Luis Robledo Richards

LuisRobledoRichards

Tout Chocolat

Luis Robledo Richards has over 15 years of experience as a Pastry Chef and is the owner and creator of Tout Chocolat, a chocolate shop that specializes in high quality products including bonbons, bars, pastries and several other confections.

After graduating form the French Culinary Institute’s “Classic Pastry Arts” program where he was awarded “Outstanding Alumni Award”, Luis joined the pastry department of Restaurant Daniel in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, working alongside Pastry Chef Thomas Haas.

In the summer of 1999 Luis moved to Paris to attend the prestigious École Lenôtre where he apprenticed under chefs Jean-Louis Clément, Stéphane Glacier, Frédéric Anton and Philippe Gobet, all winners of the coveted MOF title.

During his stint in France, Luis worked in Michelin starred establishments such as Le Pré Catelàn and attended chocolate classes at Valrhona’s École du Grand Chocolat in Tain l’Hermitage.

In the fall of 2001 owner Sirio Maccioni named Luis Executive Pastry Chef of his acclaimed restaurant Le Cirque, where his dessert Red Fruit and Vanilla Napoleon was named “one of the five best dishes around the world” by food writer Alan Richman.

After two years as Le Cirque’s pastry chef, Luis was named Executive Pastry Chef of the Four Seasons Hotel New York. In addition to the Hotel’s day-to-day responsibilities, Luis created a line of high-end chocolates that became an immediate success among the Hotel’s VIP and celebrity guests.

In February 2006, Luis moved to Mexico City where he opened his anticipated first chocolate shop “Tout Chocolat”, achieving much success in Mexico and abroad.

Since then he’s been recognized as “One of the Top ten Chocolatiers in North America” by Dessert Professional Magazine and “Chef of the Year” by Vatel Club Mexico.

As a competitor Luis has won numerous competitions including the World Chocolate Masters Mexico in 2010 and 2012, as well as the Mondial des Arts Sucrées as a coach in 2009.

Throughout his career, Luis has appeared in numerous TV segments including Today Show, Good Morning America, Food Network, Latin America’s Gourmet Channel, Mexico’s Channel 11, Utilísima, Televisa and TV Azteca among others.

In addition, Luis has participated in several events such as “City Meals on Wheels”, The Chocolate Show, The Chocolate fashion Show and The James Beard Foundation Gala dinner.

Karen Neugebauer

KarenNeugebauer

Forte Chocolates

ForteChocolates.com

Master Chocolatier, Karen Neugebauer is a true Artisan who is at the forefront of the Seattle artisan chocolate scene. She has continually wowed customers with both traditional pieces and her cutting-edge confections. Her passion for the craft and cunningly balanced flavor profiles have led to being ranked among the world’s best chocolatiers.

Chef Karen found her passion when she entered the Art Institute of Seattle’s Baking & Pastry program. She was immediately drawn to chocolate, especially the crisp, clean snap of a beautifully tempered bar, and chocolate’s innate ability to enhance lives – both as a food and an art – appealed to her immensely. Soon after graduating, she started Forte Chocolates (2006).

Believing in the philosophy that to celebrate chocolate is to celebrate life, Chef Karen chose to follow the artisan mindset rather than manufacturing large quantities. Her team of artisans craft every piece entirely by hand; including hand tempering, pouring, dipping, and packaging all of the chocolates. With meticulous dedication to quality, she brings to life the remarkably diverse variety of flavors found naturally within chocolate. She also creates stunning flavor combinations by blending chocolates with the finest ingredients available in the marketplace, including savory elements such as organic herbs, honeys, and spices.

Chef Karen has won numerous national and international awards, most notably Gold (2013) and Silver (2011), from the Academy of Chocolate in London, UK. Nationally, she has earned more than 50 Golds and Silvers in four short years (2009-2012), including Taste TV’s Masters Award (2012) and the Six-star rating from the International Chocolate Salons (2013), their highest possible rating in the United States. Chef Karen’s chocolates are carried throughout the Pacific Northwest, available online, and available at her showroom in Mt. Vernon. Please visit us at www.ForteChocolates.com

Maura Metheny

Maura Metheny Photo

Norman Love Confections

Massachusetts native, Maura Metheny was formally trained in fine arts before turning to a career in pastry and chocolate. Upon earning her bachelor’s in fine arts in NY, Metheny then obtained an Associate of Science degree in pastry arts at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I.

After graduation, Metheny accepted a job in Lucerne, Switzerland, where she worked in pastry and chocolate. She returned to the United States when offered a job in fine dining at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples. In 2001 Metheny accepted a position assisting Chef Norman Love while continuing to work full time at The Ritz. In 2003, she accepted a full-time position at Norman Love Confections as the Chocolate Production Manager for the Fort Myers-based confectioner, where she designed and oversaw the daily production of over 35,000 handmade pieces of ultra-premium confections, plus production of specialty lines for Love’s G Chocolates by Godiva and FM Artisan by Norman Love for Fannie May Confections.

In 2011, Metheny was promoted to Director of innovation and product design. In her new role, she is responsible for the development of new products and packaging design as well as the continued design and execution all chocolate lines produced at Norman Love Confections. Metheny, having traveled the world to numerous classes and competitions takes her inspiration from both industry and art.

In March 2013, she received a bronze medal in the 24th annual U.S. Pastry Competition for Pastry Chef of the Year sponsored by Paris Gourmet at the Javits Center in New York City. She previously competed in two Showpiece competitions and garnered silver medals in both appearances.

A consummate professional, Metheny strives each day to be better than the day before, and to assist Norman Love Confections in continually raising the bar within the industry.

Ross Evans

RossEvans

Stars Rooftop and Grill Room

A graduate of Tallahassee, Florida’s Keiser University Center for Culinary Arts, Ross Evans joins Stars as a highly educated, experienced pastry chef. After competing in Florida, Chef Evans spent time at Alinea Restaurant in Chicago and North Carolina favorites The Inn on Biltmore Estate and The Blackbird. Chef Evans’ palate reflects the diverse range of culinary communities he has worked in.

Chef Evans manages his team with the goal of serving nothing short of perfect desserts. He designs plates to be both artistic and delectable, qualities that have garnered him accolades and numerous awards. His love of fine arts and attention to detail define Chef Evans’ presentation style.

“I have always loved art; paintings, sculptures, drawings… I found out I could build art through chocolate showpieces and desserts and fell in love with this profession.”

When he’s not in the kitchen, he enjoys spending time outside, polishing his nature photography skills and working on his sport bike.