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To establish a pastry community that promotes a constructive exchange of ideas and information to secure the future of the industry.


pastry plus panelistPassionate 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 Cookies for Kids’ Cancer 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 participate 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’s mission is to train the next generation of culinary leaders and innovators, providing students with the credentials, confidence and connections to chart a successful career anywhere in the world.


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. Jansen continues to serve as a judge for the annual Tiptree World Bread Awards USA, and as a member of the Advisory Council for Salon du Chocolat NY.


ron ben-israel

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”.

Claudia Fleming

Claudia Fleming was named Outstanding Pastry Chef by the James Beard Foundation in 2000.  Fleming’s craft and approach to ingredients reflects the time she spent working in restaurants in New York (Jams, Union Square Cafe, Montrachet, TriBeCa Grill, and Gramercy Tavern) and in Paris (Fauchon). As Pastry Chef at Gramercy (1994-2002), she collaborated with Tom Colicchio and Danny Meyer to define a distinctively American model for fine dining. The desserts she created began an exploration of flavor by emphasizing local produce and artisan-made ingredients. Fleming’s menu established a new standard in pastry kitchens across the country. In 2005, Fleming left Manhattan to open The North Fork Table & Inn with her husband, chef Gerry HaydenFleming’s exquisite book, The Last Course: Desserts from Gramercy Tavern, (Random House 2001), is prized by cooks and collectors alike. Her recipes have also been featured in numerous national publications, including Town & Country, Martha Stewart Living, O: The Oprah Magazine, In Style, Vogue, and Self. Fleming’s television credits include Ina Garten and Bobby Flay and serving as a judge on Chopped and Top Chef: Just Desserts.

Emily Luchetti

Emily Luchetti has helped define what great pastry means in America. She was the Pastry Chef at Jeremiah Tower’s legendary Stars in San Francisco, before moving on to lead the Pastry departments at Farallon and Waterbar Restaurants. Emily currently oversees all things sweet for The Big Night Restaurant Group in San Francisco (The Cavalier, Park Tavern and Marlowe). Creating simple, elegant desserts that are full of flavor, Emily’s many honors include the James Beard Foundation award for Outstanding Pastry Chef (2004). In 2012, she was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. She is the author of five dessert cookbooks- Stars Desserts, Four Star Desserts, A Passion For Desserts, A Passion for Ice Cream and The Fearless Baker. She is the founder of dessertworthy a movement to empower people to be more mindful of their sugar and fat indulgences. From 1994 to 1999, she served as Chairperson of Women Chefs & Restaurateurs. Emily is on the board and Chair Emeritus of James Beard Foundation Board of Trustees, a Dean at the International Culinary Center, Chef Ambassador for Wellness in the Schools (WITS) and an Oxfam Sister of the Planet.

Jacques Torres

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 store and factory, Jacques Torres Chocolate in Brooklyn, New York. He prides himself on specializing in fresh, hand-crafted chocolates using premium ingredients free of preservatives and artificial flavors. He has served as Executive Pastry Chef at Le Cirque for 12 years, has hosted several of his own series on Food Network & PBS as well as written three cookbooks. He has seven locations throughout New York City and Choco-Story NY The Chocolate Museum and Experience with Jacques Torres. In March 2018, Netflix released worldwide to 190 countries a baking competition show, Nailed It!, which Jacques is the featured lead judge on the series. Additionally, since 1993 Jacques proudly serves as Dean of Pastry Arts at the award-winning International Culinary Center. He designed the curriculum of the fast-track Professional Pastry Arts program and offers internship opportunities to ICC pastry students.

Christina Tosi

Christina Tosi is the chef, founder and owner of Milk Bar. After working in the kitchens of fine dining restaurants, Christina founded the dessert program at Momofuku, where she later created the concept for Milk Bar, resulting in a culinary empire of her own. The culinary trendsetter and sugar genius, called “one of the most creative people” by Fast Company, is a two-time James Beard award winner, was named one of Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40, and is the author of three cookbooks published by Clarkson Potter: Momofuku Milk Bar, Milk Bar Life, and most recently, Milk Bar: All About Cake. Christina, the voice of all things sweet, is also a judge on the hit cooking competition series Masterchef and Masterchef Junior (on FOX), and was recently the subject of an episode of Chef’s Table, the Emmy-nominated docu-series on Netflix. She’s made headlines in New York Times, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Forbes, The Today Show, among others, and she’s graced the covers of Adweek and Cherry Bombe. She approaches life with a whimsically innovative mentality and continues to redefine what american (dessert) culture is and can be in the ever-changing wild world of food.

Miro U.

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.

Sherry Yard

Brooklyn-born Sherry Yard is an accomplished chef, restaurateur and presenter, who spent her extensive career making a mark as a disruptor in the hospitality industry. Her innovative approach has garnered her three James Beard Awards and an induction into their Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. Yard has received accolades from renowned publications such as Bon Appétit, Food + Wine Magazine, and became affectionately known by the media as “L.A.’s Sweetheart”, both for her bubbly personality and her incomparably creative and fresh from the farm desserts. Her pastry creations became staples at events such as the Academy Awards Governor’s Ball, the Grammy Awards, and the Emmy Awards, where she could be spotted in her iconic pink chef’s jacket in support of breast cancer awareness. Yard began her culinary career at the venerable Rainbow Room and went on to expand her skills as an Executive Partner within Wolfgang Puck’s empire for nearly 20 years, encompassing the crafting of masterful breads, creating menus, and opening new restaurants while simultaneously mentoring an entire generation of chefs in kitchens from Singapore to Santa Monica. Yard has appeared on over 30 television cooking programs on ABC, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Bravo, as well as appearances on many other shows. Yard is the author of 2 award winning cookbooks, working on her third and appears on the iconic and widely popular Great American Baking Show, serving as a judge.