As the title suggests, ‘School of Chocolate‘ is a confectionary-focused reality competition series that breaks all bounds to ensure that a learning environment is prioritized above all else. It thus follows the journey of eight accomplished pastry and chocolate professionals as they attempt to further their skills under the tutelage of French chocolatier Amaury Guichon. Yes, it is a contest to be the best, yet the chefs are only “graded” instead of eliminated, making things all the more intriguing. So now, let’s find out what the cast of season 1 is up to today, shall we?
Amaury Guichon’s passion for sweets came to light at quite an early age, driving him to work hard and reach the post of executive chef at 21. From there, he spread his wings and relocated to the United States, where he realized that he also enjoyed teaching. Therefore, apart from constantly developing and renewing creations to ensure the best possible results in terms of both taste and visual effects, he even serves as an educator. From being the head instructor at his Pastry Academy in Las Vegas to teaching master classes worldwide, he does it all.
With an educational background from Mariano Moreno Culinary Institute and The French Pastry School, along with a few years of experience as a pastry chef, Juan Gutierrez is standing proof of the fact that moving on from hardships and loss is possible. His tenacity, talent, and sheer compassion are undeniable; hence, of course, he succeeded in ‘School of Chocolate,’ which he dedicated specifically to his late mother. Today, the Colombian is flourishing in the real world as well, serving as a Pastry Chef at Four Seasons Hotel and Resort in Chicago, Illinois.
Mellisa Root is like Juan in the sense that she has tried her best not to let unforeseen obstacles and fears bring her down. Following years of creating whimsical masterpieces after graduating from the California Culinary Academy, she and her husband had launched The Hairy Lobster in Portland, Oregon, to become independent restaurant owners. Sadly, after a nearly five-year run, they had to shut down in 2020 because of the pandemic, never to open again. So now, Mellisa is a pastry chef consultant, the executive pastry chef at Farmington Country Club, and the owner of Mellisa Root Chocolates and Confections (established in the fall of 2021).
Although Thiago Silva is mainly self-taught, no one can ever question his creations in taste or looks. The precise techniques may not always be there, but his skills are indisputable. That’s why he was able to hold the post of Corporate Executive Pastry Chef at the EMM Group for over six years before becoming the Director of Chocolate at Chew LLC. The Brazil-born and New York-raised chef has even had numerous celebrity clients over the years. Today, he’s the owner of SALT Patisserie in Boston, where he resides with his wife and his two boys.
Daniel Corpuz began training for a career in the confectionery industry when he was just a teen. Thus, he managed to earn an Associate’s Degree in Baking and a Bachelor’s Degree in Food Business Administration (2019) from the Culinary Institute of America by the time he was 20. He has even gained significant exposure by working in restaurants and competing in various shows, which led him to ‘School of Chocolate.’ Now, the New York City native holds International Cake Exploration Societé (ICES) teacher and sugar artist judge certification while also owning and operating Daniel Corpuz Chocolatier, his hand-crafted chocolate shop.
Hailing from a military family, Cedrick Simpson spent a part of his childhood in Germany, where he developed a passion for both desserts and nature, only to combine them recently. Having participated in Food Network’s ‘Holiday Baking Championship’ season 6 in 2019, the Netflix original was not his first stint on a reality competition. Yet, it definitely helped his career. The experienced pastry chef — who has been on a physical transformation journey (down by 100+ lbs) for the last couple of years — currently works at Capital City Club in Atlanta, Georgia.
Having obtained a Baking and Pastry Arts certificate from the now-closed Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena in 2007, Stephanie Norcio’s career in the industry is nearing the 15-year mark — and she has a lot to show for it. Apart from being a culinary coordinator and instructor, she has also worked as a pastry chef and created beautiful masterpieces over the last few years. Therefore, today, the Los Angeles resident is at a place where she can serve as a freelance pastry and private chef while also being the product development specialist at Distinct Indulgence, Inc.
Amanda Miller was in a bunker in Afghanistan while serving in the Army when she decided to change her field. Hence, in 2012, she joined The Culinary Institute of Michigan and began pursuing a Baking and Pastry Arts Associate’s degree. The officials there realized her potential soon after and asked her to stay, so she became the Chef Instructor at Baker College in 2015 — a post she still holds today. Amanda is also the President of Muskegon Culinary Professional’s Association, the President of the American Culinary Federation, and a pastry chef at Patricia’s Chocolates in Grand Haven.
Having stripped through Louisiana Culinary Institute to make a living and worked as a line cook before diving into the world of pastry, it’s clear that Tyricia Clark has now come a long way. After all, the Baton Rouge, Louisiana native is not only a pastry chef with her own dessert shop, T Cakes, but she also works as a consultant and educator. From cakes to cookies and from pies to chocolates, she specializes in them all.
Read More: Where is School of Chocolate Filmed?