Learn About Our World-Class PreGel 5-Star Pastry Chefs
A continuously evolving industry, the pastry field is one that is led by experience and innovation. Teaching is a critical component for keeping the industry competitive. This responsibility is one that is entrusted to those who believe that sharing their experience and craft is key for the overall success of the industry. Our PreGel 5-Star Pastry Chefs are great examples of those dedicated to this initiative, continuously elevating the field through education.
PreGel 5-Star Pastry Chef Overview
The PreGel 5-Star Pastry Series® features the most current pastry chefs dedicated to providing a superior level of instruction on pastry and dessert applications. With each series, PreGel’s 5-Star Pastry Chefs are given the opportunity to share their techniques, innovations and creativity, as well as their personalities. The PreGel 5-Star Pastry Series® is a wonderful way for PreGel 5-Star Pastry Chefs to further their professional development and continue to build their networks.
What is a PreGel 5-Star Pastry Chef?
PreGel 5-Star Pastry Chefs are world-class pastry and baking professionals invited by PreGel AMERICA to teach and share their expertise in PreGel’s 5-Star Pastry Series®. PreGel 5-Star Pastry Chefs are culinary geniuses at the top of their craft with many years of experience and a desire to elevate the industry through education. PreGel 5-Star Pastry Chefs are current leaders and innovators that continue to evolve the industry by applying cutting-edge techniques to pastry fundamentals.
However, a PreGel 5-Star Pastry Chef does not come from a mold created by the PreGel Professional Training Center. It is the PreGel 5-Star Pastry Chef who continuously breaks the mold and sets new industry standards that PreGel is seeking for its highest level of professional classes.
The benefits of being a PreGel 5-Star Pastry Chef are vast and rewarding. PreGel 5-Star Pastry Chefs are given the opportunity to serve the industry to maintain the highest level of expertise. The series also allows PreGel 5-Star Pastry Chefs the ability to stay current and continue to build teaching skills, and provides added industry exposure and new marketing opportunities.
Antonio BachourPastry king and part owner Antonio Bachour’s professional aspirations were inset at a tender age with his earliest and fondest memories being of kneading dough in his family’s bakery in his birthplace of Puerto Rico. Decades later, the talented star is one of Miami’s brightest, with three top-selling cookbooks under his name; an impressive background including stints at Talula, Scarpetta, Trump Soho, Solea, Quattro and St Regis Bal Harbour; and accolades including 2016 James Beard Award semifinalist, “Top 10 Pastry Chefs” in America from Dessert Professional Magazine, 2011 International Chef Congress Pastry Competition finalist, 2012 Johnson and Wales Zest Award winner for Baking & Pastry Innovator, and is a repeated guest chef at the prestigious Basque Culinary Center in San Sebastian, among others. Bachour’s ridiculously gorgeous and equally delicious sweet treats take the forefront at Bachour Bakery + Bistro.
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Francisco Migoya, Head Chef at the Cooking Lab (Modernist Cuisine), is not only an accomplished pastry chef but he is also the author of three pieces of literature including "The Elements of Dessert", "The Modern Café", and "Frozen Desserts". Formerly the owner and chocolatier at Hudson Chocolates in the Hudson Valley of New York, Migoya had previously earned the honorable recognition as Faculty Member of the Year at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where he taught as a Professor for 6 years.
Migoya has been published in the international publication The Journal of Culinary Science and Technology, and presented research projects on an international stage with topics that explored New Flavor and Texture Interactions in Chocolate in Barcelona, Spain, and Leveraging Textures in the pastry kitchen for developing innovative flavors and healthy dairy-based desserts at the 7th NIZO Conference in the Netherlands. Migoya later presented both research projects at the 2013 Eastern Psychological Association Convention hosted in New York City.
In addition to Migoya's impressive list of achievements, he has also been named Master Artisan Chef (Pastry Guild of Barcelona, Spain - 2013); Top Chocolatier (Dessert Professional); a Top Pastry Chef in America (Tasting Table - 2013); a Top Pastry Chef in America (Dessert Professional - 2011).
Having earned a BA in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the CESSA University in Mexico City, Mexico, and a certificate in French Gastronomy from Ecole D'hotellerie et de Tourisme in Strasbourg-Illkirch, France, Migoya has completed successful tenures as the Executive Pastry Chef at the French Laundry, Bouchon Bakery and Bouchon Bistro, as well as a number of high-end restaurants in New York CitySee My Next Class
Lauren V. HaasLauren is a department chair for the International Baking and Pastry Institute at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. In addition to her role at Johnson & Wales, Lauren is a Cacao Barry Ambassador and works with John E. Koerner & Co. as the U.S.A. technical advisor for 100% Chef.
Prior to joining Johnson & Wales, Lauren honed her skills at some of the country’s most esteemed establishments, most notably the White House, as well as Albert Uster Imports, the Hotel du Pont, the Inn at Little Washington, and CoCo Sala, a boutique chocolate lounge in Washington D.C.
In 2016, Lauren was named one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America by Dessert Professional magazine. Her work has been featured in So Good.. Magazine, American Cake Decorating, and a variety of other publications.
Well versed in the foundations of classical pastry and emerging techniques and trends, Lauren's passion is educating students and pastry professionals in the art and science of pastry.
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Michael Laiskonis was named Creative Director of New York City's Institute of Culinary Education in 2012. Previously Executive Pastry Chef Le Bernardin for eight years, his pastry philosophy manifested itself in a style of desserts that balanced art and science, and contemporary ideas with classic. Awarded Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2007 by the James Beard Foundation, his work also helped the restaurant maintain three stars from the esteemed Michelin Guide and four stars from the New York Times. In his five year tenure as Pastry Chef at Tribute in Detroit, Pastry Art and Design twice named him one of the "10 Best Pastry Chefs in America".
Laiskonis has been featured in numerous web, print, television, and radio appearances internationally. He was named Bon Appétit's 2004 Pastry Chef of the Year and Starchefs.com declared him a Rising Star in 2006. His consulting projects have included a collaboration with the Ritz Carlton hotels in Grand Cayman, Washington DC, and Philadelphia through Ripert Consulting, as well as several pastry shops throughout Japan, and most recently, advisory positions with major food companies and independent restaurants alike. In 2008, Laiskonis became a featured contributor to Gourmet.com and participated in the launch of the Salon.com food page. His writing has also appeared on The Huffington Post and The Atlantic, as well as several anthologies, including The Kitchen as a Laboratory, published in 2012 by Columbia University Press. He has also joined the ranks of chef-bloggers with two websites documenting his work, Notes from the Kitchen and Workbook.
Currently at work on a book-in-progress detailing his evolution as a pastry chef, Laiskonis is excited to find himself in a position to give something back to the culinary community after nearly twenty years in the kitchen. Beyond developing and teaching an ever-changing battery of technical skill, he hopes to inspire the next generation of young cooks by sharing his perspective of the creative process as well as the underlying drive and determination necessary to succeed as a chef.See My Next Class
John KrausHe’s the owner of Patisserie 46, a unique establishment in Minnesota. He belongs to the new generation of the American haute pâtisserie. He was training to be a cook until one day he tasted a croissant and became fascinated by its wonderful simplicity. Then he directed his studies towards the world of sweet. Today John Kraus is the owner of Patisserie 46, a unique establishment in Minnesota in which simple and good things are just doubly good, and in which they are ruled by a different clock. ‘We offer people a place to take a break, breath and enjoy the moments as they pass… Life’s moments are too important and you don’t get them back. Life keeps going so stop for a few minutes and enjoy something wonderful with someone’.
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A love of food runs in my family... My childhood was steeped in the culinary talents of my mother and grandmother, who was also an excellent pastry chef, but also my uncle, a pastry chef at Ferney Voltaire in Switzerland. So no-one was surprised when I came home from school, put aside my books and made cakes! I found my calling early, since I earned by pastry chef's diploma at a young age and went on to a series of enriching internships: with Gabriel Paillasson, whose patisserie not only taught me about the profession but gave me a taste for competitions; at the famous Belgian patisserie Wittamer that helped me perfect my skills as a chocolate-maker, and at the pastry shop Riederer in Aix en Provence, which showed me a different vision of patisserie: cakes as jewels, eccentricity, aesthetics first.
My taste for competitions led me to discover that I was capable of turning dreams and ideas into reality; I participated in 25 competitions, eventually winning the Meilleur Ouvrier de France title for ice cream and the Pastry World Championship in 1999.
And I love to travel... an opportunity that came to me thanks to Bellouet Conseil, a pastry school that recruited me with my awards in hand to train professionals internationally, conduct demonstrations and write a book about ice cream... The ingredients were all there for me to meet Andrey Dellos, the epicurean founder of Café Pouchkine and all the related restaurants in Moscow. A rewarding exchange began that would allow me to create a dream patisserie.
Frederic Hawecker, MOFA native of the south of France, Chef Frederic Hawecker opened his chocolate shop and patisserie in 2002 in Chateaurenard, a few miles from Avignon, France. He previously taught at Ecole Nationale Superieure de Patisserie in Yssingeaux, France, and he currently consults and conducts classes around the world. Chef Hawecker has competed many times, and in 2011, he was awarded Meilleur Ouvrier de France Chocolatier.
Jérôme LandrieuDirector of the Barry Callebaut CHOCOLATE ACADEMY™ center in Chicago Cacao Barry Technical Advisor
After receiving his certification in pastry and chocolate, Chef Landrieu worked at multiple highly esteemed sweet shops and restaurants in France. In these positions, he managed large kitchen teams putting out decadent desserts and studied under three MOF chefs (the highest honor in France for artisans), enabling him to perfect his craft. Chef Landrieu's passion for excellence led him to begin teaching at the Superior National School of Confectionery and Pastry and, just before coming to the United States, he finished his fourth year at The Bellouet Conseils School, a prestigious Parisian school for the art of desserts. While studying at The Bellouet Conseils School, Chef Landrieu began traveling around the world to conduct pastry and chocolate demonstrations. It was during this time that his interest and passion for international food and culture was born.
Chef Landrieu's work has not gone unnoticed. He won two first prizes in sugar artistry, and 2nd prize for artistry at Chocolat by Pascal Caffet in Troyes, 2006. He was also a substitute for Team France at The Pastry World Cup, won first prize for tasting selection at Salon du Chocolat in Paris,and finished in the pastry semifinals at the 2007 Meilleur Ouvrier de France Competition. Most recently he was selected as Dessert Professional's 2011 Top 10 Best Pastry Chefs in America and has been featured in multiples issues of So Good magazine.
At the Chicago Chocolate Academy, Chef Landrieu is in charge of guiding the school towards meeting its goals of sharing knowledge about chocolate and desserts to both the professional and non-professional populations. He manages the Academy's staff, develops classes and recipes, and is constantly seeking out talented guest chefs for specialty classes. He helped to design the layout of the facility, equip the kitchen, auditorium, and café areas, and reaches out to equipment and ingredient companies to form strategic partnerships for the school.
With more than 20 years of industry experience, Master Chocolatier and Executive Pastry Chef Jean Marie Auboine knew by 16 years of age that cooking was his passion. After graduating in 1988 from Lycee Technique Hotelier Quercy at age 18, he served at some of the world's most esteemed restaurants. He began at Le Louis XV - Alain Ducasse in Monaco, assisting the famed eatery in earning Michelin's highest honor, Three Stars. Chef Auboine continued his distinguished career at several Michelin-starred restaurants which included One Star Chateau de Mercues in France and Hotel Beau Rivage in Geneva, as well as the highly respected Two Star restaurant-hotel, La Pyramide Vienne in France.
In May 2003, he was named Executive Pastry Chef of the award-winning Presidente Intercontinental Hotel Mexico and was in charge of the resort's six restaurants and 22 banquet rooms, satisfying the palates of some 2,300 hotel guests. A year later, Chef Auboine was promoted to Corporate Pastry Chef and given the added responsibility of Presidente Intercontinental Hotel's seven additional Mexican resorts.
Chef Auboine has also held the prestigious position of Executive Pastry Chef for Fontainebleau Miami Beach where he set impeccable pastry standards for 11 lavish restaurants. The delectable designs he created during his tenure earned him a "Best Dessert" distinction from the Miami New Times in 2009.
In 2009, Chef Jean-Marie Auboine joined the Bellagio AAA Five Diamond resort as the Executive Pastry Chef. In this role, he oversaw the pastry, dessert and chocolate creations for 19 gourmet and casual dining outlets, room service and catering department. Chef Auboine also speaks fluent English, Spanish, Italian and French, which allowed him to effectively communicate with his team of 70 employees, who expertly produced approximately 15,000 pastries each day.Since January 2011, Chef Auboine created Chocolate Solutions LLC for Consulting, Classes and R&D.
Chef Auboine has garnered a remarkable number of notable awards and achievements including his recognition as one of America's Top 10 Pastry Chefs by Dessert ProfessionalMagazine in 2012, Finalist Meilleur Ouvrier de France Chocolatier 2011, Finalist Meilleur Ouvrier de France Chocolatier 2007, "Best Chef of the Year" from Mexico's Vatel Club in 2008, 5th Place in the 2005 World Chocolate Masters and he was named "Best Pastry Chef of the Year" by France's respected Champerard Guide in 2003. He has also been a member of the prestigious Academie Culinaire de France since 2004. His mastery of chocolate at the 2005 American Chocolate Masters secured him a first place victory and an invitation to participate in the World Chocolate Masters in Paris where he earned the competition's coveted Press Award.
Jean-Michel Perruchon, MOF
Chef Jean-Michel Perruchon, Director of Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil Ecole Gastronomique in Paris, hails from Britney, France. He has worked for some of the best pastry shops in Paris such as Fauchon, Le Notre, Constant and La Maison du Chocolat.In 1989, he founded Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil School with G. J. Bellouet, Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF), to improve the skills of professionals. He has also written many prized international gastronomique books. Chef Perruchon has won many gastronomique competitions such as La Vase de Sèvres du President de la Republique in Arpajon, Charles Proust Cup and was a finalist at the French Cup. In 1993, he obtained the exclusive title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF). He continues to share his experiences not only in France, but all over the world.
Johann MartinDubbed the "Future Talent for the French Pastry" by Chef Christophe Michalak, Johann Martin began his career in Paris at Maison Debieux. He is originally from Nancy, in the Lorraine region of France. Later he worked alongside Chef Stéphane Glacier, MOF Pâtissier, as a pastry consultant. In 2006, at the Pastry World Cup in Phoenix, Arizona, he served as an assistant for the winning French team, working alongside Chef Franck Michel, MOF Pâtissier, Chef Franck Kestener, MOF Chocolatier, and Chef Bruno Montcoudiol, MOF Pâtissier. In 2012, his first pastry book, "Top Dessert" will be published for the general public, targeted towards those that are fascinated by pastry. Since 2009, Chef Martin has taught a variety of French pastry courses for professionals at Bellouet Conseil School in Paris, owned and led by Chef Jean Michel Perruchon, MOF Pâtissier. Chef Martin won vice champion of Artistic Sugar Competition in Lyon, France in 2007. During the selection of the team that would represent France in the World Pastry Cup in Lyon in 2013, he won the silver medal in the Sugar Showpiece and Entremets category. He shares his experiences and "savoir-faire" while traveling throughout France, as well as worldwide in Japan, Kuwait, Israel, Singapore, Colombia, Egypt, the United States and much more.
- 2007, Pastry World Cup in Phoenix - assistant to winning French team: Chef Franck Michel, MOF Pâtissier, Chef Franck Kestener MOF Chocolatier, Chef Bruno Montcoudiol, MOF
- 2007, Artistic Sugar Competition in Lyon, France - Vice Champion
- 2013, Pastry World Cup in Lyon, France - Silver Medal of the selection French team
Laurent BranlardLaurent Branlard is the executive pastry chef for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. A native of France, Laurent Branlard is a highly accomplished pastry chef who holds the distinction as the only two-time winner of the World Pastry Team Championship. He captained Team USA to victory in 2008 after previously winning in 2002. Laurent Branlard and Team USA defeated the top chefs from competing nations in a challenging 2-day, 13-hour competition that tested the team's culinary ability and artistic skills. In between his world titles, he held the honor of serving as a judge for the pastry championship competition and coaching Team USA in the 2006 World Pastry Competition to a bronze medal. He holds the honor of being named one the Top Pastry Chefs in America.
His outstanding creations have been featured on the Food Network, CBS's "Early Show" and NBC's "Today Show." Laurent Branlard is most noted for his sugar showpieces, resulting in innovative designs, all accomplished by pulling sugar. He continues to revamp the hotel's pastry menus in all restaurants and banquets.
Laurent Branlard began studying pastry arts at the age of 16. He was trained in his craft in France and is certified as a pastry chef, chocolate-maker, ice-cream maker and confectioner. He holds a CAP degree from a French Culinary Institute in Vincennes. Before joining the hotel, Branlard was executive pastry chef for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Buckhead in Atlanta. He was also executive pastry chef for the Ritz-Carlton in St. Thomas, USVI. He worked throughout France as a pastry chef and caterer.
While working as a pastry chef for Bontemps Catering in France, Laurent Branlard participated in the country's most prestigious pastry contest, the "Meilleur Ouvrier de France" (MOF - Master of the Craft Designation in France), an elite honor bestowed upon only few chefs. He was recruited by the noted Philippe Uraca, MOF to be his pastry chef. He also worked for Layrac Catering Company and held numerous other pastry chef positions in France. Branlard trained in chocolate-making under Chef Boucher, MOF, one of the most noted chocolate-makers in France.
Laurent Branlard has distinguished himself with fascinating sugar and chocolate showpieces and a host of other tantalizing desserts, resulting in intricate designs and awe-inspiring presentations. His proven experience adds an impressive component to the hotel's culinary team.
Olivier Bajard, MOF
Bajard has participated in many competitions and attended various continuing professional trainings in order to continue enhancing his skills. He obtained the much sought-after title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France at age 27 and received the top honour of World Champion at the Dessert-Making Craft World Championship at age 29.
After achieving these huge accomplishments, Bajard entered the world of instruction, where he is able to share his experience, knowledge and love for the craft throughout France and around the world. He created his own consulting and pastry instruction firm in 2001 and four years later, the École Internationale de Pâtisserie Olivier Bajard was born. Here, trainings are provided for pastry professionals as well as the general public.
2012, Coq d'Or - Olivier's chocolate bonbons were selected by the Gourmand Guide!
2011, Grand Prize winner for book by a Meilleur Ouvrier de France - Gastronomy category
2010, Creation of the Olivier Bajard boutique - Collioure - France
Born in Manlleu (Barcelona), Ramon Morato was raised in a family that did not have any connection with confectionery. After finishing his studies, he started his training in a number of establishments. He combined his practical training with all the courses given at the School of the Provincial Association of Confectioners of Barcelona. He obtained a scholarship to visit the National High School of Pastry, Confectionery, Ice Cream and Chocolate Makers of France in Yssingeaux, where he discovered High Confectionery.
During his stage time in several of the best Spanish Confectioner's shops, he also visited some important centres of chocolate technology, such as the ZDS in Solingen, Germany and Richard Conseil in Lyon, France. His entrepreneur spirit has led him to take part in numerous confectionery contests. Among them, we should highlight the highest distinction in Spanish confectionary, M.M.A.P.E for the Best Artisan Confectioner Master of Spain in 1997, as well as sixth place in the Confectioner's World Championship in Stuttgart, Germany.
He is currently running Aula Chocovic, the first school in Spain which specializes in chocolate making as well as offering all types of courses for professional people connected to general gastronomy. This possibility of interacting with a great number of professional people from different fields has given him extensive knowledge as to the needs of the sector, and has allowed him to discover his passion for teaching, investigating, and creating products related to the sweet world. As a result, over recent years he has led courses and given seminars and lectures all over the world: in the USA, Australia, Japan, China, Sweden, France, Italy and other countries.
He is a regular contributor to the South American cable channel elgourmet.com, where he has recorded approximately fifty programmes about chocolate making. He is a permanent professor at the South American and Caribbean School of chocolate, confectionery and ice cream making in Cuba through Quim Capdevila's Foundation KABHUB.
He is published worldwide and is most well-known for his book "RAMON MORATÓ chocolate", which won the title of World's Best Chocolate Book 2007 in the prestigious London Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
Salvatore Martone has been the Pastry Chef at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon,** Michelin stars, at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City since May 2010. Previously he was the Pastry Chef at The Ojai Valley Inn and Spa in Ojai, California, beginning in April 2008. He was the Executive Pastry Sous Chef for Joel Robuchon at the Mansion,*** Michelin stars, and L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon,* Michelin star, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, from August 2005 to April 2008. Before his experience with the Robuchon restaurants Salvatore worked at Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.
Continual education has been a key instrument in Salvatore's career. He began his education at the School of Culinary Arts in Naples, Italy, in 1986-1991. He later attended Instituto Arte Culinare in Venice, Italy, in 2001. Wanting to round out his pastry knowledge he attended The French Pastry School: Art de La Patisserie in Chicago, Illinois, in 2004. He has also pursued education with periodic classes from masters in their fields.
Salvatore believes that there is always room for growth and improvement, proven in his own career beginning as a pizza maker as a young man, turned bread maker, opening his eyes to the whole world of pastry arts.
Stéphane Glacier, MOF
Stéphane Glacier is an International consultant for pastry, chocolate and confectionary.
He is travelling all around the world to teach and demonstrate pastry for prestigious brands. He teaches in the best pastry school in the world He organizes and gives classes for professionals and also for the public. He was awarded Meilleur Ouvrier de France Pâtissier in 2000.
He coached the French Pastry Team, winner at the World Pastry Team Championship in Phoenix, USA, in July 2006.
He has his own pastry shop "Patisseries et gourmandises" by stéphane Glacier». A new concept "on order" just outside of Paris.
Stéphane Glacier is also well known for his book. He runs his own publishing company:
Sugar Art Behind the Scene
Holiday Desserts Behind the Scene
Un Amour de Macaron
Verrines et Petits Gâteaux