"Su, are you free tomorrow?" "I'm scheduled to assist tomorrow, but I got to work"...
"Do you want to assist.."
"VINCENT PILON?!!" I exclaimed. "YES!" I know I should have felt bad for Nicole missing her chance; but I was too excited too pounce on the opportunity. *sigh* She really is the sweetest friend.
One of the biggest guns in American Pastry and Chocolates; Chef Vincent Pilon has won numerous medals, awards and gained excellent reputation for his work and craft.
I pulled out brief snippets of Chef Pilon's biography on the Mandalay Bay; Vegas website to give everyone a short introduction to his achievements.
Vincent Pilon joined Mandalay Bay as executive pastry chef after many years of working in the premier confectionary kitchens of the world. Born in France, Pilon’s passion for manipulating sugar into stunning creations has been with him since he was young.You'd think he'd be a snobby French Chef with his nose in the air; but NO~ he surprised us with with a warm personality and charming sense of humour. He had me all smiles and giggles throughout the evening as his assistant!I watched him work; so practical, so clean and very professional.. I was in awe. There were some airbrush 'complications' which I admit; must have been really fustrating for him, but never once did he flinch or have a frown. His knowledge of chocolate and incredible persona really differentiates him from other respected names in the industry.
Pilon began his formal culinary training at L’Ecole Jean Ferrandi, widely regarded as the leading pastry school in France. He developed a strong foundation in classical techniques, which serve as the anchor for his creative pursuits. Pilon then attended L’Ecole de Paris des Metiers de la Table where he expanded his scope into the versatile world of chocolate. A natural medium for an artist such as Pilon to explore, chocolate provided him with a canvas of creativity more malleable than sugar. This new medium allowed Pilon to create the chocolate structures that would earn him acclaim in the future.
After completing school, Pilon worked in various pastry and chocolate shops throughout France before embarking on a career in America. Pilon’s first job was at Le Palais du Chocolate in Washington, D.C., a French pastry shop that specialized in cakes, petit fours and chocolates. His next position was chef chocolatier at Francois Payard’s eponymous patisserie and bistro in New York City. The delicacy of Payard’s sweets demanded a supreme attention to detail and a resolute calm while crafting.
In addition to his role at Mandalay Bay, Pilon’s chocolate creations have provided him with significant recognition in national competitions. Architectural forms, hand-carved work and free-formed pieces all combine in Pilon’s repertoire to create beautiful and innovative free-standing structures.
He has received several medals for his work including the gold at the 2003 National Pastry Team Championship, the 2005 Food Network Chocolate Challenge and the 2006 Food Network Chocolate Runway. He also was named one of the “2007 Ten Best Pastry Chefs in America” by Pastry Art & Design. His most recent awards include the 2007 National Taste Award and the 2007 Chocolate Masters’ Championship. In October 2007, Pilon will represent the United States in the World Chocolate Masters’ Championship in Paris.
I popped one of these delicious chocolate truffles as they were working on them on saturday..and wow... WOW.. heavenly bursts of chocolatey goodness... sensational stuff! I would have stowed a couple away quietly for private consumption if I wasn't already having a problem with excessive sugar diet! *pout*
I've been learning the French language at home from my computer; and have had repeated pronunciation issues with the word 'un poisson' which would mean 'fish' in English. 2 days with Chef Vincent has finally fix that up for me perfectly! I've been making plans to visit Vegas sometime before I leave the US; and he's agreed to let me into his kitchen for a peep! I'm so excited; I hope he wouldn't forget his 'poisson' in a couple of months.