Julian Perrigo-Jimenez & Jordan Snider

Julian Perrigo-Jimenez

Julian Perrigo-Jimenez

Assistant Executive Pastry Chef
Caesars Palace Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, NV

Chef Julian Perrigo-Jimenez is Currently the Assistant Executive Pastry at Caesars Palace Las Vegas. Before being called back to return to the action of Las Vegas he was Executive Pastry Chef at the iconic Fairmont San Francisco. Prior to that, he opened the cosmopolitan Resort & Casino as Pastry Sous Chef, overseeing main production of pastry for all of its outlets and creating custom showpieces for special events and buffet display. He also worked as an Assistant Pastry Chef at Bellagio Resort & Casino. It was before that where he started his career in Las Vegas as a Pastry Chef Tournant at Paris Hotel & Casino. He also worked onboard Cruise ships for NCLA where he served as both Assistant Chief Pastry and Chief Pastry.

Perrigo-Jimenez attended the California Culinary Academy and is actively involved in the Pastry Chef community. He also competed in the 2009 National Pastry Championship as well as Pastry Live in 2013 where his team received the Sponsor’s Choice award. When creating pieces, he highlights his creativity through inspired abstract design that produce unique works that truly stand out.


Jordan Snider

Jordan Snider

Assistant Executive Pastry Chef
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, NV

I was born and raised in South Carolina, growing up in the coastal city of Charleston. My career started in a retail bakery producing artisan breads and croissants, later progressing to become a pastry chef at The Carolina Yacht Club. My wife and I moved to Las Vegas in 2010. I worked at the Mandarin Oriental to help achieve the hotels 5-star status and at the Paris Resort and Casino as Pastry Chef Tournant. I took the job of Assistant Executive Pastry Chef at Mandalay Bay in early 2013 where I oversee banquet, retail, restaurant and chocolate production with a staff of 60 bakers.

In November of 2013 my wife and I welcomed our first child, a daughter named Hazel Jacob. We have two dogs and a cat and in my spare time I enjoy playing golf, traveling, fine dining and spending time with my family.

Karen Neugebauer

KarenNeugebauer

Karen Neugebauer

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


Alejandro Lechuga

Alejandro Lechuga

Alejandro Lechuga

Mexican Pastry Academy

Chef Lechuga was born in Mexico City. His artistic and creative side, combined with interest for cooking, guided him to attend the culinary school. It was there when he discovered his passion for the pastry arts. After completion of his culinary and Pastry degree at the “Universidad Iberoamericana”, he started his apprenticeship at the French Embassy in Mexico City. When he finished, he worked as an assistant pastry chef at the 5 start Grand Coral Beach Luxury Resort in Cancun Mexico.
Chef Alejandro also attended several courses in pastry, chocolate and sugar at ECOLE de Bellouet Consail en Paris in 2001, 2003, 2005.

Alejandro is one of the most in-demand pastry and sugar instructors in Mexico. He is based in Guadalajara, Mexico where he teaches full time at the ECI. At the same time, Chef Lechuga works as a pastry chef consultant for several Mexican pastry shops and bakeries in the area of California.

Chef Lechuga has been in the competition field for a while. He was the National sugar champion in 2003 and got 3rd place at the Maya pastry championship 2007. His experience in international competition started in 2005 when he represented Mexico at the Coupe du Monde de la Pattiserie, and he has also competed at the World Pastry Team Championship in 2010 and 2012. He coached team Mexico at the Junior World Cup 2011 as well as the Pastry Queen in Rimini, Italy.

In 2012 Lechuga launched Caramell, his exclusive line of pastries, chocolate and sweets confections, Caramell products retails at refine gourmet food establishments, high-end grocery stores and exclusive restaurants.


Victor Rivera

Victor Rivera

Chef Instructor
University of Claustro de Sor Juana

Chef instructor in the University of Claustro de Sor Juana, also works in the University Iberoamericana as teacher and coordinator.

He studied at the school of Gastronomía Artesanal, Alta Repostería.

He decided to start in 1995 to participate in competitions, as a student won the first place in La Sartén de Oro and then as a professional in Abastur (1996, 2002, 2003). In 2005 he represents Mexico in the Coupe du Monde du la Patisserie.

In 2019 with the Four Season´s team won the first place at the preliminary round in the Mayan Pastry Cup. Once again in the Latinamerican Pastry cup witn the Mexican team won for the first time in this category. (2011)

Also he has been in others competitions like in 2012 when he was part of the bread category team representing Mexico in the Fiera SIGEP on the World Bread cup winning the 2nd place in bread showpiece and 4th place in the overall punctuation.

In his daily work Chef Rivera enjoys to teach, but what he says please him the most is make sugar sculptures. He has being doing this along 18 years and it’s a discipline where he has been distinguished itself is among the first to specialize in it . Nowadays he wants to continue with this sugar art and being the best.

Participate in a contest is something that has given great satisfaction and allowed it to consolidate in the pastry chefs group of the country.

David Lewis & Julie Eslinger

David Lewis

David Lewis

Executive Pastry Chef
The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa

Chef David Lewis was born and raised in rural Illinois. Growing up with country cooking he discovered the love of food was a passion of his. David began cooking in small restaurants and country clubs at the age of 15. That is when he knew he wanted to become a chef. After high school he left and moved to the “big” city of Joliet. That is where he received his Associates degree in Culinary Arts from Joliet Junior College. After school he began his professional career with Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion which landed him in Las Vegas. David then moved to working for hotels where he started at Harrahs. He left there and journeyed out to the sea where he worked for Norwegian Cruise Lines. Loving the land life more than the sea he traveled back to Las Vegas where he was pastry chef for Paris, Bally’s, and Planet Hollywood. Seeking the simple life again he moved to Colorado where he currently resides at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver.

Lewis has competed in the 2010 & 2012 Pastry Chef of the Year Competition in New York. He also competed in Pastry Live 2012 & 2013 in Atlanta where he received “Best Artistic Showpiece” in 2012.


Julie Eslinger

Julie Eslinger

Assistant Pastry Chef
Colorado Convention Center

Julie is currently the Assistant Pastry Chef for Centerplate at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver Colorado. There she oversees the production of a variety of house made pastry items for corporate events, plated banquets, receptions, and other special occasions. Julie thrives on high volume and the energy and excitement that comes from delivering thousands of plates to a single dining room. She loves to push the envelope and deliver results. She is responsible for the training and development of her team, whom she loves and thoroughly enjoys working with. In 2012 Julie competed in the ACF Winter Salon in which she received a silver medal for her cold plated dessert. In 2013 & 2014 she competed in Sweet Times in the Rockies, a cake competition where she received both silver and gold medals. Her cakes have also made appearances in Cake Central Magazine.

Julie loves all things sugar, chocolate, and cake, and is constantly working to develop her own skills. While she was a student, she had the privilege to work with Chef Craig Winter, who first introduced her to chocolate and sugar sculpture techniques. Instantly she felt a connection with her artistic background and her passion for pastry. Julie graduated with an Associates degree in Baking and Pastry, and soon after began building sugar, chocolate, and bread sculptures for high end functions to deliver extraordinary experiences to her guests. She is proud to be a part of the Centerplate team, and is excited to see what the future holds for her. Outside of work Julie likes to travel when she can, be with friends, and eat at new restaurants.