Vincent Pilon

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

With more than 20 years of experience in some of the most prominent confectionary kitchens in the world, Executive Pastry Chef for The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Master Chocolatier Vincent Pilon, has carved his niche in the United States pastry scene.

Pilon began his formal culinary training at L’école Jean Ferrandi, widely regarded as the leading pastry school in France. Here he developed a strong foundation in classic technique, which has forever served as the anchor for his creative pursuits. Pilon then attended L’école de Paris des Métiers de la Table where he expanded his scope into the versatile world of chocolate. After completing his training, Pilon worked in various pastry and chocolate shops throughout France before embarking on a career in the U.S. Continue reading

Karen Portaleo

Karen PortaleoKaren Marie Portaleo arrived in the world of cake decorating by taking a few unconventional paths. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art from the Atlanta College of Art, she launched her career as a jewelry designer for a high end accessory house based in Atlanta. During this time, she still created art in her home studio. One of her patrons happened to be one of the directors of the advertising department at Neiman Marcus. She commissioned Karen to design 7 sets for a children’s photo shoot, and with that a new career was launched. Karen has created props and sets for 16 years, and her client list includes Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Nestle Candy, Maybeline, Target, Dove Soap, Tom Ford and Alexander McQueen.Continue reading

Stéphane Tréand MOF

Chef Tréand, World Champion and MOF, most recently served as the Executive Pastry Chef at the St. Regis Resort, Monarch Beach. Born in Paris, Chef Tréand began learning pastry in the C.F.A of Vincennes, France. Chef Tréand has a long list of awards and accolades; however, the most impressive one was awarded to him in February 2004. Chef Tréand received the top honor in the pastry industry in France with the M.O.F. (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) Pâtissier award, literally referring to the “best craftsman in France.” Most recently Chef Tréand added World Champion to his list of accolades after winning the 2008 World Pastry Team Championship.

A veteran of the food industry, Stéphane Tréand’s pastry journey began in Northern France at the age of 16 when his father sent him to work at the local bakery. Even after the hard time of apprenticeship he realized he had the passion for pastry.Continue reading

Geoffrey Blount, CEPC, ACE

Geoffrey Blount

Geoffrey Blount, CEPC, ACE

Head Chef Instructor
Baking & Pastry Arts Program
Central Piedmont Community
College, Harris Campus

He graduated from CPCC in 1995 after earning an AAS degree in Culinary Arts. Chef Blount also attended the French Pastry School in Chicago. A member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and the 2011 Charlotte Pastry Chef of the Year and Educator of the Year, Geoff has earned numerous awards including Best Pastry Shop-2005 & 2006, Top Ten Charlotte Chefs-2004 and his dessert creations were featured at both the 2004 and 2005 James Beard Dinners. Recently, Chef Blount competed as part of Team USA at the Gelato World Cup in Italy, where the team won the coveted “Best Taste” award.

Between 1992 and 2012, Chef Blount has won over 39 ACF medals for the Hot Food, Bread, Chocolate, Pastry and Cold-Food categories in competitions throughout the US. He currently serves on the National Pastry Committee and is an ACF Certified Judge. His professional career includes stints as Pastry Chef, Executive Chef and Owner in top hotels, shops and clubs throughout the southeastern United States. Chef Blount is also the owner of the Sugar Buzz INC. and began teaching at CPCC in 2007.