Geoffrey Blount & Tessia Harman

Geoffrey Blount

Geoffrey Blount, CEPC, ACE

Head Chef Instructor
Baking & Pastry Arts Program
Central Piedmont Community
College, Harris Campus

He graduated from CPCC in 1995 after earning an AAS degree in Culinary Arts. Chef Blount also attended the French Pastry School in Chicago. A member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and the 2011 Charlotte Pastry Chef of the Year and Educator of the Year, Geoff has earned numerous awards including Best Pastry Shop-2005 & 2006, Top Ten Charlotte Chefs-2004 and his dessert creations were featured at both the 2004 and 2005 James Beard Dinners. Recently, Chef Blount competed as part of Team USA at the Gelato World Cup in Italy, where the team won the coveted “Best Taste” award.

Between 1992 and 2012, Chef Blount has won over 39 ACF medals for the Hot Food, Bread, Chocolate, Pastry and Cold-Food categories in competitions throughout the US. He currently serves on the National Pastry Committee and is an ACF Certified Judge. His professional career includes stints as Pastry Chef, Executive Chef and Owner in top hotels, shops and clubs throughout the southeastern United States. Chef Blount is also the owner of the Sugar Buzz INC. and began teaching at CPCC in 2007.

Tessia Harman

Tessia Harman CEPC

Pastry Chef Instructor
Central Piedmont Community

She earned an Associates of Occupational Studies Degree in Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute of America in New York. She is a Certified Executive Pastry Chef with the American Culinary Federation.

Shortly after graduating from CIA, Tessia moved to Belgium to work as the private chef and residence manager for the Irish Ambassador to the European Union. After returning to the states in 2002, Tessia moved to Charlotte and began working as Pastry Chef for Zebra Restaurant. Once the Westin Charlotte Hotel opened, she began work as their Pastry Chef and eventually was promoted to Chef de Cuisine. Tessia joined the CPCC team in January of 2010.

Joshua Cain & Sheldon Millett

Joshua Cain

Joshua Cain

Pastry Chef de Partie
Ritz-Carlton Charlotte

I am a native of North Carolina where I received an Associates Degree in Culinary Technology at Cape Fear Community College, Wilmington. I then furthered my education at Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte North Carolina, it was here that I received my Associates in Baking and Pastry Arts and graduated in the inaugural class in 2006. I have been in the hospitality industry for 16 years in which I have worked in various restaurants including a AAA five diamond restaurant, “Salt” The Grill at Ritz-Carlton.

As a part of my schooling I was required to do an internship which took place at The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island. This was the beginning of my Ritz-Carlton career. I have had the opportunity to open The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte AAA five diamond property where I currently work as Pastry Chef de Partie. I am responsible for overseeing all Pastry operations which include Wedding Cakes, Showpieces, Pastry Cooking Classes and an All Dessert Concept called Bar Cocoa (which includes a 5’8″ tall Chocolate woman, Madam Cocoa). I appear on a monthly news segment on Channel 3 news and have had multiple Wedding cakes in Charlotte wedding magazine. I am also the winner of the 2011 Sugar Art Casting Challenge.

Sheldon Millet

Sheldon Millett

Executive Pastry Chef
Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island

Chef Sheldon Millett has worked at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island for the past 10 years. He has been able to travel around the world to such places as California Four Season New Port Beach Hotel, Singapore Regent Four Seasons Hotel, and has also worked in Dubai, Australia and England.

He loves working in pastry and teaching the next generation of pastry chefs. It is his great pleasure to watch them learn and grow, while taking the craft to the next level. Happy Working!!

Theresa Gwizdaloski & Daniel Lindsey

Theresa Gwizdaloski

Theresa Gwizdaloski

Pastry Chef
RICK Moonen’s RM Seafood
Las Vegas

Upon completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management at New York City College of Technology, Theresa received a full scholarship from Les Dames d’Escoffier to the Italian Culinary Academy. Therefore she was able to travel to Italy for six months to study and refine her skills in pastry. Theresa began her career working at Del Posto in NYC under Pastry Chef Nicole Kaplan; there she was able to learn all the skills that would help her become a talented pastry chef. She later went on to work for Restaurant Associates where she was the pastry chef for two of their largest accounts, The NY Times and Ernst &Young. Through the years, Theresa was able to compete in several competitions with school and independently. She is now the Pastry Chef for RICK Moonen’s RM Seafood in Las Vegas, NV.

Accolades & Accomplishments:

  • 2011 US Pastry Competition- Finalist
  • 2008 Salon of Culinary Art Sugar Piece- 1st Place
  • 2005 Salon of Culinary Art Wedding Cake- 1st Place

Daniel Lindsey

Daniel Lindsey

Master Pastry Cook
Old Homestead Restaurant
Caesars Palace

Daniel began baking in retail stores and pastry shops in the San Francisco Bay area. He studied Pastry Arts at the Culinary Institute of America in 2006 and graduated with high honors. He returned to California and continued to bake, focusing mostly on artisan breads and pizza from brick ovens.

He recently moved to Las Vegas to focus on pastry arts and has worked at different hotels including the Cosmopolitan, Mandalay Bay, and Caesar’s Palace.

Brian Donaghy & Rick Jordan

Brian Donaghy

Brain M. Donaghy

Principal Chef/Chef Instructor
The Criollo Group
Niagra Falls Culinary Institute

Chef Brian Donaghy is currently the principal at The Criollo Group (TCG), a consulting group that specializes in chocolate and confection. Started in 2009, TCG has worked with equipment manufacturers, ingredient suppliers and confectioners of differing sizes, formulating recipes, demonstrating equipment and products at trade shows, teaching confection classes and connecting food manufacturers with potential new markets and clients. In addition to his TCG responsibilities, he is currently an adjunct faculty member at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute where he teaches classes on showpiece construction and design and candies and confections.

Brian recently was the winner of an episode of Food Network Challenge. The episode tasked the contestants to build a four foot tall chocolate showpiece as a back drop for a “surprise engagement.”

Prior to TCG, Brian was the Corporate Pastry Chef and Chocolatier for Tomric Systems of Buffalo, NY. At Tomric he was instrumental in the formulation of a line of chocolate; stewarding the product line from concept to manufacture with several large chocolate manufacturers in North America. He demonstrated, provided customer support for and taught the use of tempering and other chocolate handling equipment in support of the sales and marketing efforts of Tomric. Additionally, he was responsible for recipe development that used aforementioned products in conjunction with moulds, tools and equipment available from Tomric for monthly newsletters.

Before Tomric, Brian was the Assistant Corporate Pastry Chef for Albert Uster Imports. There he worked for Chef Anil Rohira in the Culinary Department developing new products, creating recipes, teaching pastry skills and recipes and providing customer support to individual customers and approximately forty sales reps.

Recently Brian has done the following:

  • Food Network Challenge, Surprise Wedding Engagement
  • Food Network Challenge, Holiday Window Display
  • Taught Advance Chocolate Chocolate Making Workshop at Bakon USA (Spring and Summer 2010)
  • Co-taught Chocolate and Confection Class at Albert Uster Imports (Summer 2010)
  • Performed Seminar of Flavor and Recipe Development at Retail Confectioners Annual Conference (Summer 2010)
  • Equipment training for a small confectioner in Baltimore, MD that included an evaluation of production space layout and commendations for process changes

In addition to these experiences; Brian has worked for a luxury hotel chain and a casual themed dining chain.

Rick Jordan

Rick Jordan, CEPC

Rick Jordan Chocolatier

Rick Jordan graduated with an AOS in the Baking and Pastry Arts from l’Ecole Culinaire in Saint Louis, Missouri where he found a love for working chocolate. Rick began working pastry in a fine dining Italian restaurant, Villa Farotto, in Saint Louis. He then moved on to working pastry with a strong emphasis on artisan bread, for a restaurant group in Saint Louis that included Vin de Set, 1111 Mississippi and a banquet center, Moulin. Rick spent several years of continuing education and side-work in chocolate while working in the industry, and eventually returned to Villa Farotto to become pastry chef for the restaurant and catering company.

It was at Villa Farotto that Rick launched his first chocolate line through the catering company, the dining room menu and a small retail operation in the restaurant. In 2010, Rick was invited by a friend to stage with Patrick Roger MOF, in Paris, France. Rick left the restaurant and budding chocolate line to work with the man who had always been his biggest inspiration. He was offered a position in the company and to stay in France, but being a single father with dreams of opening his own boutique, with a heavy heart Rick returned to Saint Louis and began to implement his plan to open his chocolate boutique and lab space in the same neighborhood where he had begun. By the summer’s end of 2011, Rick Jordan Chocolatier opened for business and upon its first anniversary is going strong.