Justin Fry

Justin Fry

Norman Love Confections

Justin Fry was born in Wichita, Kansas and moved to his mother’s native country in the Philippines when he was 3 years old while his father served in the military. Ultimately, the family settled in Rio Rancho, New Mexico where he attended high school with studies in music.

Upon graduating from high school, Fry attended New Mexico State University as a music performance major. During his free time, he made cakes for friends and family and when asked to bake a wedding cake for a friend, he discovered a true interest in pastry. Researching videos on techniques, he became fascinated with artistry in chocolate which helped solidify his career path.

While researching pastry schools and saving money for culinary school, Fry moved to Orlando and worked for Walt Disney World for four years in merchandise and transportation. He left the Sunshine State to move to Denver, Colorado to attend Johnson and Wales University where he received an Associate of Arts in pastry arts in 2010.
Upon completing an internship, Fry accepted a position at The Willard hotel, in Washington, D.C., as a pastry cook in charge of dessert service for Café du Parc with menu conceptualized by three-star Parisian chef, France Antoine Westermann.

In 2012, Fry accepted a job with Norman Love Confections in Fort Myers, Florida, as a chocolatier to hone in his chocolate skills and continue his culinary education. Currently, he is responsible for novelties and novelty production as well as overseeing ganache production.

In 2013, he assisted a Norman Love Confections’ chef chocolatier in the Paris Gourmet National Pastry Chef of the Year competition and came in third place. In 2013 September, Fryplaced second overall with a gold medal at the Florida Pastry Challenge Showpiece Competition in Orlando.

Fry travels to see as many competitions as possible to prepare for his future goal ofcompeting nationally. He is very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the professionals at Norman Love Confections as well as the many world renowned chefs who visit Chef Love. Hecontinues his education by taking classes to further develop his showpiece and pastry skills while primarily working in chocolate.

William Dean Brown

William Dean Brown

William Dean Chocolates

William Dean Brown, founder and Chief Chocolate Officer (CCO) at William Dean Chocolates, began exploring his artistic talents at an early age. Although trained as an educator, William became involved in the dot.com world where he co-founded a software company and later joined an emerging technology company. After the dot.com bubble burst, he reinvented himself by moving to Tampa, Florida. He joined Ceridian Corporation and worked his way into upper management. After watching an episode on “The Food Network,” he made chocolates for his employees and knew he had found the perfect medium to express his creativity.

As William learned to airbrush and paint chocolates, the artistic passion from his youth returned. Artisan chocolates offered the opportunity to create a beautiful, outward appearance with amazing flavor combinations hidden within. He began his journey of learning by reading every book he could get his hands on about chocolate. He then began to take classes and spend time with other chocolatiers to learn even more. Within two years, he learned firsthand from some of the top chocolatiers in the world including Jean-Pierre Wybauw, Stephane Glacier, Andrew Shotts, Anil Rohira, Vincent Pilon, and Ewald Notter.

Since founding the company in 2007, William Dean Chocolates has won numerous awards including “Best of Show” at the NY Chocolate show and “People’s Choice” at the Next Generation Chocolatier competition. His Salted Caramel was picked by the NY Times as one of the 10 best in the United States. William’s chocolates have also been featured in magazines as well as “The View” with Whoopi Goldberg and the motion pictures, “The Hunger Games” as well as “Catching Fire”.

Cesar Barachina

Cesar Barachina

Chef Cesar Barachina started his career at an early age. When he was able to walk and talk, he was in the kitchen with his parents helping them cook the next family meal. As he grew up, the culinary arts was in his blood with his grandfather, father and brother being executive chefs. It was destined that he was to follow into the family tradition and take the culinary path.

So after graduating high school he attended the Florida Culinary Institute of West Palm Beach and enrolled in there International Baking and Pastry program where he discovered his love and passion for pastries. Studying under Chef Jack Marshall and Chef Manfred Schmitcke, Cesar honed his pastry and bread making skills. After graduating and earning his Associates degree, he decided to travel and learn from other great pastry chefs around the world. He traveled to Europe, Asia, and Australia to name a few, while staging in hotels, restaurants and anywhere he could, to learn and work with some of the great pastry chefs of the world.

When he finished traveling he settled down and started to work for companies such as The Ritz Carlton Hotels, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Hilton Hotels. Most recently he has worked for L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles, Louisiana as the Pastry Sous Chef and was the assistant to Pastry Chef Bill Foltz, one of the top 10 sugar artist in the US. Now Cesar has taken a bigger role in his career as he has assumed the role of the Pastry Chef at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York.

Cesar is asked all the time why do you like pastry so much? His response “It’s not that I like it. It’s that I love it. It is my passion and my love to create great works of art and to put great flavor into them.” Cesar doesn’t see being a Pastry Chef as a career, but he sees it has his life and an adventure. Even with his new role, he never stops learning by attending pastry classes, keeping abreast with the latest pastry literature, competitions and pastry trends, he continually push himself forward. His very good friend Chef Rudy Van Veen once said, “Pastry will consume you and take over you and just enjoy the ride.”

Most recently Chef Cesar has competed in Pastry Live 2014 in Atlanta,GA in the categories of Chocolatier of the Year; Signature plated Dessert, and The Verrine competition. Chef Cesar also competed on The Food Network’s show called Sugar Dome in the episode “Cops and Robbers” in which he won 1st place and $15,000 in prize money. and he also competed in the 24th Annual US Pastry Competition for Pastry Chef of the Year in New York.

Rodrigo Romo

Rodrigo Romo

Tout Chocolat

After graduating from Culinary School in May of 2005, Chef Romo joined the prestigious Tout Chocolat team.
Chef Romo has always been passionate about pastry and chocolate since his family owns a restaurant and a bakery in Mexico City where he acts as a consulting pastry chef. Chef Romo has over 5 years of experience as a teacher in prestigious cooking schools such as Le Cordon Bleu in Mexico City and the University Claustro de Sor Juana.

Besides working as a chocolatier and teaching his craft in various schools as a guest teacher, Chef Romo enjoys the challenge of culinary competitions. In 2009, after winning the national selection for the Mondial des Arts Sucrées, he represented Mexico in the world finals in Paris, France where they were awarded 3rd place in the tasting category and 5th place overall. During preparation for the competition he worked closely with Christophe Rhedon. (MOF) During this time he developed a close relationship with the acclaimed chef and the result was the highest finish for a Latin American team in a Pastry World Championship.

He is in charge of the production of pastries, confisseries & chocolates and plays a big role in the developing of new products for Tout Chocolat.

Chef Romo has appeared in a number of publications and TV appearances during the past few years including “Cadena 3” and “cannel 22”.