David Lewis & Gonzalo Jimenez

David Lewis

David Lewis

Executive Pastry Chef
The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa

Chef David Lewis began his career receiving a degree from Joliet Junior College in 1999 and comes to The Brown Palace from Paris, Bally’s, and Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, with previous experience at Norwegian Cruise Line America in Hawaii and Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion restaurants.
Lewis has competed in the 2010 & 2012 Pastry Chef of the Year Competition in New York. He also competed in Pastry Live in Atlanta where he received “Best Artistic Showpiece”.


Gonzalo Jimenez

Executive Pastry Chef
Grand Hyatt New York

Gonzalo Jimenez, Executive Pastry Chef of Grand Hyatt New York, discovered his passion for cooking while growing up in Salta, a city in Northwestern Argentina. At a young age, Jimenez began experimenting in his mother’s kitchen, tasting everything he could and refining his palette. Following his passion, Jimenez enrolled in L’ecole, a culinary school in Mar del Plata where he received his degree in Culinary Arts at the age of 19.

Upon graduating, Jimenez began working in a series of 5-star hotels throughout Argentina. Cultivating his skills at each property, Jimenez was quickly promoted through the ranks of savory kitchen. To further enhance his knowledge of the industry, Jimenez enrolled in L’ecole Lenotre in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he studied the chemistry and molecular gastronomy of food. While studying he accepted a position as Pastry Chef at Bruni Ristoranti under celebrity Chef Donato de Santis. Through this position Jimenez solidified his pure talent and skills as a Pastry Chef.

Ready for a new opportunity, Chef Jimenez took on the role of Pastry Chef at the St. Julien Hotel and Spa in Boulder, Colorado from 2009 to 2011. While in this position he fully developed the property’s Pastry Department, while continuing to improve his artistry with chocolate, a self-taught skill he continuously worked on throughout his career by attending professional seminars and studying with the elderly German women in Bariloche, a village near the private hotel he worked at during his time in Patagonia. Fusing his love of industrial architecture with whimsical elegance, Jimenez began to create elaborate modern chocolate sculptures.

Jimenez brings the same passion and success that he has enjoyed in the past to Grand Hyatt New York. His background in savory cooking broadens his palette and lends to a unique pairing of ingredients seen in his dessert menus. His chocolate sculptures are showcased at major hotel events, banquets, and dessert buffets. They represent the innovation and exceptional talent he has developed during his extensive travel and career experiences. Says Jimenez: “The discipline of pastries and creating pastries are extremely rewarding. It requires the balance of science and art. It involves each of your five senses. You have the ability to create a visual masterpiece that someone can completely indulge in and enjoy.” Jimenez’s dessert menus carry every influence from his career path as well as those he acquired in the savory kitchen and those influenced by the farm-to-table mentality Grand Hyatt carries overall. Under Jimenez, the pastry department of Grand Hyatt New York strives for perfection with masterful displays of confectionary favorites.

Bill Foltz & Arlety Estevez


Bill Foltz

Pastry Chef
L’Auberge Casino Resort

As Pastry Chef at the award-winning, luxury L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Bill Foltz is responsible for overseeing a team of bakers and pastry cooks providing unique desserts for all L’Auberge food outlets, including eight dynamic restaurants, room service, large conferences and high end guest functions. Foltz maintains an environment that creates excitement for guests and employees; trains and retains a highly skilled workforce; maintains budget and staffing for efficient bakery operations; and effectively implements changes to improve operations and ensure quality baked goods and new menu items. He assumed the position in June 2009.


Foltz brings more than twenty years of dynamic experience to L’Auberge. He specializes in fine dining, high volume banquets and exquisite chocolate and sugar showpieces with successful leadership positions at 4-star/4-diamond rated establishments.

Foltz comes to Lake Charles from Dunwoody, Georgia where he was the executive pastry chef for Alon’s Bakery & Market; a multi-outlet bakery and market. Previously, Foltz was Restaurant Manager and Executive Pastry Chef at Salara Dessert Lounge & Bistro in Charlotte, NC.; the historic 350-room Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing, NY., where he oversaw a team of pastry cooks supplying seven food outlets and a convention facility; and Assistant Pastry Chef of Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in Pinehurst, NC and Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY.

Foltz graduated from the NationalCenter for Hospitality Studies at SullivanCollege in Louisville, Kentucky with an associate of science in baking and pastry arts; and from HockingCollege in Nelsonville, Ohio with an associate of applied business degree in culinary arts technology. His extensive training includes certifications from Ewald Notter, Laurent Branlard, Olivier Bajard, Stephane Treand and Sebastian Canonne.

Among his many accolades, in 2006, Foltz earned a gold medal at the U.S. Pastry Competition and was named U.S. Pastry Chef of the Year and has been invited to judge the U.S. Pastry Competition since 2007; received a bronze medal at the 2009 National Team Championships; had consistently earned medals and honors at the U.S. Pastry Competition including 3 silver medals; won a gold medal from the French Consulate in Paris for Best Pastillage showpiece; a gold medal at the Annual Salon of Culinary Arts; and his pastillage centerpieces were featured in the National Culinary Review.  In 2010, he was awarded the prestigious honor of “Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America” by Dessert Professional Magazine.  Most recently Foltz earned a spot on the 2011 US World Cup Pastry Team and competed for the coveted “Coupe de Monde de la Patisserie” in Lyon, France where he captured the prize of “Best Sugar” for the Team.


Arlety Estevez

Pastry Chef
L’auberge Casino Hotel

As pastry chef at L’Auberge Baton Rouge Casino & Hotel, Arlety Estévez oversees a team of bakers and pastry cooks providing delicious desserts for all the hotel’s 8 restaurants and cafes, room service and high-end guest functions. A member of the opening team of operations, she joined the L’Auberge Baton Rouge team as assistant pastry chef in July 2012, and was promoted to pastry chef in October 2012.

Prior to joining L’Auberge Baton Rouge, Arlety served as pastry chef at Wolfgang Puck Catering at the Georgia Aquarium where she led a team responsible for producing high quality desserts and pastries for all the aquarium’s restaurants and functions. In this capacity, Arlety created dessert menus for special events and led production of plated desserts and dessert buffets for functions of 1000+ guests including IBM’s 100th Anniversary, Bank of America’s National Gala, Microsoft’s Convergence 2011, and an event of 10,000 guests for Coca Cola. As assistant pastry chef at PreGel America, Arlety researched and tested the company’s products to develop innovative pastry applications. She conducted demonstrations at food shows around the country, and taught private trainings to help clients develop their pastry lines.

With over 7 years of experience, Arlety’s work has been featured on TV and her life size gingerbread holiday display at L’Auberge Baton Rouge was featured on Baton Rouge’s The Advocate. In 2012, she competed in the Great American Baking Contest for which she earned 3rd Place in the professional division. Arlety holds a Bachelor of Science in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales University, and completed her internships at the Sagamore Resort.

Brian Donaghy & Ruth Bleijerveld

Brian Donaghy

Brian Donaghy

Product Development Specialist
Chocolate Delivery Systems
Brian is currently the Product Development Specialist for Chocolate Delivery Systems of Buffalo, NY. At CDS he is responsible for the development, sourcing and manufacturing of all chocolate and other food products that are sold in North America, the Caribbean and Europe. In addition to his responsibilities at CDS, Brian is the principal at The Criollo Group, a consulting company that specializes in chocolate and confection.

Previously, Brian was an instructor at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, the Corporate Pastry Chef at Tomric Systems, Inc., the Assistant Corporate Pastry Chef at Albert Uster Imports and worked for the Ritz-Carlton company. He has appeared twice on Food Network Challenge, winning once and has taught numerous classes throughout the United States.

Away from the kitchen Brian enjoys spending time with his wife Christina, daughter Olive and his two Labradoodles Criollo and Sally, watching baseball and has recently taken up playing Squash again after a 20 year hiatus.


Ruth Bleijerveld

Pastry Chef/Instructor
Benchmark Restaurant of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute at Niagara College

Ruth Bleijerveld is currently a Pastry Chef/Instructor at Benchmark Restaurant of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute of Niagara College, Canada.

She began her love for everything sweet as a child watching Jacques Torres on PBS on Dessert Circus. Not realizing though till later in life how that had an impact on her second career choice.

With parents who emigrated from Holland in the 50’s, they raised their family in a home based business atmosphere. Horticulture taught her that the harder you worked the more you gained. Hard work paid off and made Ruth successful in several retail beginnings where creativity, organization and planning was just a springboard for what lay ahead for this country girl.
Ruth, a mother of 3 children, entered College in 2008. She completed her Culinary Management Diploma only to go right into Baker/Patisserie Apprenticeship Red Seal. Amongst the amazing skill at Niagara College, Ruth was able to dedicate many hours beyond school to excel in the land of flour, fat, eggs and sugar. But in the midst of all that, there she found her love for Chocolate and has never looked back.

Her creativity and skill with Chocolate has taken her to win awards and temper chocolate with some of the top names in the world. Attention to detail and her determination to excel have brought her to Niagara College where she can pass on her talents to future chefs.