Pastry Team USA

Representing the US in the World Pastry Cup


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About Sylvain Leroy– Team 2019 Selection Jury member

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Chef Sylvain Leroy

Chef Sylvain Leroy will be one of the members of the jury selecting Team USA 2019 at this year’s tryout.

Leroy began his career as apprentice for the great Pastry Chef and Traiteur Jean Roger Lenne at the ‘Maison Schaetjens’ in his hometown of Amiens, France. He later continued to expand his knowledge and creativity under many of the great chefs of France: Paul Bugat, MOF, Patrick Chevallot, MOF, Gabriel Paillasson, MOF, Louis Grondart, Chef de cuisine (Restaurant Jules Verne), and many more.

He arrived in the United States in 1987 as Corporate Pastry Chef for the Sofitel Hotel. In 1991 he then became Executive Pastry Chef with Hotel Inter-Continental Miami, which at that time was the largest hotel property in Miami. Then Chef Leroy took on the prestigious title of Corporate Pastry Chef for Valrhona Chocolate in 1994 traveling worldwide for 12 years.

Institutions he has taught at include: La Varenne “Chateau du Fey “Anne Willam. CIA in Napa; the French Pastry School in Chicago; Dubrulle Culinary Academy in Vancouver; Johnson & Wales in both Rhode Island and Miami. He has done many television programs including local cable stations, CNN and Food Network.

Impressive events as chef have included: The White House “Easter Roll” event; The New York Chocolate Show; Celebrity Chef for ‘Make a Wish’ Foundation Fundraiser Galas; Grapes for Humanity (Landmines affecting children) Disneyland’s Gala Dinners; Robert Mondavi Winery; Jordan Winery; and for the French Consulate in America and Canada. Le Salon du Chocolat Paris and New York.

Openings for world renowned hotels: the Atlantis, Bahamas, and Dune Jean George Restaurant, ST Regis Bora Bora also Lagoon another Jean George restaurant ,US Grant San Diego created great experiences for creating quality under pressure. (From managing brand new teams, recipes, budgets and style) with a short window of time for application. Kitchen time at some of the top tables in America has expanded his understanding of the industry in areas of management, communication, food costs and creativity with consistency.

Tryouts for Team USA 2019 will be held August 14-15, 2017, at Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


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About Roy Pell – Team 2019 Selection Jury member

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Chef Roy Pell

Chef Roy Pell will be one of the members of the jury selecting Team USA 2019 at this year’s tryout. He was the coach of Team USA 2017.

Pell is a graduate of Westminster Catering College in London, bringing more than 25 years of experience to his position. Prior to joining Arizona’s premier AAA Five Diamond resort destination, he spent nine years at Ritz-Carlton properties in San Francisco, St. Louis and Phoenix. His portfolio also includes Harvey’s Restaurant in London, the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Savoy Hotel in London and Peter Island on the British Virgin Islands.

In 2010, Pell was named one of the Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America by Dessert Professional magazine. A member of the 2004 Pastry Team at the Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany, he was also a member of Team USA for the 2009 Coupe du Monde in Lyon, France. He returned to Team USA as an alternate for the 2013 competition before becoming the coach of Team USA 2017.

Pell joined The Phoenician in September 2005 as Executive Pastry Chef. He is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Pastry Department, including training and development; as well as all bread, bakery and dessert products for resort-managed dining venues, including Il Terrazzo, The Café and Ice Cream Parlor, Relish Burger Bistro, Oasis Grill, Canyon Grill, Afternoon Tea and In-Room Dining, in addition to all banquet kitchens.

His signature works at The Phoenician have included numerous artisan creations for special events and programs – as well as a traditional holiday gingerbread house, and a replica of London’s Big Ben Clock Tower, which previously adorned The Café and Ice Cream Parlor.

Tryouts for Team USA 2019 will be held August 14-15, 2017, at Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


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About Christophe Feyt – Team 2019 Selection Jury member

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Chef Christophe Feyt

Chef Christophe Feyt will be a member of the selection jury to pick Team USA 2019. He was a member of the Team U.S.A. in the 2013 and coach of the 2017 Team.

Feyt was born in Agen, France, an area in the southwest known for high quality food products. After starting at the patisserie which his family has owned for 40 years, Christophe worked in Boston, Hawaii and Las Vegas. He mastered the fundamentals of pastry in nationally recognized shops in southwest France and Paris. What he learned there still influences him today, forming the basis of his passion and work ethic. Christophe then earned his Brevet de Maitrise diploma (Master’s degree), to have an excellent foundation to support him throughout his career.

Boston was a key part of Feyt’s American introduction, where he applied his French technique. He profited from America’s “melting pot” status to adjust his palate, and to embrace many countries’ culinary influences for his pastries and desserts. During this time, Feyt  unveiled new Chocolate Bar menus for the Meridien Hotel and was a demonstrator at the New York City Chocolate Show; both furthered his passion with chocolate.

In Hawaii, Feyt felt fortunate to be influenced by the local products and flavors that he explored in new ways in his pastry creations. His emphasis returned to the origin of the products by this unique opportunity to experience hands on a vanilla bean farm and chocolate plantations.

Working as the Executive Pastry Chef at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, Feyt realized his goal to experience high volume pastry operation, and create showpieces more often. Vegas is a show town that allows freedom of creativity, and an opportunity to supply clients with special tailor made artistic pieces as needed.

Feyt’s life is balanced by spending time with his wife and children. He has enjoyed
his experiences living in several regions of the US, and celebrating the diverse culture each had to offer.

Tryouts for Team USA 2019 will be held August 14-15, 2017, at Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


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About Roland Mesnier – Team 2019 Selection Jury President

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Chef Roland Mesnier with one of his gingerbread White House creations.

Former White House Executive Pastry Chef  Roland Mesnier will preside over the jury selecting Team USA 2019. He served as Club Coupe du Monde USA President from 1988 to 1991, and again from 1997 to 2001 when Team USA won its first and only Gold Medal.

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Chef Roland Mesnier

Apprenticing to his older brother Jean, Roland began working at the local patisserie in exchange for room and board. From there he was hired as the pastry sous chef at the iconic Savoy Hotel in London, then was hired as Executive Pastry Chef and spent nine years at the legendary Princess Bermuda resort where he met his wife, Martha and they had a son, George.  Roland and his family traveled back to France, this time Roland was hired as the Executive Pastry Chef at what is now the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris.  After a short time in Paris, Roland missed the beaches of Bermuda and returned as Corporate Pastry Chef for all of the Princess properties.  Then in April 1976, Roland came to the U.S.as Executive Pastry Chef at The Homestead, a venerable resort hotel in Hot Springs, Virginia.

Hired in 1979 by first lady Rosalyn Carter, Roland Mesnier began his career as White House Executive Pastry Chef and went on to become the longest tenured chef ever to serve there. Never content to sit still, on Roland’s days off from the White House he developed and taught the first professional Pastry Arts Program at L’Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, MD – currently ranked in the top 10 Culinary schools in the U.S.

Chef Mesnier has won 18 gold medals, 4 silver and 3 bronze for his pastry creations in competitions around the world. He is a member of the Academie Culinaire de France and the recipient of many awards and accolades which include: the French Legion of Honor in 2005 – the highest honor bestowed on a French citizen; that same year he was inducted into the Chocolate and Pastry Hall of Fame in New York. He was awarded a Doctorate of Culinary Arts from the prestigious Johnson & Wales University in South Carolina. He is the author of three books, Dessert UniversityBasic to Beautiful Cakes and All the Presidents Pastries: Twenty Five Years at the White House, A Memoir.

He is currently at work on a fourth book, this one in conjunction with the White House Historical Association, scheduled for release in late 2010. While Chef Mesnier retired from the White House in 2004, he returned several times over the next two years to work on special projects for the Bush family.  Since 2006 he has traveled the U.S. and around the world giving speeches, judging pastry competitions and participating in fundraising events and book signings and much more.

Tryouts for Team USA 2019 will be held August 14-15, 2017, at Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


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Announcement of Selection Jury for Team USA 2019 Tryout

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Chef Paillasson

The following judges will be selecting the two remaining members of Team USA 2019:

Originally, Chef Ewald Notter had been scheduled, but is now unavailable.

The competition will be held on August 14-15 at the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids Michigan and will be free and open to the public.


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Robert Nieto – Team USA 2019 Tryout Participant

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Chef Robert Nieto

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.


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Francois Behuet – Team 2019 Tryout Participant

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Chef François Behuet

Chef François Behuet is the Executive Pastry Chef at Petrossian in New York City.

Born in Caen, France, Behuet discovered his passion for the art of pastry and chocolate at the age of 15 years old, he had already decided it would be his future career. Creating and innovating the traditional pastries, then producing the chocolate with an artistic touch was his real wish.

In 2005, Behuet was employed as a pastry apprentice at Roussel Pastry. Two years later, he moved to Deauville to become a chocolate apprentice at Chocolaterie Les Marianik’s.
With his experience and his ambition, he decided to become a Chocolate demonstrator which led him to travel across France to many events around the Chocolate and confectionery. He founded “Frou2showcolat” with the desire to share his passion by offering gourmet classes for non-professionals of all ages.

In 2012, Behuet moved to Paris with the intention of gaining expertise in chocolate. His will was to learn the new manufacturing techniques in the world capital of pastry. He was employed as the production manager of the chocolate bonbons at Chocolaterie Jadis et Gourmande.

New York was his next destination. He worked with Chef François Payard as the Executive Chocolate Chef for 3 years.

Chef François Behuet 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.