by Sandra Lee Buxton
You may not recognize his face or even know his name but you do know his work, trust me you DO know his work. This masterful genius of pastry and chocolate creates much more than a dessert, he creates a work of art. His stunning desserts are guaranteed to make you swoon with each bite. Chef Sébastien Thieffine is the Executive Pastry Chef for the Ritz-Carlton Resorts here in Naples and recently contributed to the Naples Winter Wine Festival in a big way. More than 1,000 pieces of decadence were created by him and his extraordinary team and then beautifully displayed for guests to enjoy.
More than 150 lbs of chocolate alone were used to create the desserts and show pieces, with a quantity too big to measure of other ingredients. At least 300 man hours were needed and a total of 10 chefs to make the event and displays appear effortless.
Chef Sébastien has more than 25 years of diverse experience in pastry arts and his creativity seems unending. He has served as the Executive Pastry Chef at The Ritz – Carlton, Palm Beach and with The Ritz Hotels in Philadelphia, Kapalua, and Le Meridien in Boston.
A native of France, Chef began his apprenticeship at the age of 15 in the pastry kitchens of Soissons and Reims. His studies included both the technical and artistic aspects of his craft, confirming his love for the art of pastry. After earning his Le Brevet de Maîtrise (Certificate of Mastery) specializing in pastry arts, chocolate and ice cream, he joined Restaurant Marius in Paris.
Most recently Chef Sébastien served as an assistant for Master Pastry Chef Sébastien Canonne at The World Pastry Forum in Las Vegas. Chef Sébastien has also appeared on the Food Network’s “Follow that Food” and loves donating his time and talent to fundraising initiatives.
This Chef is truly in his element as he works, joyful in spirit, moving with the speed of a gazelle and smiling as he takes care of business. They say that a picture is worth a 1,000 words, so I’ll let these photos of splendor speak for themselves.
Naples really does have it all and we’re grateful that Chef Sébastien is part of that equation.