To establish a pastry community that promotes a constructive exchange of ideas and information to secure the future of the industry.
Passionate pastry professionals lay the foundation for how a meal begins and ends—from bakers preparing morning goods overnight to closing pastry platers sending out desserts far past midnight. Whether they’re a cake decorator, chocolatier, head baker or restaurant pastry chef, they all fall under the collective term of “pastry”. In today’s world, pastry professionals need more than great technical skill to become successful in the industry. The demands of the modern workplace require them to be strong managers, efficient & effective planners, business & marketing savants, and cheerleaders of one another.
Pastry Plus aims to connect the innovative minds of pastry professionals, providing a rare opportunity to meet and network in a positive, constructive environment to talk about the issues facing them individually and in the industry as a whole. Pastry Plus is a platform to address the evolving workplace, to learn about industry innovations and to expand the sphere of the modern pastry chef.
The events include a charity bake sale (Pastryland) benefiting Hot Bread Kitchen that celebrates the pastry chef, the conference: a series of forums, discussions and presentations from some of today’s leading minds, and lastly a networking reception to build relationships among professionals. Attendees will particpate in discussions that strengthen the pastry community through unity and connection.
The International Culinary Center
Founded by the late Dorothy Cann Hamilton as The French Culinary Institute in 1984, the International Culinary Center® (ICC®) is a global leader in professional culinary, pastry and wine education in New York City with graduates from more than 85 countries. The renowned six-month Total ImmersionSM program has produced such talents as Bobby Flay, David Chang, Dan Barber, Christina Tosi and 15,000 more under the guidance of deans including Jacques Pépin and Jacques Torres. ICC provides students with the credentials, confidence and connections to chart a successful career anywhere in the world.
PASTRY PLUS FOUNDER
JANSEN CHAN, Director of Pastry Operations, International Culinary Center
Chef Jansen Chan began baking at a very young age and his love for the art has never wavered. A master of classic technique, this natural innovator joined ICC as Director of Pastry Operations in 2012. A Northern California native, his keen visual sense led him to an architecture degree at the University of California, Berkeley. After working briefly in that field, his true passion called to him and he moved to Paris to study pâtisserie. Chef Jansen continued his training in San Francisco’s finest restaurants including Kuleto’s, John Frank, and the Fifth Floor before accepting an invitation to work for Chef Alain Ducasse at the 3-Michelin star Alain Ducasse restaurant in New York City. He later became executive pastry chef at New York City’s Michelin-starred Oceana.
Chef-owner of one of the world’s finest couture cake studios, Ron and his accomplished team have made and hand-delivered specialty cakes to destinations throughout the continental U.S. and abroad. Ron started his confectionery adventures after a 15-year career as a professional modern dancer. His cakes were discovered by Martha Stewart while on display in the windows of Mikimoto on Fifth Avenue, propelling him to a prominent position in 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, 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”.
Emily Luchetti was the Executive Pastry Chef at San Francisco’s Farallon from 1997-2014 and Waterbar from 2008-2014. In 2014, she joined the team at Big Night Restaurant Group (The Cavalier, Marlowe, Park Tavern, Leo’s Oyster Bar). Her honors include the 2001 Women Chefs & Restaurateurs Golden Whisk Award, 2003 Food Arts Magazine Silver Spoon Award and 2004 James Beard Foundation award for Outstanding Pastry Chef. In 2009 the San Francisco Chronicle chose Emily as one of the 20 Visionary Chefs in the Bay Area, and she was inducted into the Culinary Pioneers of America. In 2012, she was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America and is currently the Chairperson for the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Passionate about teaching, Emily is a Dean at the International Culinary Center and founder of dessertworthy a movement to empower people to be more mindful of their sugar and fat indulgences.
Fondly referred to as Mr. Chocolate, Jacques Torres is the authority on all things related to this confectionery delight. Raised in France, Jacques fulfilled his American dream in 2000 with the opening of his first chocolate factory, Jacques Torres Chocolate in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY and now retail locations throughout NYC. Jacques was a pioneer—the first artisan chocolatier to start from cocoa beans to make his own chocolate. He served as Executive Pastry Chef at Le Cirque for 12 years and has been Dean of Pastry Arts at ICC since 1993. He received numerous awards including the 1994 James Beard Foundation Pastry Chef of the Year, and was inducted in the Foundation’s Who’s Who of American Food & Beverage in 2003. In 2016, he was given the highest honor in France, The Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur. Today, you can watch him as lead judge on Netflix’s hit show Nailed-It! www.mrchocolate.com
Christina Tosi is the Founder and CEO of Milk Bar, named “one of the most exciting bakeries in the country” by Bon Appétit magazine, with multiple locations throughout New York, Toronto, Washington, DC, and Las Vegas. Christina founded the dessert programs at Momofuku and went on to build a culinary empire of her own. With the opening of Milk Bar’s doors in 2008, Christina changed the face of baking with her innovative creations like cereal milk™ ice cream, compost cookies® and crack pie®. The culinary trendsetter and sugar genius is a two-time James Beard Award winner and author of three highly acclaimed cookbooks, momofuku milk bar, milk bar life and milk bar: all about cake. The highly motivated lady boss serves on the board of directors for Hot Bread Kitchen and Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and is an investor in a handful of food startups, including the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) and Maple. Christina is also a guest judge on the hit cooking competition series MasterChef and MasterChef Junior (on FOX).
Miro Uskokovic is the Pastry Chef of Gramercy Tavern. Born and raised in Serbia, Miro grew up on a family farm where his mother had small cheese and cake-making operations. At 17, he traveled to the U.S. for the first time to live in Greentown, Indiana for a year as part of a high school exchange program. After returning home to Serbia and attending hospitality college, Miro relocated to Greentown where he nurtured his love of baking, working with local Pastry Chef Andrea Kirkpatrick in her shop Pastry Diva, known for modern American cakes. He then enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America, where he received an Associate’s Degree in the culinary program in 2010. Miro has worked in the kitchens of Jean Georges, Chef George Mendes’ Aldea, and now Gramercy Tavern. Miro’s contemporary American desserts are created out of a collection of personal memories and experiences, as well as influence from other cuisines. Miro was also named one of Dessert Professional’s “Top 10 Pastry Chefs” in 2015.
William (Bill) Yosses, held the title of White House Executive Pastry Chef for 7 years. Other pastry chef experience includes Bouley Restaurant in New York City and The Dressing Room in Westport Connecticut, owned by the late actor/philanthropist Paul Newman. As pastry chef of the White House he planned desserts for the First Family and their guests from breakfast meetings to State Dinners, over the span of the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. While at the White House he worked closely with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative to improve health outcomes related to food issues. He has published two books and in October, a third, titled The Sweet Spot. His non-profit foundation, Kitchen Garden Laboratory, creates curriculum that uses cooking to teach science.