxtaposed with a sense of playfulness; but above all, she brings an unwavering desire to delight!

 

CHEF YANN DUYTSCHE

Chef Yann Duytsche

Greg Mindel is a New York Native. His culinary adventures began in South Florida, where the diversity of people and exposure to a range of flavors inspired him to set forth on an exploration of the different rich food traditions.

At only eight years of age Chef Duytsche was already fascinated seeing how a raw and flat product, after passing through an oven became a glorious puff pastry. Now, with 25 years of experience in the industry and international prestige, Yann Duytsche holds the reins of his very personal bakery "Dolç", which he describes as 'gastronomic pastry'. Dolç, in Sant Cugat del Vallés (Barcelona), is the realization of a dream in a space in which Chef Duytsche unleashes his imagination. His commitment to fresh and quality pastry has earned him an adept clientele that also enjoys the professional atmosphere, good humor, and closeness that the chef of French origin tries to transmit ti his team.

In terms of awards, the achievements of his panettone, worthy of the title of Spain's Best Panettone 2016 as well as Miglior Panettone de Ciocolatto 2017, are worth highlighting.

The launch of One Week with Yann Duytsche captures the achievements and evolution of his career, as well as becoming an international benchmark for modern pastry trends.
Awards and Accolades

  • 2016 - Opening of his bakery, Dolç
  • 2017 - 'Diversiones Dulces' book
  • 2016 - Spain's Best Panettone
  • 2017 - Miglior Panettone de Ciocolatto
  • 2017 - "One week with Yann Duytsche" book

CHEF NICOLAS BOTOMISY
PASTRY CHEF

Chef Nicolas Botomisy

Chef Nicolas Botomisy started his career in the south of France at Relais de la Poste where he developed his attention to detail and knowledge of taste, plate presentation, and texture.
He then moved to the UK and Paris where he worked for 2 and 3 Michelin starred restaurants such as Four Seasons Hotel George V, Carré des feuillants and the Waterside Inn.
It is in 2012 that Chef Botomisy started working for Valrhona as Pastry Chef at L’École Valrhona Tokyo, Japan where he deepened his passion for fine pastries and sense of creativity.
Chef Botomisy started a new chapter in his career in 2016 when he moved to the US to become the l'École Valrhona Pastry Chef, North America. On to a new challenge in 2018, Chef Botomisy is opening a chocolate shop in Tokyo, Japan and consulting around the world.

CHEF GREG MINDEL
Chef/Owner, Neighbor Bakehouse

Greg Mindel is a New York Native. His culinary adventures began in South Florida, where the diversity of people and exposure to a range of flavors inspired him to set forth on an exploration of the different rich food traditions.

After touring 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 The San Francisco Baking Institute, and SF Cooking School and is a Chef Consultant for the Center for Culinary Development.

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.

 

CHEF PATRICK ROGER
CHOCOLATIER & OWNER

Chef Patrick Roger

Patrick Roger was born in 1968 in Poislay, a village of 80 people in the Perche in Normandy, France. There, and at school, he did not feel challenged. When Patrick turned 15, he started learning pastry at Maurice Boulay. A rebel at heart, Patrick ended up at the chocolaterie as a punishment. It was a revelation: chocolate became his true passion and pushed him to go past his limits and push himself like never before. He received 1st place at the National Romorantin Contest, and shortly after won the Grand Prix du Chocolat. In 2000, he earned the most prestigious title he could dream of: Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) de Chocolatier.
Currently, he owns and operates his chocolate shop “Patrick Roger” in Sceaux, close to Paris, where his delicious chocolate creations meet his master sculpture pieces, which are true technical achievements. Patrick Roger has exhibited his work in France and abroad: at the Biennale de Montreux in Switzerland, at the Rodin Museum in Paris for its grand re-opening, at Christie’s in France and at the 21_21 design Sight in Tokyo. He has also written and edited many books on his work as a sculptor.

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.

 

CHEF WILLIAM WERNER
Chef/Partner Craftsman and Wolves

William Werner is Chef/Partner of Craftsman and Wolves (CAW), an award-winning contemporary patisserie and cafe, 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 U.S. 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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