Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This past weekend at JWU's Harborside Campus...

Donald Wressel, Corporate Pastry Chef for Guittard Chocolate, visited Johnson & Wales this past Saturday.  
In a demo for the faculty of the International Baking & Pastry Institute, he created a beautiful chocolate showpiece over the course of a day, as seen in the pictures below.  

About Guittard Chocolate Company:  
Guittard Chocolate Company is the oldest family owned chocolate operation in the United States.  Founded by Etienne Guittard in 1868, the company was originally located in San Francisco and was relocated to Burlingame in 1955.  Not only does Guittard Chocolate work closely with growers, but the company is also one of the few remaining bean-to-bar chocolate makers in the United States.  The process of transformation from dried cacao beans to chocolate occurs in Guittard's Burlingame facility. 

A bit about Chef Donald Wressell:
In 1985, Donald Wressell worked as the Assistant Pastry Chef for the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia, and in 1987 he moved to Los Angeles where he was the Executive Pastry Chef for the Four Seasons until 2006.  He was named one of the "Top Ten Best Pastry Chefs" by Chocolatier-Pastry Art & Design in 1998 and 1999, and in 2003 he was named Southern California's Restaurant Writers "Pastry Chef of the Year."  The Organizing Committee of the National Pastry Team Championships gave Wressell the title of "Pastry Chef of the Year" in 2005.  Chef Wressell was the recipient of Silver and Gold medals in the Grand Salon Culinaire, and he was the second place winner in Les Masters du Chocolat competition in 1995.  He has represented the United States four times in Le Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie (the World Cup of Pastry).  In 1995 and 2005, as team captain, Wressell led the team to winning Bronze medals.  The USA won their first Gold medal in 2001 with Donald as their team coach and manager.  

Donald Wressell was Johnson & Wales 152nd Distinguished Visiting Chef, honored on Wednesday, January 30th, 2008.

The Culinary Arts Museum connection...
If you've been to the museum, you may remember that in our Pantheon of Chefs exhibit, we have a display case dedicated to Julia Child.  Among the items in that case are an autographed chef coat signed by chefs that attended and/or cooked for one of her many 80th birthday celebrations, as well as a photo from the event that shows Julia being presented with a birthday cake.  Not only did Chef Wressell sign the chef coat, but he can be seen standing next to Julia as she is presented with the cake that he baked for her!

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