Brittany Mateika

Brittany Mateika

Norman Love Confections

Brittany Mateika’s creative training in the chocolate world began in Naples, Florida. She took an apprentice position under her father, former Chef Philip Fincher, where she learned the foundational principles, theory, and precision of producing artisan chocolate and confections. Having the opportunity to expand her knowledge through a concentrated class under renowned chocolate confectioner Jean- Pierre Wybauw, her zeal and intensity for chocolate innovation was heightened, and she earned her way to Production Supervisor in the Naples factory where she excelled in all areas of product development and manufacturing. Several years later, Brittany accepted an extraordinary offer to join world renowned Norman Love Confections®, headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida. It is here that Chef Love has further taught Brittany the mastery and beauty of unparalleled Artistry in Chocolate® through the execution of techniques and exquisite creations that has garnered national and international acclaim.

Molly Rothermel

Molly Rothermel

Norman Love Confections

Molly grew up in a small suburban town of Palmyra Pennsylvania, her love for the foodservice industry started to grow at a very young age!

Her grandfather owned Glaubers fine chocolates, a chocolate and candy business in the baltimore, lutherville areas in Maryland. It was a family run business since 1876. Unfortunately the business was sold in 2002 but still is running today! Molly grew up running around the small chocolate factory in the basement of her grandfathers house. Sneaking tastes of caramels running through the enrober, watching workers make turtles, bark and homemade fudge!

Once she made it to high school, she started working in restaurants from the ground up! Starting with bussing tables, washing dishes, to gradually learning how to man all of the stations in the kitchen. She worked in places like The Hotel hershey, the Hershey golf collection, Trattoria Fratellis of Lebanon PA and attending the Lebanon county technical center for culinary arts during her senior year of High school.

After high school she went on the continue her education at the Pennsylvania school for Culinary arts, located in Lancaster PA. Where she studied basking and pastry arts under current party arts director Susan Notter. Before completing the Pastry course, she had to go on an externship, where her love and interest for chocolate began to blossom. She found Norman Love confections in Fort Myers Florida, and applied. She got the job, and moved the 1,300 miles down there from Pennsylvania. It has been nearly 4 years now, and she has become one of the handful of chocolatiers that work in the factory, pumping out the millions upon millions of colorful chocolates that they produce each year! She has done nearly every position, working events, teaching classes, making all of the handmade chocolate decorations used for all of the pastries and helping to produce the large amount of chocolates and confections that the business demands.

Johanna Wyss

Johanna Wyss

Johanna is currently a student at Joliet Junior College. She enrolled in their culinary program to build upon her art and special effects make-up backgrounds with aspirations of becoming a cake artist. She began working in a professional kitchen at age 17, and has since sought further knowledge at The French Pastry School and through staging locally and internationally. This is Johanna’s first time competing at a national level and she is very excited for the opportunity to hone her decorating skills.

Rachel Pol

Rachel Pol

Rachel Pol Pastry

Rachel Pol Policart, Pastry Chef; Chef-Owner of TOMATO in Panama; Hostess of the cooking show “Soy Rachel, Soy Foodie”.

Through the ‘Rachel Pol Firm’ she also caters the city’s most exclusive events, does consulting for hotels and restaurants, and was the Private Chef for the Presidential Plane, under the previous Panamanian administration.

Rachel has been a guest Chef and Speaker at the IACP conference in San Francisco, California. Pastry Master Class in Trujillo, Peru, Recurrent speaker in Panama Gastronomica Chefs Unplugged, De Norte a Sur in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Flavors of the Islands in St Thomas, and Women Chef Organization in New York, among others.

At present Rachel is making and branding her own chocolate from bean to bar, with Panamanian organic cacao beans, promoting fair trade for local growers. Her project will educate about the sustainable use of the land and create educational centers for children at these communities.