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Johnny Iuzzini

Johnny Iuzzini /u-zee-nee/ is an American pastry chef, television celebrity and cookbook author. He resides in New York City. He is a 1994 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and served as executive pastry chef at New York Times four-star restaurant Daniel from 2001 through 2002, and at New York Times four-star and Michelin Guide three-star restaurant Jean Georges from 2002 through 2011. Iuzzini is author of two cookbooks, the second published in September 2014.[2][3] On November 29, 2017, Iuzzini was accused of sexual harassment by four former employees.[4] As a result of the accusations against him, the third season of The Great American Baking Show was pulled after two episodes.[5]

Johnny Iuzzini
Johnny Iuzzini March, 2014.jpg
Iuzzini in 2014
Born John Joseph Iuzzini III
(1974-08-31) August 31, 1974 (age 43)
New York[1]
Residence New York City, New York
Citizenship American
Occupation Pastry chef, cookbook author, TV celebrity
Years active 1994–present


Early lifeEdit

Iuzzini was born August 31, 1974, and raised in the Catskills region of New York. His father was a plumbing and heating technician, his mother a veterinarian assistant and wildlife rehabilitator.[6][7] During his childhood Iuzzini's palate was nourished by the fresh vegetables that were grown in his mother's garden, developing a special love for rhubarb and Concord grapes. Often cooking for the family, Iuzzini experimented with box cake recipes where he often added ingredients on-hand to make genuinely unique desserts. Enrolled in a high school vocational-technical program studying culinary arts, Iuzzini seemed destined for a career as a chef.



Iuzzini's first restaurant job was after school as a part-time dishwasher at the local golf club, Osiris Country Club, riding his bicycle to work in order to earn teenage spending money.[8] At the time, he was enrolled in his high school's voc-tech culinary program, and Iuzzini garnered his first cooking award by finishing second in a New York City culinary competition.[6] Referred to the chef at the River Café in Brooklyn by the florist of the golf club's restaurant, at age seventeen Iuzzini took a new job as garde manger, beginning his career in New York City. Iuzzini soon found working with whole animals at the restaurant difficult and incongruous with his love for animals, which developed from spending much of his childhood assisting his mother rescue injured animals. Observing Pastry Chef Eric Gouteyron at the restaurant, Iuzzini immediately fell in love with the art and precision of pastry, and began assisting Chef Eric after his regular kitchen shifts. He soon switched jobs to work making desserts full-time, launching his career as a pastry chef.[6][7][9]

Culinary educationEdit

Iuzzini attended The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, graduating in 1994 with a Baking and Pastry Arts degree.[6]

Pastry chefEdit

During his externship at the Culinary Institute of America, Iuzzini worked with pastry chef Lincoln Carson at Luxe, now Corporate Pastry Chef for Michael Mina's Mina Group restaurant management company. Carson, who had formerly worked for Francois Payard at Le Bernadin in Midtown Manhattan, coaxed Iuzzini to visit Payard, now working at the original Daniel on Manhattan's Upper East Side. After spending a day with Payard, Iuzzini was offered a job as pastry chef at Daniel, which he accepted, working weekends until graduation. During the next three and a half years, he mastered all dessert stations and became Payard's close assistant. When Payard opened his renowned Payard Pâtisserie and Bistro in 1997, Iuzzini was selected as sous chef, while continuing to work at Daniel.[10][11] In 1998, burned out from the hectic pace, Iuzzini took a break from the kitchen to travel the world. He visited Hong Kong, Australia and Italy. In France he studied pastry technique while staging at several of the country's finest patisseries including Ladurée in Paris, École du Grand Chocolat et Patisserie in Tain l’Hermitage, and Patisserie Chereau in Nice, as well as the Hotel Paris in Monte Carlo.[12] After eight months around the world, he returned to New York to work for chef/owner Daniel Boulud, opening Café Boulud and the new Daniel as Executive Sous Chef. In 2001 Boulud promoted the 26-year-old Iuzzini to Executive Pastry Chef.

In May 2002, chef/owner Jean-Georges Vongerichten selected Iuzzini for the position of Executive Pastry Chef at Restaurant Jean Georges, including the restaurant's café, Nougatine. It is during this period of his career that Iuzzini achieved his most distinguished recognition and awards, including “Best Pastry Chef” by New York Magazine in 2002, “Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year” nomination by the James Beard Foundation in 2003,[13] and “Ten Best Pastry Chefs in America” by Pastry Art and Design Magazine in 2003 and 2004. When Jean-Georges opened Perry Street in 2005, Iuzzini added Executive Pastry Chef role for that location to his responsibilities. The following year, 2006, Iuzzini was awarded Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year[14] by the James Beard Foundation. 2007 landed him among the honorees of the title of “10 Most Influential Chefs in America” from, as one of the “Tastemaking Chefs”.[9][15]

Pastry and culinary arts consultingEdit

In 2011 Iuzzini left the kitchen[16] and started his pastry and culinary arts consulting company, Sugar Fueled, Inc. He is a member of Macy's Culinary Council,[17] performing demonstrations of pastry techniques to live audiences around the United States. On June 16, 2014, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts announced their first-ever global éclair program in partnership with Iuzzini. Over a twelve-month period, Iuzzini created eight signature éclair recipes exclusively for Le Méridien inspired by his travels throughout to the hotel's destinations. The series is titled "The Éclair Diaries", and began on July 10, 2014, with his travels around the San Francisco area on motorcycle to find inspiration for his first éclair recipe which was unveiled on July 29, 2014 in New York City.[18][19][20][21]


In September 2010, Iuzzini was enlisted for two seasons as head judge on the American reality competition show Top Chef: Just Desserts on the Bravo cable television network.[22][23] This show, a spin-off of the highly successful Top Chef, focused exclusively on desserts. The pastry chef contestants battled weekly for the top prize in the familiar Top Chef format featuring both “Quickfire Challenge” and “Elimination Challenge” tests. Each season featured nine episodes plus a finale. In 2011 the show received the GLAAD Media Award nomination for Outstanding Reality Program.[24] On October 23, 2014 he appeared as a competitor in the "Superstar Sabotage" tournament of Cutthroat Kitchen.[25]


Iuzzini donates a significant amount[clarification needed] of personal time supporting many charities, including Cookies for Kids' Cancer,[26] a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for pediatric cancer research, Share Our Strength,[27] the TJ Martell Foundation, Autism Speaks,[28] Just Food,[29] and the Jubilee Family Development Center.[30] Iuzzini is an ambassador for The Family Reach Foundation, a charity that helps families with a child or parent afflicted with cancer.[31] He also donates time to Waves for Water, a charity that promotes projects to provide clean water to those in need around the world.

Personal lifeEdit

Iuzzini lives in New York City and spends relaxation time in his cabin in the Catskills mountains. Iuzzini drives a Land Rover Defender, and he is also an avid motorcycle enthusiast, riding Ducati Monster and Ducati ST4 motorcycles on the street and a Honda CBR600RR sportbike on the race track. Iuzzini is an avid New York Giants fan and can often be found tailgaiting at home games.

Sexual harassment allegationsEdit

On November 29, 2017, Iuzzini was accused of sexual harassment by four of his former employees.[32] As a result of the accusations against Iuzzini, the third season of The Great American Baking Show was pulled after two episodes.[5]


Forbes 2007 - 10 Most Influential Chefs in America
Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year 2006 Award - James Beard Foundation
Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year 2003 Nominee - James Beard Foundation
Top 10 Pastry Chefs 2004 - Pastry Art and Design Magazine
Top 10 Pastry Chefs 2003 - Pastry Art and Design Magazine
Best New Pastry Chef 2002 - New York Magazine
Best Desserts in NY 2001 - Where (magazine)
Emerging Young Chef 2000 - Comité Colbert


Johnny Iuzzini book signing at Star Chefs October, 2014

Iuzzini, Johnny; Finamore, Roy (December 2008). Dessert FourPlay: Sweet Quartets from a Four-Star Pastry Chef. Clarkson Potter. ISBN 978-0-307-35137-1. 
Iuzzini, Johnny; Martin, Wes (September 2014). Sugar Rush: Master Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Sweet Baking. Clarkson Potter. ISBN 978-0-770-43369-7. 

In Dessert Fourplay Iuzzini provides an arsenal of recipes based upon his elegant after-dinner quartet offerings from Jean Georges. The recipes in the book showcase his now-famous ability to coax a wide range of delicious flavors from desserts, while demonstrating his creativity, innovation and willingness to experiment. Iuzzini teamed with noted cookbook editor, cooking teacher, food stylist and James Beard Award winner Roy Finamore to produce a cookbook that pushes the limits well beyond traditional desserts, challenging experienced chefs while at the same time providing suggestions for alternative techniques for less experienced chefs. The cookbook met with rave editorial reviews from such famous chefs as Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Daniel Boulud, Wylie Dufresne, Francois Payard and Paula Deen.[33]

With his second cookbook, Sugar Rush, Iuzzini takes a more basic approach to the preparation of more traditional desserts that many home cooks can follow with ease. Working with respected cook, food stylist, culinary producer and food consultant Wes Martin, the book combines recipes with thorough examples of basic preparation techniques for the essential building blocks to provide the reader with a roadmap to producing delicious desserts.[34][35][36][37]

Television appearancesEdit

In addition to Top Chef: Just Desserts, Iuzzini has also appeared in numerous television segments for Better,[38][39][40] The Chew,[41] The Food Channel, The Food Network, The Best Thing I Ever Ate,[42][43][44] The Rachel Ray Show,[45] Live with Regis and Kelly, The Wendy Williams Show,[46] Food(ography),[47] Into the Night with..., Top Chef,[48] Paula’s Party,[49][50] The Martha Stewart Show,[51][52][53] Today in New York, Today Show, Good Morning America, The Tony Danza Show, After Hours with Daniel Boulud, Iron Chef America,[54] The Hallmark Channel,[55] Rewrapped,[56] and Cutthroat Kitchen.[57]

On November 23, 2015, Iuzzini appeared as judge in Food Network's Chopped Desserts.[58]

On December 7, 2015, Iuzzini debuted as judge in ABC's The Great Holiday Baking Show, based on the British series The Great British Bake Off, scheduled to run for four consecutive weeks.[59][60]

On December 10, 2015, Iuzzini appeared as judge in The Cooking Channel's Sugar Showdown Winter Wonderland Cakes episode.[61]

Celebrity chef appearancesEdit

Iuzzini makes frequent appearances as a celebrity chef at major food events, such as the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival,[62] the Aspen Food & Wine Classic,[63] the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival,[64] the Food Network South Beach Wine and Food Festival,[65] the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival,[66][67] the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience[68] and others.


  1. ^ Johnny Iuzzini March, 2014
  2. ^ Vallis, Alexandra, "Practice Your ‘FourPlay’ With Johnny Iuzzini",, September 22, 2008
  3. ^ Merwin, Hugh, "Post-Retirement, Johnny Iuzzini Has a New Cookbook in the Works",, January 3, 2012
  4. ^ Kimble, Lindsay (November 29, 2017). "Former Top Chef judge Johnny Iuzzini accused of sexual harassment by 4 former employees". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 1, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "ABC Pulls 'Great American Baking Show' Amid Johnny Iuzzini Sexual Harassment Claims". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-12-14. 
  6. ^ a b c d McBride, Anne E., "Interview with Johnny Iuzzini",, January, 2007
  7. ^ a b McDermott, Miranda J., "TeenLIVE at the NYPL in Retrospect: Johnny Iuzzini on September 20, 2012",, April, 2013
  8. ^ Rosenberg, Sarah and Caron, Christina, "Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini's Driving Ambition",, March 20, 2009
  9. ^ a b "Johnny Iuzzini Author Profile",
  10. ^ Lurie, Joshua,"Interview: Pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini Discusses the Catskills, Cocktails, Clubbing, Traveling the World and More", June 2011
  11. ^ Bernard, Sarah,"Sweet Sensation",
  12. ^ "Johnny Iuzzini ’94, Pastry Chef/Consultant, Sugar Fueled, Inc.",
  13. ^ "2003 Outstanding Pastry Chef Nomination",
  14. ^ "The 16th annual James Beard award ceremony",
  15. ^ Marcus, Miriam, "Tastemakers: Chefs",, March 14, 2007
  16. ^ Niko, "Last call: Johnny Iuzzini’s final desserts from Jean Georges part I",, January 2, 2012
  17. ^ "Macy’s Culinary Council Updates Its Roster with Top Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini",, March 27, 2012
  18. ^ "Le Méridien Reinvents the Éclair in Partnership with Acclaimed Pastry Chef and Newest LM100™ Member Johnny Iuzzini",, June 16, 2014
  19. ^ "Le Méridien Reinvents the Éclair in Partnership with Acclaimed Pastry Chef and Newest LM100™ Member Johnny Iuzzini",, June 16, 2014
  20. ^ "Le Méridien Éclair Diaries featuring Chef Johnny Iuzzini: San Francisco",, July 29, 2014
  21. ^ "How a pastry chef sources seasonally",
  22. ^ Forbes, Paula, "Top Chef: Just Desserts Judges Announced! Johnny Iuzzini, Hubert Keller, Dannielle Kyrillos",, July 1, 2010
  23. ^ Gallagher, Aileen, "Johnny Iuzzini and Hubert Keller to Judge Top Chef: Just Desserts",, July 1, 2010
  24. ^ Finke, Nikki, "22nd GLAAD Film/TV Awards Nominations",, January 19, 2011
  25. ^
  26. ^ Lo, Catherine, "'Cookies for a Cause: A Great Gift", November 9, 2012
  27. ^ Elliot, Todd, "'Share our Strenth [sic] & Lexus Team up for "A Tasteful Pursuit: Chefs on Tour For Hunger", November 9, 2012
  28. ^ "Third Annual Celebrity Chef Gala Participating Chefs",
  29. ^ "Pie Contest",
  30. ^ "'Top Chef' event to raise money for Lynchburg's Jubilee Family Development Center",
  31. ^ "'Chef Johnny Iuzzini",
  32. ^ Kimble, Lindsay (November 29, 2017). "Former Top Chef judge Johnny Iuzzini accused of sexual harassment by 4 former employees". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 1, 2017. 
  33. ^ "Dessert FourPlay: Sweet Quartets from a Four-Star Pastry Chef Editorial Reviews",
  34. ^ "Sugar Rush: Master Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Sweet Baking",}
  35. ^ "Taste of the Kentucky Derby: Johnny Iuzzini's Maker's Mark mint julep ice cream",
  36. ^ "Here's What it Takes to Make Every Dessert in Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini's New Cookbook",
  37. ^ "He’s No Cream Puff: Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini Shares His Secrets",
  38. ^ "Chef Johnny Iuzzini Makes Strawberry Salad",
  39. ^ "Chef Johnny Iuzzini Makes Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Lime Compote",
  40. ^ "Cooking Desert, Strawberry Short Cake 2.0",
  41. ^ Johnny Iuzzini's Brazilian Carrot Cake - The Chew on YouTube
  42. ^ "ChikaLicious Dessert Bar: Better Than Mine",
  43. ^ "Husk Restaurant: Smoky",
  44. ^ "China Poblano at the Cosmopolitan: Las Vegas",
  45. ^ "Johnny Iuzzini's Cashew Almond Bars",, December 10, 2012
  46. ^ "Susan Lucci, Gail Simmons and John Iuzzini", Wendy Williams Show
  47. ^ "Ice Cream", Food(ography) Episode: CCFDH-101H
  48. ^ "Top Chef Season 4: Improv",
  49. ^ "Romancing the Stove Party",, Episode IP0313H
  50. ^ "Chocolate Party",, Episode IP0305H
  51. ^ "Johnny Iuzzini Makes a Buche de Noel with Martha Stewart",
  52. ^ "Honey-Roasted Fig Tarts, Part 1",
  53. ^ "Chocolate-Beet Cakes with Candied Beets and Rose Petals",
  54. ^ "Dessert Luau: Guarnaschelli/Iuzzini vs. Zakarian/Falkner",, Episode IA1209H
  55. ^ "Chef Johnny Iuzzini Makes a Pineapple Coconut Meringue Torte"
  56. ^ "Season 2, Episode 4 Pirouettes on Point"
  57. ^ "Superstar Sabotage: For Richer or Poorer",
  58. ^ "‘Chopped’ is making 'Chopped Desserts' on Food Network",
  59. ^ "UK Reality Hit ‘Great British Bake Off’ Getting Holiday-Themed Remake On ABC",
  60. ^ "the great holiday baking show episode guide",
  62. ^ Yee, Helen, "Johnny Iuzzini at the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014",, March 16, 2014
  63. ^ Squires, Kathleen, "What We Learned at Aspen's Food & Wine Classic",, June 24, 2013
  64. ^ Staff, "PB Food & Wine Festival Seeing Stars",, September 20, 2013
  65. ^ "Johnny Iuzzini bio",
  66. ^ "Johnny Iuzzini bio",
  67. ^ "What You Missed at This Year's Hawaii Food & Wine Fest",
  68. ^ Anderson, Brett, "The Big Gateaux brings celebrity chefs to New Orleans Wine and Food Experience",, May 18, 2012

External linksEdit