An acknowledged master of pastry, Chef Rocco Lugrine has enjoyed a lengthy and successful career in some of the country’s most prestigious and highly regarded kitchens. Currently, he is a chef instructor at The Art Institute of Philadelphia, where he has worked with students since 2005 to share his hard-won knowledge of classic and contemporary pastry techniques.
In addition to his duties at The Art Institute, Chef Lugrine’s recent past includes a two-year stint as corporate pastry chef for Signature Restaurants, a group of five exceptional dining outlets in and around Philadelphia including the famed Le Bec Fin and Brasserie Perrier. After boldly recasting the dessert offerings at each restaurant, Chef Lugrine trained and maintained the staffs in all five kitchens, ensuring that their confections met his rigorous standards for every plate.
Prior to joining Signature, Chef Lugrine served as executive pastry chef at Miel Patisserie, a boutique from-scratch bakery specializing in original and classic pastries. His duties included creating and perfecting recipes and overseeing all pastry-related deliverables for the bakery’s two retail outlets and more than 30 wholesale accounts. It was a role he was well prepared to take on, following a two-year stint on the west coast as assistant head baker at San Francisco’s Panorama Baking Company, an artisanal bread maker whose renowned products are served at more than 200 of the Bay Area’s top restaurants.
Before his stint in California, Chef Lugrine worked as executive pastry chef at Philadelphia’s Brasserie Perrier, where his eye-catching work earned him a wealth of recognition from the press and the public alike. Throughout his career, he has accumulated honors, including “Pastry Chef of the Year” from the American Culinary Federation and six “Best of Philly” wins from Philadelphia magazine’s authoritative annual ranking. He has cooked for Julia Child, Jacques Pepin and Paul Bocuse, and trained under internationally recognized masters of pastry, including Francois Payard and Robert Bennett. He is a graduate of The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, and currently resides in Philadelphia with his wife and their two sons.