Christian Castillo

Christian Castillo

Pricci
Buckhead Life Restaurant Group

Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Chef Christian Castillo brings a new, fresh face to the Pricci pastry program. His passion for bold flavors and interest in molecular gastronomy fuel his creativity for creating innovative, unique and delicious pastries and desserts. He likes to experiment with savory and sweet flavors, creating the perfect balance to finish off a great Italian meal.

Christian graduated with Honors from Le Cordon Bleu with a degree in pâtisserie and baking. While in school and following graduation, he worked for three years under Pastry Chefs Heather Hurlbert and Alex Hwang at Cherokee Town and Country Club in Atlanta before taking the helm at Pricci.

Christian lives in Atlanta with his wife Juliana. In his spare time, he enjoys making pasta at home, exercising, painting and writing poetry.

Nicholas Pine

Nicholas Pine

Co Co. Sala

Nicholas Pine is the assistant pastry chef of Co Co. Sala, Washington D.C.’s luxurious chocolate boutique, lounge and restaurant. He manages Co Co. Sala’s dessert, pastries, and chocolate production, and works along side Executive Chef Santosh Tiptur to create beautiful chocolate sculptures, sugar showpieces, and elaborate dessert buffets for private parties, special events, and charities.

Having developed a love for chocolate and art at an early age, Nicholas channeled his passion into a career choice. He graduated from the professional pastry arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine and received other certifications from prestigious national chocolate schools, including L’École Valrhona Brooklyn and Jean-Marie Auboine Chocolatier, Las Vegas.

From handcrafting artisanal chocolates with a range of flavor combinations from the familiar to the global and exotic to assisting chef instructors in pastry workshops, Nicholas is always looking for new challenges and opportunities to develop and expand his chocolate arts.

Tori McKinley

Tori McKinley

Madd Sweets

With a passion for food Tori McKinley threw herself head-first into the restaurant world. After several years in the restaurant industry, Tori graduated from The Art Institute of Atlanta under Chef Paul Bodrogi in 2008. She quickly became the Pastry Chef at Honey Bee Bakery in Oxford, Mississippi making Artisan Breads, Pastries, and Specialty Cakes for Owner/Pastry Chef, Shannon Adams, whom Tori credits much of her baking knowledge to.

In 2012, Tori travelled to New Zealand and studied the work of Pastry Chef and Chocolatier, Kevin Martin. After returning to Atlanta, she became the Pastry Chef at Affairs To Remember Caterers. In 2014 at Pastry Live, Tori unveiled “Madd Sweets.” Madd Sweets specializes in catered desserts for private events and specialty cakes, and is described as “familiar flavors revisited with fun.”

Tori is currently the Assistant General Manager and Event Coordinator at Tavernpointe in Atlanta, Georgia. In her spare time, Tori continues to compete in the pastry world and work on developing Madd Sweets.

Katie Mansi

Katie Mansi

The Maryland Club

Born in Central Maryland, Katie Mansi grew up spending most of her free time in her Grandma Pat’s kitchen. She developed a passion for baking at a young age but only saw it as a hobby until about 19, which is when she decided to attend culinary school at Anne Arundel Community College. Through her school she was able to participate in a five month culinary internship on the coast of Amalfi in the summer of 2009. Upon returning from Italy, she was hired at The Maryland Club, a private club in the heart of Baltimore, as a prep cook. She has eventually worked her way up the ranks at the club and is now the Executive Pastry Chef.