Jim Mullaney & Alex Hwang


James Mullaney CEPC

Executive Pastry Chef
J Mullaney Pastries

Pastry Chef James Mullaney lives the sweet life. His prolific talents bring beauty, whimsy and sublime indulgence to the tables of the finest establishments in Georgia.

Mullaney takes the artistic aspects of pastry to fresh heights through his award-winning showpieces. In 2005, he and his team took top honors at the National Pastry Team Championship held in Phoenix, AZ and has claimed more than 30 other medals in pastry and ice carving competitions over the course of his career. Mullaney was selected to represent the United States in 2006 and 2009 in World Pastry Championships, here in the U.S. and France.

Mullaney, originally from Pittsburgh, commenced his culinary career in the U.S. Army as a food service specialist, training at Fort Jackson,SC. He later graduated from an accredited Pastry Apprenticeship Program at The Cloister on Sea Island. He then expanded these skills further at chocolate schools in the pastry meccas of Belgium, France and Spain. Additional training at the Notter School of Confectionary Arts led to a full time position as lead instructor of baking and pastry.

Mullaney worked for the Sea Island Company / Mobile Five-Star Cloister Hotel for a total of 18 years, 9 as Executive Pastry Chef. He served as Pastry Chef of the Mobile Four-Star Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, AZ and as Pastry Chef of the Five-Diamond Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, FL. Recently, he worked with Atlanta Foods International and QimiQ Corporation (Austria) working as Corporate Pastry Chef.

August 2012, Mullaney opened his own business “J Mullaney Pastries,” a consulting and catering firm serving clients around the world.

Alex Hwang

Alex Hwang

Cherokee Town and Country Club

Chef Kyongran (Alex) Hwang, one of the most hard working pastry chefs today, came to United States in 1999 with great hope and dream to become one of the most sensational pastry chefs in culinary world. In 2001, she enrolled at Culinary Institute of America and earned Associate Baking and Pastry degree in two years.

After she graduated from CIA, she started working at Cherokee Town and Country Club in Atlanta, Georgia and she has established herself to become an Executive Pastry Chef. During early part of her career, she worked under Chef Christopher Northmore who is Certified Master Pastry Chef as his apprentice. Needless to say, while she was working under Chef Northmore, she was heavily inspired by his master skill, style, work ethic, and great passion for Pastry and Baking art.

In 2006, Kyongran demonstrate her brilliant skills in ACF Pastry Salon at Savannah, GA “Wedding Cake Competition” and won Silver medal and in following year, she won bronze medal in “Novelty Cake Competition” ACF Pastry Salon at Atlanta, GA. ACF Pastry Salon 2007 (Atlanta, Dessert Expo) Atlanta, GA “Wedding Cake” First Place, ACF Bronze Medal, ACF Pastry Salon 2008 (Atlanta, Dessert Expo) Atlanta, GA “Occasion Cake Competition” First Place(ACF Gold Medal) ACF Southeast Regional Conference, 2010 (Birmingham, AL) “Twix Mini Trio Dessert Competition”, First Place. ACF National Pastry Chef of The Year 2011( Dallas TX), First Place, ACF Silver Medal

Maura Metheny & Dan Forgey


Maura Metheny

Chef Chocolatier/Director of Innovation and Product Design
Norman Love Chocolates

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.


Dan Forgey

Chef Chocolatier/Production manager
Norman Love Chocolates

Originally from Alaska, Dan began his culinary career at New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, Vermont graduating with an Associate of Science in culinary arts. After graduation he began working in upscale resorts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida. He accepted a position on a 30-foot commercial fishing boat for a three month season in Southeast Alaska. Upon finishing, he assisted with opening an 80-seat fine dining restaurant in Massachusetts where, after opening, he assumed the position of head chef.

Forgey then moved to Florida when he accepted the position of pastry chef at the Waldorf Astoria Naples (formerly Naples Grande). While training for his first Chocolate Showpiece competition, he was introduced to Chef Norman Love and accepted a position with the Fort Myers based chocolatier and pastry chef in 2007. Since starting at Norman Love Confections, Forgey has continued to compete in chocolate showpiece subsequently receiving three silver medals.

Dan worked in chocolate production where he was responsible for ganache fillings as well as the design and production of all of novelties, including the creation of the coveted S’More Love. In September 2011, Forgey was promoted to chocolate production manager. Today, he is responsible for running the chocolate production as well as designing new flavors of confections for NLC’s core and holiday lines. Forgey is also responsible for helping develop new novelties including the items available at the Boston Red Sox JetBlue Park located next to the Fort Myers Chocolate Salon and for the Fannie May’s ultra-premium line, FM Artisan by Norman Love.

Traveling all over the world touring chocolate factories and production facilities Forgey uses his broad culinary and pastry experience as well as the most cutting edge techniques to create chocolates and sculptures that constantly challenge the boundaries of the industry.

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.