Gretchen George

Gretchen GeorgeGretchen K. George was born in Korea, and raised in Mechanicsburg, Pa. At an early age, she developed a love for cooking, and began her first professional cooking and cake decorating classes in high school. It was during this time, she realized that cooking was a profitable way to use your creativity and art skills.

In 1993, after graduating from (PICA) Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts, she moved to Atlanta to begin her externship at the Ritz Carlton, Buckhead. Here rotating throughout the Pastry shop and learning how to make products from all shifts created a strong foundation. In 1996, she began work at the Villa Christina and soon met mentor Executive Pastry Chef Paul Bodrogi. Chef Paul was instrumental in fine-tuning her previous training, by putting emphasis on individual flavors, style, and creating unique desserts that had an emphasis on flavor.

Throughout the years, working at various restaurants, hotels and private clubs in the Atlanta area wedding cakes were always where her love was. Taking continuing education classes from Nicholas Lodge since the late 90’s has helped given her the expertise needed to become a true sugar artist specializing in wedding cakes and gum paste flowers.

Today, Chef George continues to do specialty cakes, but her main focus has been teaching. For the past 8 years Chef George has been teaching Baking and Pastry Classes at Le Cordon Bleu in Tucker, Ga. She has made appearances on the Atlanta Morning Show, and been seen in The Atlanta Business Chronicle, and Season’s magazine. In 2013, Chef George also took second place in Pastry Live’s Art of Cake competition.

Lauren Haas

Lauren Haas Lauren V. Haas is a full time faculty member at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI. In addition to her role at Johnson & Wales, Lauren works with Koerner Foods as an ambassador for Sosa Ingredients and 100% Chef, leading manufacturers of premium ingredients & equipment. She is also a member of the Cacao Barry Ambassador Club.

Prior to joining Johnson & Wales, Lauren honed her skills at some of the country’s most prestigious establishments, most notably the White House, under then president George W. Bush, 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..

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.

Stephan Iten

Suzanne ImazOriginally from Berne, Switzerland, Chef Stephan Iten has several years of broad experience in the field of Chocolate and Pastry. As Felchlin’s Export Corporate Pastry Chef, he lends his exceptional culinary experience and skills to other professionals through pastry classes and seminars in Switzerland and worldwide. It is always with love and enthusiasm that he conveys his passion for creating chocolate and pastries in a contemporary and highly innovative style.

Chef Iten gained knowledge in his hometown of Berne before travelling overseas to work for the most prestigious hotels and restaurants in the United States, including Swissôtel in Boston. Later on he accepted the position as Executive Pastry Chef at the Ritz Carlton Marina Del Rey/California and was responsible for large banquets, weddings and corporate functions. After some years of working experience he was looking for a new challenge – in 1994 he decided to return to Switzerland. During this period he attended a higher education at the Swiss Confectionary and Chocolate Association and achieved successfully the title as Certificated Pastry and Chocolate Master.

In 1996 Stephan Iten started his career at Felchlin. This opportunity took him all around the world, including the United States, Middle East and Far East affording him new professional relationships and the appreciation of culinary influences from other cultures.

The professionalism and specialised knowledge of Stephan Iten was accomplished in 1998 when he was awarded as Pastry Chef of the year at the Johnson & Wales University College of Culinary Arts in the United States (Providence/Road Island). Stephan Iten aspires always to be ahead of the trends – his creativity and individual support towards our partners and customers excel him as a highly appreciated consultant.

Sarah Kosikowski

Sarah KosikowskiA graduate of Culinary Institute of America, Sarah Kosikowski’s stellar career includes some of the most renowned restaurants in the country. In San Francisco, she worked at The French Laundry, Citizen Cake, and the Ritz-Carlton Dining Room. In Las Vegas, she continued to hone her skills at the Wynn Hotel; then, as Executive Pastry Chef, at the four-star Fleur de Lys; and then Michael Mina’s Michelin-rated restaurant at the Bellagio. In Chicago, she oversaw the dessert program at the Trump International Hotel & Tower® Chicago.

She is a 2009 James Beard Award nominee and appears regularly in national and local media. Chef Kosikowski qualified for the North American semi-finals of the Valrhona C3 Culinary Competition in Versailles, France in April 2011.

The extremely accomplished Chef Sarah Kosikowski joins Valrhona as its Ecole du Grand Chocolat Pastry Chef Eastern USA, through which she will use the people-skills to conduct classes for professionals; one-on-one culinary consultations; and media outreach, communicating the tastes and tales of Valrhona chocolate.