Chef Robert Nieto is the Executive Pastry Chef at Jackson Family Wines in Fulton, CA.
A proud Texas native, Robert Nieto earned his cooking and baking certificate from Del Mar Community College in Corpus Christi. He began his career as a line cook at Corpus Christi Country Club, but quickly found his passion was creating desserts. He trained with the pastry chef to learn the fundamentals of pastries and baking. Nieto moved west to Las Vegas for further challenges and training. In Las Vegas, he worked at several five star hotels: Bellagio, Paris Las Vegas and the Venetian as a Pastry Cook and Pastry Sous Chef.
In 2004, Nieto was hired as Pastry Sous Chef at world-renowned Chef Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro in Las Vegas. Furthering his career, Nieto was given the opportunity to move to California to the Napa Valley as the Pastry Chef of Bouchon Bistro and Bouchon Bakery in Yountville. Seeking other challenges, he moved to Sonoma County to work at Michelin-starred Madrona Manor as the Pastry Chef in 2010, where he continued experimenting and improving his skills.
Nieto joined Jackson Family Wines in 2012, where he developed an innovative bread and pastry program that compliments the many diverse Kendall Jackson wines. Many of Nieto’s desserts are inspired by the famous Estate gardens at Kendall Jackson Winery where he integrates the herbs, spices and fruit to enhance his creations.
Always enjoying competitions, Nieto was selected in 2013 for tryouts by Bread Bakers Guild of America to compete in Viennoiserie and Artistic Design. In 2015 and 2017, he competed at Pastry Live in Chocolate Bonbons, Plated Dessert and Championship Showpiece. He had the privilege of being selected as a finalist for the Valrhona 2015 Chocolate Chef Competition (C3).
Nieto says he knows what it takes to be a member of the U.S. Team which will compete in the 2019 Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie. He got a taste of it while assisting the 2017 Team.
In competition and at work, Nieto is constantly challenging himself to improve and create new and different desserts. He has attended classes in chocolate and sugar sculpture, viennoiserie, candies, wine education, and bread (to name a few). Over the years he has continued to push himself at work, at pastry and bread competitions and in areas outside of work as well. In 2013, Nieto completed a grueling Ironman competition in Lake Tahoe, California. Nieto’s catch phrase and general philosophy in life is, no matter what you are doing to always strive to “have a sweet day!”
Chef Robert Nieto will be participating in the chocolate competition tryout for Team USA 2019, August 14-15, 2017, at Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.