Kierin Baldwin
Kierin Baldwin
Pastry Chef-Instructor at the International Culinary Center
Moderator in Pastry Plus Session: Design in Pastry

It was in college that Brooklyn-born, Kierin Baldwin discovered a love for baking, and in her free time Baldwin began to collect cookbooks and teach herself how to make pies, cakes, and cookies. She worked for a few years in the photo industry before she decided to pursue her culinary interests full time and study pastry arts at the International Culinary Center. Baldwin was lucky enough to begin her new career at Café Boulud and then worked as pastry sous chef at A Voce, and Locanda Verde. After two years at the side of James Beard award winning pastry chef, Karen DeMasco, she joined the opening team for The Dutch in SoHo as pastry chef. She recently returned to Locanda Verde as pastry chef in 2014. Baldwin focuses on seasonal, flavor-driven desserts that strike a balance between familiarity and novelty.

ron ben-israel
Ron Ben-Israel
Chef & Owner of Ron Ben-Israel Cakes
Pastry Plus Forum: Conference Activity

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”.

Thomas Bowman
Thomas Bowman
Co-Founder of Eclipse
Speaker in Pastry Plus Session: Plant-Based Future of Pastry

Thomas is a world-renowned product developer, food scientist and chef. As the former Director of Product Development at JUST, Thomas created and scaled some of the best selling plant-based products in the market, such as JUST Mayos, Cookie Doughs, and Dressings. Thomas has also worked or staged at Michelin starred restaurants, was named a Zagat 30 Under 30, and was twice nominated for the James Beard Rising Star Chef award. Thomas is the co-founder of Eclipse Foods, creators of the first plant-based dairy products that are indistinguishable from conventional dairy.

Jansen Chan
Jansen Chan
Director of Pastry Operations at The International Culinary Center
Pastry Plus Forum: Welcome & Ice Breaker

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.

Jurgen David
Jürgen David
Associate Director of Pastry at the International Culinary Center
Pastry Plus Forum: Conference Activity

Jürgen David brings the rich history of classic Viennese confections with him to the Pastry Arts Program. Born and raised in Vienna, Austria, Chef Jürgen was deemed a certified confectioner by the esteemed Viennese Commission of Confectioners. His determination and creativity have taken him from the 400-year-old landmark Kvikne Hotel in Norway to New York’s James Beard House, with many stops in between. One of the most enjoyable projects Chef Jürgen has worked on was the construction of the world’s largest Hershey’s Kiss. Early in 2013 Chef Jürgen led the team to create a four foot sugar and chocolate showpiece of The Phantom of the Opera’s “Red Death”, commissioned by Sir Cameron Macintosh for the 25th Anniversary of “The Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway Gala at the New York Public Library. Chef Jürgen also presented the new Broadway Phantom, Swedish pop star Peter Jöback, with a custom “Welcome to Broadway” cake on Opening Night, joined onstage by VIP guests and press. In his opinion, practice is what it takes to be successful in this field. “Never stop learning. Always try to make it better.” Chef Jürgen joined The International Culinary Center in 1997.

Claudia Fleming
Claudia Fleming
Pastry Chef & Cookbook Author
Speaker in Pastry Plus Session: Everything Vanilla

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.

Ethan Frisch
Ethan Frisch
Co-Founder of Burlap & Barrel
Speaker in Pastry Plus Session: Understanding Your Spices

Ethan Frisch is a chef, food systems activist and the co-founder of Burlap & Barrel, the only comprehensive single origin spice company in the United States. He works directly with smallholder spice farmers around the world to source unique, beautiful spices for professional chefs and home cooks. A former aid worker, he lived in Afghanistan for several years as well as in east Africa and the Middle East, where he worked for NGOs including Doctors without Borders. Food & Wine Magazine recently named him one of the top Food Innovators of 2020. Burlap & Barrel supplies Eleven Madison Park, Blue Hill, Chez Panisse and many other exceptional restaurants.

Fany Gerson
Fany Gerson
Chef/Owner of La Newyorkina & Fan-Fan Doughnuts
Panelist in Pastry Plus Form: The Business of Taste Panel

As the country’s most authoritative voice on Mexican sweets, Fany Gerson, has been featured in the New York Times, Food and Wine, Fine Cooking, Saveur Magazine, Fine Cooking, Fast Company and New York magazines, among others. She launched the acclaimed La Newyorkina, an artisanal Mexican frozen treats and sweets business in 2010. She was also the Chef,  founder and co-owner of Dough, an artisan gourmet doughnuts and will be opening Fan – Fan doughnuts late spring. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Fany has worked in a range of fine-dining kitchens around the world including 3 Michelin starred Akelare in Spain and Eleven Madison Park in New York. She has written three books, My Sweet Mexico—which was nominated for a 2010 James Beard Award for Best Baking and Pastry Cookbook—Paletas and Mexican Ice Cream. Fany was recognized as a Latin woman leader in 2017 by El Diario.

Katzie Guy-Hamilton
Katzie Guy-Hamilton
Chef & Author, Clean Enough
Moderator in Pastry Plus Session: Plant-Based Future of Pastry

Katzie Guy-Hamilton is dedicated to inspiring others to embrace real food as a means to thrive: saving room for joy, celebration, and dessert. As a top ten Pastry Chef, Certified Health Coach, Food and Beverage Director, and Author, Katzie is redefining healthy eating. Her first book: Clean Enough: get back to basics and leave room for dessert, delivers on this sustainable approach, through an artistic collection of real food recipes, best of class desserts, and mindful lifestyle methods. A graduate of the International Culinary Center, she trained at Spago before founding the pastry kitchen of the Breslin, and running Food and Beverage for Max Brenner International. Recently named as Wanderlust’s 35 under 35 to watch in Wellness, the bridge has been made between pastry and health. Guy-Hamilton is continuing her research, development, and storytelling of celebrating fresh food and time intentionally spent globally.

Carmel Hagen
Carmel Hagen
Founder & CEO of Supernatural
Speaker in Pastry Plus Session: Plant-Based Future of Pastry

Carmel Hagen is the founder and CEO of Supernatural, a NYC-based company that makes healthier versions of your favorite edible decorations, like plant-based food colors, clean sprinkles and more. A former child Pillsbury Bakeoff winner, TEDx speaker, and Chobani Incubatoree, Carmel spent a decade working in tech startups before setting out to reinvent the “decorative baking” category, where over 99% of products are still without natural alternatives. By pushing the boundaries of plant-based colors, replacing outdated ingredients like corn syrup and confectioner’s glaze, and focusing on both performance and purity, Supernatural is leading the parade for the next generation of kitchen creativity.

Lani Halliday
Lani Halliday
Pastry Chef & Owner of Brutus Bakeshop
Panelist in Pastry Plus Form: The Business of Taste Panel

After a bread-baking apprenticeship at 19, Lani Halliday trained at The Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon and as the Executive Chef | Recipe Developer | Model with years of experience in front- and back-of-house operations. She has served NYC’s unique market by producing in & running some of New York’s most celebrated bakeries prior to starting Brutus Bakeshop rounded out her hospitality business education by attending the International Culinary Center’s Culinary Entrepreneurship (now Food Business Fundamentals) program. Lani’s work has been featured in print and online in Vogue Weddings, Instyle Magazine, New York Magazine, Food+Wine and most recently was featured on the cover of CHERRY BOMBE Magazine Issue No. 14, The Fashion Issue after being named by the same publication as one of the 100 most influential women in food.

Rocco
Rocco Lugrine
East Coast Technical Advisor of Barry-Callebaut
Speaker in Pastry Plus Session: Ruby Chocolate Innovation

Rocco Lugrine is a pastry chef in Philadelphia, who’s career began at an early age. It was an unfortunate accident that led Chef Lugrine to discover the sweet side of the kitchen, beginning Chef Lugrine’s transition from savory preparations to a new found love of the pastry arts. Chef Lugrine’s pastry career then blossomed in some of Philadelphia’s most prestigious kitchens, which included the now-shuttered culinary legends, Le Bec Fin and Brasserie Perrier. He then spent a few years in San Francisco, before returning to make Philadelphia his permanent home. Chef Lugrine first became part of the Barry-Callebaut team in 2011, as a chef ambassador for the Cacao Barry brand. He has since represented the brand in presenting recipes and demonstrations of their products. In 2017 Chef Lugrine began a new chapter in his career when he became the new East coast technical advisor, brand development. He now brings his many years of cooking, teaching, and creating to the Barry-Callebaut team.

Alek Marfisi
Alek Marfisi
Owner of Upwind Strategies
Speaker in Pastry Plus Session: Evaluating Partnership Agreements

Alek Marfisi owns Upwind Strategies, a small business consultancy and professional services company that makes a matching microloan to entrepreneurs in developing countries for every hour of consulting it provides. In his career, Alek has logged over 11,000 hours consulting to small companies from a myriad of industries. For the 790+ clients he has consulted to, he has helped to create and retain over 1,000 jobs nationally and fundraise over $75 million. Since 2011, Alek has taught the Culinary Entrepreneurship program at ICC. A large portion of his company’s clients are food and beverage businesses

Hakan Martensson
Håkan Mårtensson
Chocolatier of HÅKAN Chocolatier
Speaker in Pastry Plus Session: Ruby Chocolate Innovation

Håkan Mårtensson, one of the hardest working and gifted Chocolatiers tantalizes with his creativity and ability to use out of the ordinary ingredients that will excite any imagination. A graduate of the Culinary Institute in Kristianstad, Sweden, Håkan quickly discovering his obsession with pastry and chocolate. In 2005, at the age of 22, Håkan was recruited to be a sculptor on the Swedish National Culinary Team. Despite competing against chefs with decades more experience Håkan brought home gold medals from the World Cup in Luxembourg and from the Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, establishing himself as a seriously talented chocolatier and sculptor. In 2008 Håkan joined FIKA NYC as Master Chocolatier. Over the next eleven years he continued to develop his skills and made his mark. Today, recognized by chocolate connoisseurs the world over Håkan has created his own atelier: Håkan – Chocolatier, producing limited quantity batches of bonbons with uniquely sourced ingredients offering globally-inspired flavors.

Jackie McMann-Oliveri
Jackie McMann-Oliveri
Director, Talent & Culture, Bobby Flay Restaurants
Speaker in Pastry Plus Session: Team Diversity & Inclusion

Director of Talent and Culture at Bobby Flay Restaurants accustomed to hiring, training, supporting and retaining World Class Talent in the Wonderful World of Hospitality! 20 plus years in HR, a lifetime in Restaurants …Passions include leadership and talent management with a belief that as leaders we should always be selecting and hiring amazing people, giving them the support, tools and opportunities to succeed and partnering on accountability for all.

Most recently served as HR Director for The Meatball Shop and is a founding member of HR Professionals in Hospitality, a lecturer at The International Culinary Center Culinary Entrepreneurship program and lives and breathes an open-door policy. She does what she loves and loves what she does. Loves to garden and cook and spend time with family, friends and Chihuahuas named Latte & Mocha!

Ryan Morgan
Ryan Morgan
Head Baker & Owner of Sixteen Bricks Bakery
Speaker in Pastry Plus Session: The Resurgence of Bread

Ryan Morgan doesn’t take short cuts — in fact, he’ll probably take his motorcycle along the scenic route, and run out of gas along the way. That’s where he thrives. When Morgan took over the family business — a bakery that was barely making enough to pay rent, let alone flour — he did it for his step-dad. He threw himself into it, gave up a good paying job with Johnson & Johnson, sold his motorcycle, and cashed in his 401(k). There are shortcuts to producing the perfect loaf. You can add flavors, coloring, and preservatives. But real bread, Sixteen Bricks bread, is a living organism that reacts to its environment. In 2019 Morgan qualified for the Coup De Mont, the world cup of bread. It’s a challenge that he’s worked tirelessly for. “I want someone to eat this bread whose eaten thousands of baguettes. I want to know how to get better, I want real feedback,” he says. “That’s what will take us to a whole new level.”

Beth Nielsen
Beth Nielsen
Owner & Vice President of Culinary for Nielsen-Massey Vanillas
Speaker in Pastry Plus Session: Everything Vanilla

Beth Nielsen is a third-generation owner and manager of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, serving as Vice President of Culinary. Her responsibilities have included overseeing the company’s international division and its food service division, sales and recipe application, research and development and product innovation. Before returning to Nielsen-Massey Vanillas in 2006, Beth founded and operated her own successful business, was a restaurant manager in resorts and fine dining and served as the financial controller and director of marketing for a team that opened five Nation’s Restaurant News’ Hot Concepts Award-winning restaurants. Beth has been the guest speaker at many conferences, seminars and culinary schools, educating chefs and attendees about Nielsen-Massey’s products. She offers innovative and creative ways to incorporate the products in both sweet and savory recipes, mixology and beauty products. Beth holds degrees in Psychology, Spanish and Music from Denison University in Granville, Ohio. She also studied International Business and Language at one of Europe’s top business schools, Esade. She spends her free time experimenting with Nielsen-Massey extracts and products in the kitchen, hosting chefs from around the globe and tending to her organic vegetable and herb garden.

Gabriel Sorgi
Gabriel Sorgi
US Operations Director of Ole & Steen
Speaker in Pastry Plus Session: Entering the Commissary Model

Gabriel Sorgi is the US operations director at Ole & Steen, a beloved Danish bakery with locations in Union, Bryant Park and Midtown. Throughout his career in hospitality, Gabriel has worked at acclaimed restaurants in New York, including Beacon as the opening chef de cuisine; The Park as executive chef; The SoHo Grand Hotel, The Tribeca Grand Hotel and The Michelangelo Hotel as the head of food & beverage operations and The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters Museum as executive chef. After his promotion as the director of restaurant operations at The Met in 2013, he was recruited as director of restaurants, markets & retail operations for OTG Management, an award-winning operator, where he worked closely to develop food and beverage programs at LaGuardia airport and later founded King Street Hospitality. Before joining the Ole & Steen team, Gabriel was the regional director of Starr Restaurants Catering group. At Ole & Steen, Gabriel oversaw the bakery’s North American debut in New York City and continues to lead its expansion.

Niko Triantafillou
Niko Triantafillou
Food Writer & Photographer
Moderator in Pastry Plus Session: Entering the Commissary Model

Native New Yorker Niko Triantafillou is a food writer and photographer who primarily covers desserts and bakeries. He has written over 250 reviews for Serious Eats, as well as recipe and trend pieces for Saveur, Dessert Professional Magazine, StarChefs and Wine4Food. His opinions on desserts and pastry are frequently sought by local and national media such as the Associated Press and National Public Radio. He recently served on the press jury for the prestigious Valrhona C3 International Pastry Competition. Niko’s food photographs have appeared in the Wall St Journal, Washington Post, The Guardian, an ad campaign for Apple and the Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, just to name a few.

Miro U.
Miro Uskokovic
Pastry Chef of Gramercy Tavern
Speaker in Pastry Plus Conference Address

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.

Sarah Wilkens
Sarah Wilkens
Head Baker of Bien Cuit
Speaker in Pastry Plus Session: Entering the Commissary Model

After graduating from Johnson & Wales University, Sarah followed her culinary career in various places around the country including, Miami, Seattle, and New York. With a degree in Culinary arts but a passion for baking Sarah began her baking journey in Seattle working at Macrina Bakery prior to joining the Bien Cuit team. Sarah’s journey at Bien Cuit began as the Pastry Sous Chef and evolved into the Head Baker Position.

Sherry Yard
Sherry Yard
Chef, Restaurateur & Presenter
Panelist in Pastry Plus Forum: The Business of Taste Panel

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 AppétitFood + 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. 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.

Jen Yee
Jennifer Yee
Executive Pastry Chef of Hopkins & Company
Speaker in Pastry Plus Session: Design in Pastry

Jennifer Yee is an award-winning and James Beard recognized pastry chef, newly based in Atlanta, Georgia. Yee serves as Executive Pastry Chef for the notable Linton Hopkins and his hospitality group, Hopkins & Company. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu London with a patisserie diploma, Yee remained abroad in the UK to begin her training at Gordon Ramsay’s Menu at The Connaught followed by a position as opening team member of the modern Chinese tea salon, Yauatcha in Soho. In 2006, she returned to the U.S. to become pastry sous chef at Gilt inside the ultra-luxe Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue. In 2010, Yee went on to become Charlie Palmer’s pastry chef at Aureole where she was received the Rising Star Pastry Chef award, before joining 2 Michelin-starred SHO Shaun Hergatt downtown. In early 2013, Yee paired with Chef Andrew Carmellini to open his third restaurant in New York, the French spirited Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery,  garnering her three nods from the James Beard Foundation for Outstanding Pastry Chef. Before moving down South, she served as pastry chef through the opening of The Grill in New York City’s historic Seagram Building.

Susanna Yoon
Susanna Yoon
Head Chocolatier & Founder of Stick With Me
Speaker in Pastry Plus Session: Design in Pastry

Susanna Yoon is the head chocolatier, founder, and heart behind one of New York’s finest confectionaries and chocolate shops, Stick With Me Sweets. In 2010, Susanna left her corporate career and enrolled in the Professional Pastry Arts program at The International Culinary Center. She honed her skills in restaurants such as Daniel Boulud’s Cafe Boulud and Thomas Keller’s Per Se restaurant. During her time at Per Se, she became the head chocolatier–mastering the art of hand-shelled chocolates. Susanna attributes her intense, keen-eye for perfection to her training in Thomas Keller’s Three-Michelin starred kitchen. In December of 2014, Susanna opened Stick With Me Sweets, a confectionery specializing in hand-made, luxurious treats, including 26 uniquely flavored handcrafted bonbons, slow-cooked caramels, hand-rolled truffles, crisp toffees, nougats, pralines, and nostalgic candy bars. Susanna’s extensive pastry knowledge, attention to detail, and dedication to excellence are what make Susanna’s chocolates so incredibly delicious! No matter what you choose at Stick With Me Sweets, Susanna has ensured it’s going to be one of the best sweets you’ve ever had!

Speakers are subject to change.