Nina Acosta

NinaAcosta

Pastry Chef

Hyatt Regency Denver

Nina Acosta set out for her culinary journey in 2004 at Le Cordon Bleu in Minneapolis Minnesota. During a winter break trip back home to Colorado a blizzard caused her flight to be delayed for 3 days before she could return to school, where, coincidently, Nina was to start her baking and pastry course. Staying late to make up for lost credit, she fell in love with the technique and art of the pastry world. Nina graduated in 2006 with her culinary arts degree but never lost her new found intoxication for pastry.

Nina took internship at Chimney park bistro in Windsor, CO. Where she expressed her interest in learning all she could about baking and pastry. After entering a desert to local competition she won people’s choice award for best dessert, that moment Nina knew she would 100% pursue her love for pastry. Everything she knows about pastry Nina has self-taught herself from: “lots and lots of books, hands on practice and enquiring from willing mentors”.

Nina has worked from independent restaurants, Bistros, Country Clubs, to The Ritz Carlton. In February 2011 she was named Hyatt Regency Denver’s Pastry Chef where Nina and her team of five produce more made from scratch desserts than the 1100 room, 3 outlet hotel has ever seen before. After her first year, in 2012, she received Hyatt Regency Denver’s rising star award and sets her new goal to compete as an upcoming chef for competitions and charities all over the state of Colorado. Nina is incredibly honored to be a part of pastry live and eager to compete amongst exemplary pastry chefs from around the country.

Joel Gonzalez

JoelGonzalez

Executive Pastry Chef

JW Marriott Las Vegas

Joel Gonzalez III developed an appreciation and passion for food at a young age and has devoted his career to pastries for the last 12 years. He is now a well-versed pastry chef that has worked at some of the top luxury resorts and casinos in the world.

Developing flavors and creating desserts comes natural to Joel. He has also spent the last several years evolving as a sugar and chocolate artist competing in national and televised competitions. Joel is currently the Executive Pastry Chef at the JW Marriott Las Vegas.

Ami Dand

Ami Dand

Executive Pastry Chef

A Legendary Event

Ami Dand is the Executive Pastry Chef of A Legendary Event, a full service catering company in Atlanta, Georgia. Ami’s notable background includes having served as Executive Pastry Chef for the Mobil Four Star, AAA Five Diamond St. Regis, Atlanta. Working at both The Lodge and The Cloister at Sea Island, both Mobile Five Star, AAA Five Diamond properties. She also has extensive experience as a chocolatier, as well as creating beautiful special occasion cakes. Ami was most recently seen on The Food Network’s hit show Sweet Genuis and loves the thrill of competition and excitement of working under pressure.

A graduate of the University of Georgia in 2003, Ami’s love for the pastry field is immeasurable. In addition to her remarkable talent for pastry preparation and presentation, notable strengths have enabled her to succeed in fast-paced, high volume environments while maintaining the utmost quality and attention to detail.

Derrell Lawery

Derrell Lawery

Pastry Chef

Sterling Spoon Fresh Culinary Management, Woodruff Arts Center

In April of 2013, Chef Derrell Lawery joined Sterling Spoon Fresh Culinary Management as Pastry Chef, designing signature desserts and discovering new ways to provide an enjoyable experience to the clients. Combining years of industry training and knowledge, the south Georgia native takes pride in creating traditional desserts and adding his own southern flare.