2012 Schedule of Demonstrations

  • Executive Pastry Chef Steven Rujak

    ACF Pastry Chef of the Year

    Saturday April 28th at 12:00 pm
    Sunday April 29th at 12:00 pm

    Chef Steven Rujak remains one of the most highly decorated pastry chefs in the country. Since winning the National Pastry Chef of the year award in Philadelphia in 2006, Chef Rujak has continued to create masterpieces not only as the Pastry chef at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, but with his own brand as well, earning Chef Rujak's work some of the highest accolades given to the culinary profession. Among his other accolades he was named Southeast regional pastry chef of the year 2006, and competed at the A.C.F. National convention in Philadelphia, and was awarded the distinctive, National Pastry Chef of the Year.

    Read Chef Rujak's Bio
  • Executive Pastry Chef David Ramirez

    Captain of the US World Pastry Team

    Friday April 27th at 7:00 pm

    Considered to be a leading expert in modern day confectionery arts, Chef Ramirez will custom create an amazing piece of chocolate art right before your eyes. Cher Ramirez gets his inspiration from anywhere he is - whether strolling the toy aisles of Target with his three kids, attending a black tie event, or visiting Orlando's amazing theme parks, he views the world through "chocolate-colored glasses" - always wondering how every object he sees could be translated into an edible sculpture

    Read Chef Ramirez's Bio
  • Master Chocolatier Baruch "Bernie" Schaked

    Award-Winning Chocolatier

    Saturday April 28th at 11:00 am
    Sunday April 29th at 11:00 am

    Baruch Schaked will make his famous rendition of the Mayan Chocolate Drink for guests to try while he opens real cacao pods flown from Puerto Rico to taste, touch and smell. A must for any chocolate aficionado. Mr. Schaked will also be available to sign his "Viva Chocolate" book he wrote in celebration of his love for chocolate.

    Read Mr. Schaked's Bio
  • Chef Instructor David Arnold

    Friday April 27th at 6:00 pm
    Saturday April 28th at 3:00 pm
    Sunday April 29th at 3:00 pm

    Chef Arnold who is a Chef Instructor at MTI Culinary Arts in Bradenton, Florida will be showcasing his chocolate chili and short beef ribs with a chocolate rub.

    Read Chef Arnold's Bio
  • Executive Chef Vincent Tropepe

    Owner of Saint Germain French Bistro in Brooklyn, NY

    Saturday April 28th at 1:00 pm
    Sunday April 29th at 1:00 pm

    Dubbed "the American Gordon Ramsay" by Edible Magazine, Chef Tropepe recently celebrated the grand opening of Saint Germain French Bistro, where he brings a taste of southern French cuisine to Brooklyn with his newest culinary venture.

    And he is the owner and CEO of Forgetaboutit! Foods, a line of gourmet foods.

    Read Chef Tropepe's Bio
  • Mercedes Strachwsky

    Owner of Bake Me a Cake

    Saturday April 28th at 2:00 pm

    Mercedes Strachwsky, a self-taught cake designer, was born in Popayan, Colombia and came to reside in the United States in 1980.

    Mercedes is the owner of Bake Me a Cake and in 2009, her son Michael thought it was time for the world to see her works of art, and he entered her in the Grand National Wedding Cake Competition, the most prestige wedding cake competition of the United States. On October 1, 2009 Mercedes drove up this massive cake to Tulsa, Oklahoma and was announced as the Grand Prize Winner.

    Read Mercedes' Bio

Friday April 27th, 2012

  • 6:00 pm - Move Over Sweets! Using Chocolate in a Savory Dish by Chef David Arnold, Instructor at MTI Culinary Arts (45 minutes)
  • 7:00 pm - The Art of Creating a Chocolate Showpiece Showstopper Chef David Ramirez of Rosen Shingle Creek Resort (45 minutes)
  • 8:00 pm - The Cocoa Couture Fashion Show on The Festival of Chocolate Yumway

Saturday April 28th, 2012

  • 11:00 am - Making Mexican Hot Chocolate Using Old World Methods. Plus, Touch & Taste Fresh Cacao Pods and Beans by Bernie Schaked, Founder of Schakolad Chocolate Factory (45 minutes)
  • 12:00 pm - Tips and Tricks for Creating a Chocolate Weave Basket by Chef Steven Rujak of Sweet and Savory Seasons (45 minutes)
  • 1:00 pm - Comfort Foods with Chocolate Made Simple by Chef Vincent Tropepe of St. Germain Restaurant in Brooklyn, NY (45 minutes)
  • 2:00 pm - Delicate Sugar Designs by the 1st Place Winner at the National Cake Competition by Mercedes Strachwsky of Bake Me a Cake (45 minutes)
  • 3:00 pm - Move Over Sweets! Using Chocolate in a Savory Dish by Chef David Arnold, Instructor at MTI Culinary Arts (45 minutes)
  • 4:00 pm - Chocolate 101: How to Properly Taste Chocolate by Stephanie Weinberger, Dove Chocolate Discoveries (45 minutes)

Sunday April 29th, 2012

  • 11:00 am - Making Mexican Hot Chocolate Using Old World Methods. Plus, Touch & Taste Fresh Cacao Pods and Beans by Bernie Schaked, Founder of Schakolad Chocolate Factory (45 minutes)
  • 12:00 pm - How to Make Kid-Friendly Puppy Chow (A Family Project) by Chef Steven Rujak of Sweet and Savory Seasons (45 minutes)
  • 1:00 pm - Comfort Foods with Chocolate Made Simple by Chef Vincent Tropepe of St. Germain Restaurant in Brooklyn, NY(45 minutes)
  • 2:00 pm - The Art of Creating Chocolate Figurines by Nicholl Notter, Notter School of Pastry Arts (45 minutes)
  • 3:00 pm - Move Over Sweets! Using Chocolate in a Savory Dish by Chef David Arnold, Instructor at MTI Culinary Arts (45 minutes)

* Demos and Times are Subject to Change

Executive Pastry Chef Steven Rujak

Chef Steven Rujak remains one of the most highly decorated pastry chefs in the country. Since winning the National Pastry Chef of the year award in Philadelphia in 2006, Chef Rujak has continued to create masterpieces not only as the Pastry chef at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, but with his own brand as well, earning Chef Rujaks work some of the highest accolades given to the culinary profession.

Under Chef Steven's own Brand Sweet and Savory Seasons, Chef Steven has created a unique style of designing family-oriented pastry specialties designed for all holiday occasions. Steven's goal is to bring families together by establishing Sweet and Savory traditions for generations to come. His website showcases recipes with incredible photos along with a calendar of events displaying all the chefs live appearances. His live demos are broadcasted through Sweet and Savory TV as a live stream to all internet users and iPhone users as a video stream.

Chef Steven A. Rujak is originally from Weirton, West Virginia where he graduated with his A.A.S. degree in Culinary Arts, from West Virginia Northern Community College. Currently he is beginning his twelfth year at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando where he is the Executive Sous Chef / Executive Pastry Chef. Steven also is a professor at Valencia Community College and has been for eleven years; "I like giving back to the community what I have learned, and I enjoy showing people how effortless it can be to create elaborate cakes and pastries in the comfort of your own home," exclaims Steven.

Among his other accolades he was named Southeast regional pastry chef of the year 2006, and competed at the A.C.F. National convention in Philadelphia, and was awarded the distinctive, National Pastry Chef of the Year.

Another of his greatest accomplishments is his two children, Ethan 7 and Hailey 4, and with the support of his wife Keitha, whom he says could not do any of this without her love and devotion. Chef Rujak is currently working on a series of books entitled Sweet and Savory Seasons, with Steven Rujak.

Check out his website: www.sweetandsavoryseasons.com

Executive Pastry Chef David Ramirez

Trained at Johnson and Wales in pastry arts, Chef David Ramirez has appeared on the Food Network, worked at five-star properties in Atlanta and Orlando, and was named captain of the 2009 Team USA. As captain of Team USA, Chef Ramirez lead some of the finest pastry chefs in the internationally acclaimed Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, aka the World Pastry Cup, competition in Lyon, France. Chef Ramirez has competed against pastry chefs from all over the world and won dozens of awards from American Culinary Foundation competitions.

This self-described “chocoholic” says that no matter where he is — whether strolling the toy aisles of Target with his three kids, attending a black tie event, or visiting Orlando’s amazing theme parks, he views the world through “chocolate-colored glasses”— always wondering how every object he sees could be translated into an edible sculpture. Sweet, but never saccharine, Ramirez’s elaborate chocolate creations reflect his youthful outlook. In fact, he has been known to actually cut apart his kids’ toys in order to make a chocolate mold. The loving dad is always quick to replace what he borrows.

David and his wife Nicole, co-own David Ramirez Chocolates in Orlando, FL.

Master Chocolatier Baruch "Bernie" Schaked

Baruch Schaked, has been a chocolate maker since 1969. He began his career as a chocolatier in Argentina while working for his father-in-law, Gustavo Bar, who was the owner of one of South America’s largest chocolate factories. Mr. Schaked traveled extensively throughout Europe to participate in courses and seminars at prestigious schools where he mastered the art of chocolate making. His education and passion paid off in the form of numerous first place awards for his scrumptious, handmade truffles at the world-renown Fontainebleau Chocolate Festival. And, that is just the beginning of the story. The Schaked`s chocolate adventure really got started when Baruch Schaked announced that he was selling his chocolate shop in South Florida in order to retire. His son, Edgar, determined to keep the family’s passion alive, scrapped his engineering career to continue the family legacy. In 1995, the first Schakolad Chocolate Factory opened in Winter Park, Florida. In 1999, Schakolad began franchising their unique system, creating national and international awareness as the producers of fine quality chocolates using only the highest quality ingredients.

Baruch Schaked began writing “Viva Chocolate” as an educational Chocolate Information manual for his stores -- a sort of Master Chocolatier’s pocket guide to the art of chocolate from the bean to the bar. What he soon realized was that although the general public is inundated with books on chocolate recipes and preparation, they too wanted a simple, yet detailed overview of the pure chocolate making process. After multiple speaking engagements covering this topic, he decided to address the public’s thirst for knowledge in his widely acclaimed comprehensive chocolate guidebook…“Viva Chocolate.”

For Franchise Information on Schakolad Chocolate Factory go to: www.chocolatefranchise.com

Chef Instructor David Arnold

Chef Arnold is a Chef Instructor at MTI Culinary Arts in Bradenton, Florida. He holds certifications from the American Culinary Federation as a Certified Executive Chef (CEC) and Lead Accredited Culinary Examiner (ACE).

He has been executive chef/operator of two restaurants in Florida, one a fine dining steak and seafood restaurant and the other a beach community bakery and diner. His culinary experience spans from opening and operating a large contemporary restaurant in Orlando to operating General Manager of a Country Club.

He has been classically trained in culinary by the Le Cordon Bleu School with a 4.0 GPA and is a member of Eta Sigma Delta Honor Society. He also has been certified by the State of Florida as a Certified Food Manager, a ServeSafe Course Instructor and holds certifications from the National Restaurant Association in Cost Control, Supervision, Culinary Arts and Advanced Baking & Pastry.

Chef Arnold frequently appears on local and regional television and radio shows promoting the craft of food preparation and has written numerous articles for newspaper and magazines.

More can be found at www.davidarnoldcec.com

Executive Chef Vincent Tropepe

Brooklyn Executive Chef Vincent Tropepe has done what no chef before him has accomplished -- sweeping all three titles in each nominated category designated annually by the United States Culinary Congress, including Best French Bistro Northeast Territory, Humanitarian of the Year and Chef of the Year 2011 for a second consecutive year, a first in USCC history. This year Tropepe's fellow nominees included, "Top Chef" contestant Fabio Viviani and Dave Martin as well as The Food Network's Ann Burrell and cookbook author Nathalie Dupree. In 2010, Chef Tropepe won "Chef of the Year" over Viviani, Burrell, the Voltaggio Brothers, and Mark Ladnerin ( Sous Chef to Mario Batali).

Chef Vincent is a highly-accomplished executive chef with extensive experience in culinary and pastry design, recipe development, and restaurant management. He has a cross-section of experience in both culinary and pastry arts, receiving the New York State Gold Medal in both. He holds seven industry certifications and is certified in 12 cuisines, including Italian, French, German, Welsh, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Floridian, Californian, Spanish, Philippine and Lebanese. He was inducted into Les Amis d'Escoffier Culinary Society and holds USACC national ranking #103 chef in the United States.

More can be found at www.tropepe.com

Award Winning Cake Designer Mercedes Strawchwsky

Mercedes Strachwsky, a self-taught cake designer, was born in Popayan, Colombia and came to reside in the United States in 1980. She has been married to architect & pastry chef Alex Strachwsky for 37 years and has three children: Andy, David and Michael.

Mercedes has always been fascinated with art, but she discovered cakes when she ordered a birthday cake for her son and was not happy with the results. She began a hobby in cakes and it continued to grow. Her passion for cake decorating and enjoyment in sharing it with others has led to teaching locally and internationally. She has been an active member and committee member of ICES and was asked to create the 1997 ICES Convention show cake. This show cake, which was 9 feet in diameter and contained over 600 pounds of fondant, proved to be the best of the best. As a true representation of the natural beauty of Florida, it was recognized as a work of art and was transferred to the Orlando Science Center to be displayed as a permanent exhibition.

In 2001, her husband's dream of opening a small pastry shop coincided with Mercedes' new passion. Together, they opened a shop called Bake Me A Cake Pastry Shop in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Still teaching on the side, Mercedes and Alex spend many hours a week at the bakery.

In 2009, her son Michael thought it was time for the world to see her works of art, and he entered her in the Grand National Wedding Cake Competition, the most prestige wedding cake competition of the United States. On October 1, 2009 Mercedes drove up this massive cake to Tulsa, Oklahoma and was announced as the Grand Prize Winner. Kerry Vincent, Show Director, said these fine words, "Nothing was left to chance," Vincent said. "Every detail was pretty much perfect, even to the embellishment on the edge of her cake board. Truly worthy of being in a museum."

Soon after owner and founder of Satin Fine Foods contacted Mercedes about writing a book together. Her first book, "Satin Ice Sugar Craft" has become a best seller and has many great cake decorating techniques. Mercedes is currently working on her second book while traveling extensively teaching the art of sugar. 2011, brought a call from Dessert Professional Magazine recognizing her in the Top 10 Cake Artists of America for her achievement in the cake industry. She joins other professionals along Buddy Valastro (Cake Boss), James Rosselle, Marina Sousa and Ron Ben Israel.

Mercedes credits her husband with much of her success. "He has always been my biggest supporter and critic," Mercedes says.

You can find Mercedes at her shop, Bake Me a Cake in Altamonte Springs, FL www.bakemeacake.net