Inside Guide to Orlando’s Top 10 Upscale Pastry Chefs

Chocolate Mousse Cake at A Land Remembered in Orlando

Acclaimed pastry chefs in Orlando will make your vacation as sweet as it is memorable.

By Nate Shelton

It's no secret top culinary masterminds exhibit their talents throughout Orlando, including pastry chefs. Representing acclaimed resorts and eateries adored by locals, here's a taste of 10 talented confectioners who help make Orlando one of the world's sweetest destinations!

1. Rabii Saber, Executive Pastry Chef, Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort: The Moroccan-born dessert maestro was part of the U.S. team for the 2017 Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie in France, where his chocolate cake creation won the top spot in the prestigious competition. Chef Saber oversees all dessert production at the Four Seasons, including all events and the resort's restaurants.

2. Laurent Branlard, Executive Pastry Chef, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort: The only two-time winner of the World Pastry Team Championship, this native of France is a certified pastry chef, chocolate maker, ice-cream maker and confectioner. He's known for intricately designed sugar and chocolate masterpieces, which are the visual highlight of the resort's annual Food & Wine Classic.

3. David Ramirez, Executive Pastry Chef, Rosen Shingle Creek: A self-described "chocoholic," Ramirez has served as captain of Team USA for the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, and he's won dozens of awards from American Culinary Foundation competitions. His decadent cakes, pastries and bonbons can be enjoyed at the resort's eateries.

4. Joshua Cain, Executive Pastry Chef, Orlando World Center Marriott: When this North Carolina native joined the world's largest Marriott resort earlier this year, he brought more than 20 years' experience to the job. He believes in thinking outside the box and testing the palette, a mindset that helps ensure top-quality pastry showpieces and specialty desserts for the hotel's many guests.

5. Gloriann Rivera, Pastry Chef, 1921 by Norman Van Aken: Born in Puerto Rico, Rivera honed her pastry skills locally, having studied at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando. She's big on seasonal ingredients, such as passion fruit, mango and star fruit, and counts tres leche and flan as her favorite desserts. Although 1921 is about 45 minutes from downtown Orlando in the charming town of Mount Dora, foodies will definitely find it to be worth the trip.

6. Steve Lewis, Gideon's Bakehouse: Despite the fact that Gideon's owner Steve Lewis has been wowing locals with his desserts for years, he claims his recipes were found in the 1898 diary of a boy named Gideon. Whoever dreamt them up, you can try these decadent delights at Audubon Park's East End Market, about 20 minutes from downtown Orlando.

7. Stuart Whitfield, Executive Chef, The Glass Knife: Located 20 minutes from downtown Orlando in Winter Park, one of the area's newest eateries is helmed by this Louisiana native whose creations gain inspiration from his Southern roots. He has extensive experience with top resorts, including Walt Disney World, where he sweetened up menus at Victoria and Albert's, Be Our Guest Restaurant and others.

8. Dani & Len Johnson, Better Than Sex: Tired of waiting until after the main course for something sweet? At this restaurant near College Park, about 10 minutes from downtown Orlando, sweets are the only thing on the menu. The ambience makes it one of Orlando's best date-night destinations, and the Johnsons' love for sugary creations is evident in every bite.

9. Benjamin Coquillou, Benjamin French Bakery & Café: Located in the Thornton Park district, which is adjacent to downtown Orlando, this bakery was born out of its namesake's love of food and surrounding neighborhood. In addition to the gorgeous pastries, the eatery is known for gourmet sandwiches, quiches and croissants.

10. Francois Paille, Executive Pastry Chef, Croissant Gourmet: Hailing from France, where he also mastered his trade, Paille brought extensive experience to this hidden gem when he joined in 2017. He works closely with Croissant Gourmet founder Francois Cahagne, who's equally accomplished. They're in the city of Winter Park, about 20 minutes from downtown Orlando.

Cover image: Chocolate Mousse Cake at Rosen Shingle Creek's A Land Remembered

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Written by Nate Shelton, Consumer Content Writer at Visit Orlando. He's a native Floridian who appreciates the entertainment, historical and culinary aspects of Orlando and Orange County.

 

 

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