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Celebrate National Cookie Day with Pastry Chef Norman Love

Celebrate National Cookie Day with Pastry Chef Norman Love



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It seems like everything has its own “National Day” these days. I’ll take any excuse I can to eat warm chocolate chip cookies.

In honor of this delicious day, I caught up with master chocolatier Norman Love, who is a cookie connoisseur.

Love is known for his exquisite chocolates that are almost too beautiful to eat and his chocolate salons located in Florida. He partnered with Princess Cruises to create and launch the Chocolate Journeys program, which treats guests to decadent desserts; wine and chocolate pairings; and specialty chocolate cocktails. And now they are using Love’s cookie recipes onboard their 18 ships as part of that program as well.

As if that isn’t enough of a cookie resume, Love recently launched a line of gourmet cookie kits called Stir, Bake, LOVE. So, he seemed like the perfect guy to talk to on this day of all things cookie.

The Daily Meal: So many different things can be considered cookies. What is a cookie when it comes to a strict culinary definition? And how then are they defined more broadly?
Chef Norman Love:
Here’s the unofficial definition: The English word "cookie" is derived from the Dutch word koekje, which means “little cake.” Dutch bakers used to test oven temperatures on small amounts of batter so that they would not waste the entire cake mix if the temperature wasn't right. It was not long before they discovered that these tiny pieces of cooked batter were actually quite tasty and thus, the cookie was born! Today, the definition is a bit broader. Cookies can be crunchy, sweet, salty and sour – the types and textures have greatly expanded over the years, but the idea of cooked, baked somewhat cake-like small pieces of dough is still the same.

What is your fondest childhood memory when it comes to cookies?
I’m not sure it’s my fondest, but it’s my funniest. My first attempt to make cookies was when I was in 2nd or 3nd grade. I was making peanut butter cookies and incorrectly measured the salt. ½ tsp became ½ cup. I gave my brother one of the cookies and let’s just say they were less peanut butter and more salt cookies. He still reminds me of it today!

What are significant ways people can celebrate National Cookie Day?
Enjoy a really delicious, warm, just out of the oven cookie with someone special. Whether that means making a batch at home with your kids, going to your favorite pastry shop and buying some, even picking some up at the grocery store. Enjoy them how you like them best — with a cold glass of milk, dipped in tea, with a strong cup of coffee, topped with ice cream. We just introduced a line of gourmet cookie kits, Stir, Bake, LOVE, so people can enjoy our delicious, gourmet cookies at home, made freshly and easily. I’d say that today, for National Cookie Day, go pick up one of our kits and make your own batch!

In this age of fancier and fancier and more obscure desserts, is the old school cookie still relevant? If so, why?
Of course! Cookies are part of our culture — all of us great up eating and baking them and chocolate chip, peanut butter and oatmeal cookies are American staples. Cookies are comfort food and bring us back to fond childhood memories and in today’s crazy age, people are looking for that comfort. Whether freshly baked, purchased at a gourmet shop like Norman Love Confections, or bought at the grocery store, cookies are still one of the most popular desserts and snacks in the world. Plus, people are getting crazier with cookies, putting in obscure ingredients and creating decadent works of art to rival any fancy confection.

What is the one thing that you think would surprise people when it comes to cookies?
If you make cookies using fresh and high quality ingredients, in particular butter and vanilla, people would be so surprised what really different outcomes you’ll have. Good quality butter and vanilla — pure Madagascar or bourbon vanilla — really enhances the flavor.

What is the one thing you hate to see when it comes to cookies?
I am not a fan of many chocolate-dipped cookies. Often, especially in large retail stores where the cookies are mass-produced, the “chocolate” is really chocolate coating — a chocolate-like product. That substitute for real chocolate ruins the quality of a cookie. Maybe it’s because I’m also a chocolate-maker, but you shouldn’t skimp on the quality of any ingredient in a cookie — or any dessert. If you’re going to make chocolate-dipped cookies, use real chocolate. To have a truly delicious cookie, you need to use fresh, high-quality ingredients.

What are your favorite cookies to eat and why?
I really love buttery shortbread cookies that are heavy on vanilla and slightly crunchy.

And what are your favorite cookies to make and why?
I most enjoy making chocolate chunk chocolate chip cookies. They’re what our customers and my family and friends request most, and it’s always gratifying to bake something that’s so well received. But, they’re also fun because each time you make them, you can experiment a little — add more chocolate, more chips, throw in some walnuts.

Any chance you’d be willing to share your secret recipe?
Here it is!


Maura Metheny

At Nielsen-Massey, we are best loved for our vanilla, but we can’t resist chocolate! So we took some time to talk to Pastry Chef and Chocolatier, Maura Metheny, who shared a bit about her and how she uses Nielsen-Massey products.

Maura Metheny is the Chef Chocolatier/Head of Design and Innovation at Norman Love Confections, a well-known chocolate shop with locations in Fort Myers and Naples, Florida. Norman Love Confections also offers classes, wedding cakes and fine desserts. Online ordering is available on their website, normanloveconfections.com.

A typical day on the job for Chef Metheny is a combination of project management, creative design and experimentation. She works closely with Chef Norman Love and her fellow co-workers on new and existing projects, allowing them to inspire and challenge each other each every day. With more than 35,000 chocolate pieces being created on a daily basis, their collaboration and support is a key ingredient to getting the job done.

Chef Metheny began her journey with a degree in fine arts, which led her to her current passion in confectionary design. “The fact that a beautiful and sculptural plated dessert had to also be delicious and perfectly executed inside and out, was the challenge and draw for me to this industry it was bringing art up to another level by incorporating all the senses.”

After receiving an A.A.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales University, Chef Metheny moved to Switzerland to further study the art of pastry and chocolate making. Soon after, she took a position at The Ritz-Carlton Naples in Florida as a Pastry Cook in the Fine Dinning Outlets. It was in Naples where she had the opportunity to meet Chef Norman Love and attend many international competitions and classes.

“I was able to travel all over the world to competitions and get VIP passes to see them up close. Watching the Coupe du Monde from the front row and being escorted by Chef Norman Love right in front of the booths at the World Pastry Championship in Las Vegas while they competed – it was those experiences that raised all my expectations of what pastry and chocolate should be,” said Chef Metheny.

These experiences are what prepared her for her own competitions. Chef Metheny competed in the Florida Showpiece Challenge in 2008 and 2009, receiving silver medals both years. She also received a bronze medal at the 24th Annual U.S. Pastry Competition for Pastry Chef of the Year. Chef Metheny also won the National Showpiece Competition with Chef Dan Forgey at the 2013 Pastry Live Show where they were awarded best chocolate showpiece. It was there, Chef Metheny also received second place for Chocolatier of the Year.

Along with her techniques and talents, she also credits her success to using fine ingredients, like Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste and Powder. Chef Metheny explained, “I have been using Nielsen-Massey since I started in the industry, and it’s all we use at my job now.”

Tips from Chef Metheny

  • Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder is a great addition to hot sipping chocolate.
  • Use Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste for dishes that require the texture of vanilla seeds.
  • Try a variety of beans before deciding on one for a ganache. Just like cocoa, the natural flavors of the beans differ with the origin, and each bean variety has its own wonderful flavor profile.
Share

Maura Metheny

At Nielsen-Massey, we are best loved for our vanilla, but we can’t resist chocolate! So we took some time to talk to Pastry Chef and Chocolatier, Maura Metheny, who shared a bit about her and how she uses Nielsen-Massey products.

Maura Metheny is the Chef Chocolatier/Head of Design and Innovation at Norman Love Confections, a well-known chocolate shop with locations in Fort Myers and Naples, Florida. Norman Love Confections also offers classes, wedding cakes and fine desserts. Online ordering is available on their website, normanloveconfections.com.

A typical day on the job for Chef Metheny is a combination of project management, creative design and experimentation. She works closely with Chef Norman Love and her fellow co-workers on new and existing projects, allowing them to inspire and challenge each other each every day. With more than 35,000 chocolate pieces being created on a daily basis, their collaboration and support is a key ingredient to getting the job done.

Chef Metheny began her journey with a degree in fine arts, which led her to her current passion in confectionary design. “The fact that a beautiful and sculptural plated dessert had to also be delicious and perfectly executed inside and out, was the challenge and draw for me to this industry it was bringing art up to another level by incorporating all the senses.”

After receiving an A.A.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales University, Chef Metheny moved to Switzerland to further study the art of pastry and chocolate making. Soon after, she took a position at The Ritz-Carlton Naples in Florida as a Pastry Cook in the Fine Dinning Outlets. It was in Naples where she had the opportunity to meet Chef Norman Love and attend many international competitions and classes.

“I was able to travel all over the world to competitions and get VIP passes to see them up close. Watching the Coupe du Monde from the front row and being escorted by Chef Norman Love right in front of the booths at the World Pastry Championship in Las Vegas while they competed – it was those experiences that raised all my expectations of what pastry and chocolate should be,” said Chef Metheny.

These experiences are what prepared her for her own competitions. Chef Metheny competed in the Florida Showpiece Challenge in 2008 and 2009, receiving silver medals both years. She also received a bronze medal at the 24th Annual U.S. Pastry Competition for Pastry Chef of the Year. Chef Metheny also won the National Showpiece Competition with Chef Dan Forgey at the 2013 Pastry Live Show where they were awarded best chocolate showpiece. It was there, Chef Metheny also received second place for Chocolatier of the Year.

Along with her techniques and talents, she also credits her success to using fine ingredients, like Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste and Powder. Chef Metheny explained, “I have been using Nielsen-Massey since I started in the industry, and it’s all we use at my job now.”

Tips from Chef Metheny

  • Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder is a great addition to hot sipping chocolate.
  • Use Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste for dishes that require the texture of vanilla seeds.
  • Try a variety of beans before deciding on one for a ganache. Just like cocoa, the natural flavors of the beans differ with the origin, and each bean variety has its own wonderful flavor profile.
Share

Maura Metheny

At Nielsen-Massey, we are best loved for our vanilla, but we can’t resist chocolate! So we took some time to talk to Pastry Chef and Chocolatier, Maura Metheny, who shared a bit about her and how she uses Nielsen-Massey products.

Maura Metheny is the Chef Chocolatier/Head of Design and Innovation at Norman Love Confections, a well-known chocolate shop with locations in Fort Myers and Naples, Florida. Norman Love Confections also offers classes, wedding cakes and fine desserts. Online ordering is available on their website, normanloveconfections.com.

A typical day on the job for Chef Metheny is a combination of project management, creative design and experimentation. She works closely with Chef Norman Love and her fellow co-workers on new and existing projects, allowing them to inspire and challenge each other each every day. With more than 35,000 chocolate pieces being created on a daily basis, their collaboration and support is a key ingredient to getting the job done.

Chef Metheny began her journey with a degree in fine arts, which led her to her current passion in confectionary design. “The fact that a beautiful and sculptural plated dessert had to also be delicious and perfectly executed inside and out, was the challenge and draw for me to this industry it was bringing art up to another level by incorporating all the senses.”

After receiving an A.A.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales University, Chef Metheny moved to Switzerland to further study the art of pastry and chocolate making. Soon after, she took a position at The Ritz-Carlton Naples in Florida as a Pastry Cook in the Fine Dinning Outlets. It was in Naples where she had the opportunity to meet Chef Norman Love and attend many international competitions and classes.

“I was able to travel all over the world to competitions and get VIP passes to see them up close. Watching the Coupe du Monde from the front row and being escorted by Chef Norman Love right in front of the booths at the World Pastry Championship in Las Vegas while they competed – it was those experiences that raised all my expectations of what pastry and chocolate should be,” said Chef Metheny.

These experiences are what prepared her for her own competitions. Chef Metheny competed in the Florida Showpiece Challenge in 2008 and 2009, receiving silver medals both years. She also received a bronze medal at the 24th Annual U.S. Pastry Competition for Pastry Chef of the Year. Chef Metheny also won the National Showpiece Competition with Chef Dan Forgey at the 2013 Pastry Live Show where they were awarded best chocolate showpiece. It was there, Chef Metheny also received second place for Chocolatier of the Year.

Along with her techniques and talents, she also credits her success to using fine ingredients, like Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste and Powder. Chef Metheny explained, “I have been using Nielsen-Massey since I started in the industry, and it’s all we use at my job now.”

Tips from Chef Metheny

  • Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder is a great addition to hot sipping chocolate.
  • Use Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste for dishes that require the texture of vanilla seeds.
  • Try a variety of beans before deciding on one for a ganache. Just like cocoa, the natural flavors of the beans differ with the origin, and each bean variety has its own wonderful flavor profile.
Share

Maura Metheny

At Nielsen-Massey, we are best loved for our vanilla, but we can’t resist chocolate! So we took some time to talk to Pastry Chef and Chocolatier, Maura Metheny, who shared a bit about her and how she uses Nielsen-Massey products.

Maura Metheny is the Chef Chocolatier/Head of Design and Innovation at Norman Love Confections, a well-known chocolate shop with locations in Fort Myers and Naples, Florida. Norman Love Confections also offers classes, wedding cakes and fine desserts. Online ordering is available on their website, normanloveconfections.com.

A typical day on the job for Chef Metheny is a combination of project management, creative design and experimentation. She works closely with Chef Norman Love and her fellow co-workers on new and existing projects, allowing them to inspire and challenge each other each every day. With more than 35,000 chocolate pieces being created on a daily basis, their collaboration and support is a key ingredient to getting the job done.

Chef Metheny began her journey with a degree in fine arts, which led her to her current passion in confectionary design. “The fact that a beautiful and sculptural plated dessert had to also be delicious and perfectly executed inside and out, was the challenge and draw for me to this industry it was bringing art up to another level by incorporating all the senses.”

After receiving an A.A.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales University, Chef Metheny moved to Switzerland to further study the art of pastry and chocolate making. Soon after, she took a position at The Ritz-Carlton Naples in Florida as a Pastry Cook in the Fine Dinning Outlets. It was in Naples where she had the opportunity to meet Chef Norman Love and attend many international competitions and classes.

“I was able to travel all over the world to competitions and get VIP passes to see them up close. Watching the Coupe du Monde from the front row and being escorted by Chef Norman Love right in front of the booths at the World Pastry Championship in Las Vegas while they competed – it was those experiences that raised all my expectations of what pastry and chocolate should be,” said Chef Metheny.

These experiences are what prepared her for her own competitions. Chef Metheny competed in the Florida Showpiece Challenge in 2008 and 2009, receiving silver medals both years. She also received a bronze medal at the 24th Annual U.S. Pastry Competition for Pastry Chef of the Year. Chef Metheny also won the National Showpiece Competition with Chef Dan Forgey at the 2013 Pastry Live Show where they were awarded best chocolate showpiece. It was there, Chef Metheny also received second place for Chocolatier of the Year.

Along with her techniques and talents, she also credits her success to using fine ingredients, like Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste and Powder. Chef Metheny explained, “I have been using Nielsen-Massey since I started in the industry, and it’s all we use at my job now.”

Tips from Chef Metheny

  • Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder is a great addition to hot sipping chocolate.
  • Use Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste for dishes that require the texture of vanilla seeds.
  • Try a variety of beans before deciding on one for a ganache. Just like cocoa, the natural flavors of the beans differ with the origin, and each bean variety has its own wonderful flavor profile.
Share

Maura Metheny

At Nielsen-Massey, we are best loved for our vanilla, but we can’t resist chocolate! So we took some time to talk to Pastry Chef and Chocolatier, Maura Metheny, who shared a bit about her and how she uses Nielsen-Massey products.

Maura Metheny is the Chef Chocolatier/Head of Design and Innovation at Norman Love Confections, a well-known chocolate shop with locations in Fort Myers and Naples, Florida. Norman Love Confections also offers classes, wedding cakes and fine desserts. Online ordering is available on their website, normanloveconfections.com.

A typical day on the job for Chef Metheny is a combination of project management, creative design and experimentation. She works closely with Chef Norman Love and her fellow co-workers on new and existing projects, allowing them to inspire and challenge each other each every day. With more than 35,000 chocolate pieces being created on a daily basis, their collaboration and support is a key ingredient to getting the job done.

Chef Metheny began her journey with a degree in fine arts, which led her to her current passion in confectionary design. “The fact that a beautiful and sculptural plated dessert had to also be delicious and perfectly executed inside and out, was the challenge and draw for me to this industry it was bringing art up to another level by incorporating all the senses.”

After receiving an A.A.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales University, Chef Metheny moved to Switzerland to further study the art of pastry and chocolate making. Soon after, she took a position at The Ritz-Carlton Naples in Florida as a Pastry Cook in the Fine Dinning Outlets. It was in Naples where she had the opportunity to meet Chef Norman Love and attend many international competitions and classes.

“I was able to travel all over the world to competitions and get VIP passes to see them up close. Watching the Coupe du Monde from the front row and being escorted by Chef Norman Love right in front of the booths at the World Pastry Championship in Las Vegas while they competed – it was those experiences that raised all my expectations of what pastry and chocolate should be,” said Chef Metheny.

These experiences are what prepared her for her own competitions. Chef Metheny competed in the Florida Showpiece Challenge in 2008 and 2009, receiving silver medals both years. She also received a bronze medal at the 24th Annual U.S. Pastry Competition for Pastry Chef of the Year. Chef Metheny also won the National Showpiece Competition with Chef Dan Forgey at the 2013 Pastry Live Show where they were awarded best chocolate showpiece. It was there, Chef Metheny also received second place for Chocolatier of the Year.

Along with her techniques and talents, she also credits her success to using fine ingredients, like Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste and Powder. Chef Metheny explained, “I have been using Nielsen-Massey since I started in the industry, and it’s all we use at my job now.”

Tips from Chef Metheny

  • Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder is a great addition to hot sipping chocolate.
  • Use Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste for dishes that require the texture of vanilla seeds.
  • Try a variety of beans before deciding on one for a ganache. Just like cocoa, the natural flavors of the beans differ with the origin, and each bean variety has its own wonderful flavor profile.
Share

Maura Metheny

At Nielsen-Massey, we are best loved for our vanilla, but we can’t resist chocolate! So we took some time to talk to Pastry Chef and Chocolatier, Maura Metheny, who shared a bit about her and how she uses Nielsen-Massey products.

Maura Metheny is the Chef Chocolatier/Head of Design and Innovation at Norman Love Confections, a well-known chocolate shop with locations in Fort Myers and Naples, Florida. Norman Love Confections also offers classes, wedding cakes and fine desserts. Online ordering is available on their website, normanloveconfections.com.

A typical day on the job for Chef Metheny is a combination of project management, creative design and experimentation. She works closely with Chef Norman Love and her fellow co-workers on new and existing projects, allowing them to inspire and challenge each other each every day. With more than 35,000 chocolate pieces being created on a daily basis, their collaboration and support is a key ingredient to getting the job done.

Chef Metheny began her journey with a degree in fine arts, which led her to her current passion in confectionary design. “The fact that a beautiful and sculptural plated dessert had to also be delicious and perfectly executed inside and out, was the challenge and draw for me to this industry it was bringing art up to another level by incorporating all the senses.”

After receiving an A.A.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales University, Chef Metheny moved to Switzerland to further study the art of pastry and chocolate making. Soon after, she took a position at The Ritz-Carlton Naples in Florida as a Pastry Cook in the Fine Dinning Outlets. It was in Naples where she had the opportunity to meet Chef Norman Love and attend many international competitions and classes.

“I was able to travel all over the world to competitions and get VIP passes to see them up close. Watching the Coupe du Monde from the front row and being escorted by Chef Norman Love right in front of the booths at the World Pastry Championship in Las Vegas while they competed – it was those experiences that raised all my expectations of what pastry and chocolate should be,” said Chef Metheny.

These experiences are what prepared her for her own competitions. Chef Metheny competed in the Florida Showpiece Challenge in 2008 and 2009, receiving silver medals both years. She also received a bronze medal at the 24th Annual U.S. Pastry Competition for Pastry Chef of the Year. Chef Metheny also won the National Showpiece Competition with Chef Dan Forgey at the 2013 Pastry Live Show where they were awarded best chocolate showpiece. It was there, Chef Metheny also received second place for Chocolatier of the Year.

Along with her techniques and talents, she also credits her success to using fine ingredients, like Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste and Powder. Chef Metheny explained, “I have been using Nielsen-Massey since I started in the industry, and it’s all we use at my job now.”

Tips from Chef Metheny

  • Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder is a great addition to hot sipping chocolate.
  • Use Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste for dishes that require the texture of vanilla seeds.
  • Try a variety of beans before deciding on one for a ganache. Just like cocoa, the natural flavors of the beans differ with the origin, and each bean variety has its own wonderful flavor profile.
Share

Maura Metheny

At Nielsen-Massey, we are best loved for our vanilla, but we can’t resist chocolate! So we took some time to talk to Pastry Chef and Chocolatier, Maura Metheny, who shared a bit about her and how she uses Nielsen-Massey products.

Maura Metheny is the Chef Chocolatier/Head of Design and Innovation at Norman Love Confections, a well-known chocolate shop with locations in Fort Myers and Naples, Florida. Norman Love Confections also offers classes, wedding cakes and fine desserts. Online ordering is available on their website, normanloveconfections.com.

A typical day on the job for Chef Metheny is a combination of project management, creative design and experimentation. She works closely with Chef Norman Love and her fellow co-workers on new and existing projects, allowing them to inspire and challenge each other each every day. With more than 35,000 chocolate pieces being created on a daily basis, their collaboration and support is a key ingredient to getting the job done.

Chef Metheny began her journey with a degree in fine arts, which led her to her current passion in confectionary design. “The fact that a beautiful and sculptural plated dessert had to also be delicious and perfectly executed inside and out, was the challenge and draw for me to this industry it was bringing art up to another level by incorporating all the senses.”

After receiving an A.A.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales University, Chef Metheny moved to Switzerland to further study the art of pastry and chocolate making. Soon after, she took a position at The Ritz-Carlton Naples in Florida as a Pastry Cook in the Fine Dinning Outlets. It was in Naples where she had the opportunity to meet Chef Norman Love and attend many international competitions and classes.

“I was able to travel all over the world to competitions and get VIP passes to see them up close. Watching the Coupe du Monde from the front row and being escorted by Chef Norman Love right in front of the booths at the World Pastry Championship in Las Vegas while they competed – it was those experiences that raised all my expectations of what pastry and chocolate should be,” said Chef Metheny.

These experiences are what prepared her for her own competitions. Chef Metheny competed in the Florida Showpiece Challenge in 2008 and 2009, receiving silver medals both years. She also received a bronze medal at the 24th Annual U.S. Pastry Competition for Pastry Chef of the Year. Chef Metheny also won the National Showpiece Competition with Chef Dan Forgey at the 2013 Pastry Live Show where they were awarded best chocolate showpiece. It was there, Chef Metheny also received second place for Chocolatier of the Year.

Along with her techniques and talents, she also credits her success to using fine ingredients, like Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste and Powder. Chef Metheny explained, “I have been using Nielsen-Massey since I started in the industry, and it’s all we use at my job now.”

Tips from Chef Metheny

  • Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder is a great addition to hot sipping chocolate.
  • Use Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste for dishes that require the texture of vanilla seeds.
  • Try a variety of beans before deciding on one for a ganache. Just like cocoa, the natural flavors of the beans differ with the origin, and each bean variety has its own wonderful flavor profile.
Share

Maura Metheny

At Nielsen-Massey, we are best loved for our vanilla, but we can’t resist chocolate! So we took some time to talk to Pastry Chef and Chocolatier, Maura Metheny, who shared a bit about her and how she uses Nielsen-Massey products.

Maura Metheny is the Chef Chocolatier/Head of Design and Innovation at Norman Love Confections, a well-known chocolate shop with locations in Fort Myers and Naples, Florida. Norman Love Confections also offers classes, wedding cakes and fine desserts. Online ordering is available on their website, normanloveconfections.com.

A typical day on the job for Chef Metheny is a combination of project management, creative design and experimentation. She works closely with Chef Norman Love and her fellow co-workers on new and existing projects, allowing them to inspire and challenge each other each every day. With more than 35,000 chocolate pieces being created on a daily basis, their collaboration and support is a key ingredient to getting the job done.

Chef Metheny began her journey with a degree in fine arts, which led her to her current passion in confectionary design. “The fact that a beautiful and sculptural plated dessert had to also be delicious and perfectly executed inside and out, was the challenge and draw for me to this industry it was bringing art up to another level by incorporating all the senses.”

After receiving an A.A.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales University, Chef Metheny moved to Switzerland to further study the art of pastry and chocolate making. Soon after, she took a position at The Ritz-Carlton Naples in Florida as a Pastry Cook in the Fine Dinning Outlets. It was in Naples where she had the opportunity to meet Chef Norman Love and attend many international competitions and classes.

“I was able to travel all over the world to competitions and get VIP passes to see them up close. Watching the Coupe du Monde from the front row and being escorted by Chef Norman Love right in front of the booths at the World Pastry Championship in Las Vegas while they competed – it was those experiences that raised all my expectations of what pastry and chocolate should be,” said Chef Metheny.

These experiences are what prepared her for her own competitions. Chef Metheny competed in the Florida Showpiece Challenge in 2008 and 2009, receiving silver medals both years. She also received a bronze medal at the 24th Annual U.S. Pastry Competition for Pastry Chef of the Year. Chef Metheny also won the National Showpiece Competition with Chef Dan Forgey at the 2013 Pastry Live Show where they were awarded best chocolate showpiece. It was there, Chef Metheny also received second place for Chocolatier of the Year.

Along with her techniques and talents, she also credits her success to using fine ingredients, like Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste and Powder. Chef Metheny explained, “I have been using Nielsen-Massey since I started in the industry, and it’s all we use at my job now.”

Tips from Chef Metheny

  • Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder is a great addition to hot sipping chocolate.
  • Use Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste for dishes that require the texture of vanilla seeds.
  • Try a variety of beans before deciding on one for a ganache. Just like cocoa, the natural flavors of the beans differ with the origin, and each bean variety has its own wonderful flavor profile.
Share

Maura Metheny

At Nielsen-Massey, we are best loved for our vanilla, but we can’t resist chocolate! So we took some time to talk to Pastry Chef and Chocolatier, Maura Metheny, who shared a bit about her and how she uses Nielsen-Massey products.

Maura Metheny is the Chef Chocolatier/Head of Design and Innovation at Norman Love Confections, a well-known chocolate shop with locations in Fort Myers and Naples, Florida. Norman Love Confections also offers classes, wedding cakes and fine desserts. Online ordering is available on their website, normanloveconfections.com.

A typical day on the job for Chef Metheny is a combination of project management, creative design and experimentation. She works closely with Chef Norman Love and her fellow co-workers on new and existing projects, allowing them to inspire and challenge each other each every day. With more than 35,000 chocolate pieces being created on a daily basis, their collaboration and support is a key ingredient to getting the job done.

Chef Metheny began her journey with a degree in fine arts, which led her to her current passion in confectionary design. “The fact that a beautiful and sculptural plated dessert had to also be delicious and perfectly executed inside and out, was the challenge and draw for me to this industry it was bringing art up to another level by incorporating all the senses.”

After receiving an A.A.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales University, Chef Metheny moved to Switzerland to further study the art of pastry and chocolate making. Soon after, she took a position at The Ritz-Carlton Naples in Florida as a Pastry Cook in the Fine Dinning Outlets. It was in Naples where she had the opportunity to meet Chef Norman Love and attend many international competitions and classes.

“I was able to travel all over the world to competitions and get VIP passes to see them up close. Watching the Coupe du Monde from the front row and being escorted by Chef Norman Love right in front of the booths at the World Pastry Championship in Las Vegas while they competed – it was those experiences that raised all my expectations of what pastry and chocolate should be,” said Chef Metheny.

These experiences are what prepared her for her own competitions. Chef Metheny competed in the Florida Showpiece Challenge in 2008 and 2009, receiving silver medals both years. She also received a bronze medal at the 24th Annual U.S. Pastry Competition for Pastry Chef of the Year. Chef Metheny also won the National Showpiece Competition with Chef Dan Forgey at the 2013 Pastry Live Show where they were awarded best chocolate showpiece. It was there, Chef Metheny also received second place for Chocolatier of the Year.

Along with her techniques and talents, she also credits her success to using fine ingredients, like Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste and Powder. Chef Metheny explained, “I have been using Nielsen-Massey since I started in the industry, and it’s all we use at my job now.”

Tips from Chef Metheny

  • Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder is a great addition to hot sipping chocolate.
  • Use Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste for dishes that require the texture of vanilla seeds.
  • Try a variety of beans before deciding on one for a ganache. Just like cocoa, the natural flavors of the beans differ with the origin, and each bean variety has its own wonderful flavor profile.
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Maura Metheny

At Nielsen-Massey, we are best loved for our vanilla, but we can’t resist chocolate! So we took some time to talk to Pastry Chef and Chocolatier, Maura Metheny, who shared a bit about her and how she uses Nielsen-Massey products.

Maura Metheny is the Chef Chocolatier/Head of Design and Innovation at Norman Love Confections, a well-known chocolate shop with locations in Fort Myers and Naples, Florida. Norman Love Confections also offers classes, wedding cakes and fine desserts. Online ordering is available on their website, normanloveconfections.com.

A typical day on the job for Chef Metheny is a combination of project management, creative design and experimentation. She works closely with Chef Norman Love and her fellow co-workers on new and existing projects, allowing them to inspire and challenge each other each every day. With more than 35,000 chocolate pieces being created on a daily basis, their collaboration and support is a key ingredient to getting the job done.

Chef Metheny began her journey with a degree in fine arts, which led her to her current passion in confectionary design. “The fact that a beautiful and sculptural plated dessert had to also be delicious and perfectly executed inside and out, was the challenge and draw for me to this industry it was bringing art up to another level by incorporating all the senses.”

After receiving an A.A.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales University, Chef Metheny moved to Switzerland to further study the art of pastry and chocolate making. Soon after, she took a position at The Ritz-Carlton Naples in Florida as a Pastry Cook in the Fine Dinning Outlets. It was in Naples where she had the opportunity to meet Chef Norman Love and attend many international competitions and classes.

“I was able to travel all over the world to competitions and get VIP passes to see them up close. Watching the Coupe du Monde from the front row and being escorted by Chef Norman Love right in front of the booths at the World Pastry Championship in Las Vegas while they competed – it was those experiences that raised all my expectations of what pastry and chocolate should be,” said Chef Metheny.

These experiences are what prepared her for her own competitions. Chef Metheny competed in the Florida Showpiece Challenge in 2008 and 2009, receiving silver medals both years. She also received a bronze medal at the 24th Annual U.S. Pastry Competition for Pastry Chef of the Year. Chef Metheny also won the National Showpiece Competition with Chef Dan Forgey at the 2013 Pastry Live Show where they were awarded best chocolate showpiece. It was there, Chef Metheny also received second place for Chocolatier of the Year.

Along with her techniques and talents, she also credits her success to using fine ingredients, like Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste and Powder. Chef Metheny explained, “I have been using Nielsen-Massey since I started in the industry, and it’s all we use at my job now.”

Tips from Chef Metheny

  • Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder is a great addition to hot sipping chocolate.
  • Use Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste for dishes that require the texture of vanilla seeds.
  • Try a variety of beans before deciding on one for a ganache. Just like cocoa, the natural flavors of the beans differ with the origin, and each bean variety has its own wonderful flavor profile.
Share

Watch the video: Show-Me Success: Award-winning pastry chef brings talent home