Position: Master Pastry Chef, Author of two Dessert Circus books, host of the Food Network’s “Chocolate with Jacques Torres,” Judge on Netflix’s Nailed It!
Website: Jacques Torres
Born: June 14, 1959
Torres has won numerous awards, including the James Beard Foundation Pastry Chef of the Year, Meilleur Ouvrier de France, the Chefs of America Pastry Chef of the Year, and Chartreuse Pastry Chef of the Year.
Chef Jacques Torres’ story begins in Bandol, France, a small town in the southern region of Provence. At an early age, Jacques was inspired to start a culinary career thanks to his love for food and making people happy. Despite not having extensive prior training, but having 3 years apprenticeship, Jacques considered himself a craftsman and, in 1980, landed a job with Michelin two-star chef Jacques Maximin at the Hotel Negresco starting a relationship that would last 8 years and take him around the globe. In 1986, Jacques was awarded the prestigious M.O.F. medal, the youngest chef to earn the distinction. Jacques counts his M.O.F. coach, Lou Lou Franchain, as a role model – along with Frank Mars of M&M Mars and Leonardo DaVinci who have served as sources of inspiration throughout his career.
In 1988, he ventured to the U.S. as the Corporate Pastry Chef for Ritz Carlton. It was Jacques’ intention to pursue the American dream. In 1989, the legendary Sirio Maccioni invited Jacques to work at New York City’s most famous restaurant, Le Cirque. For 11 years, Jacques served presidents, kings, and celebrities in his every day work at the iconic restaurant.
During his time at Le Cirque, Jacques released a 52 episode public television series, Dessert Circus with Jacques Torres, along with two companion cookbooks, Dessert Circus: Extraordinary Desserts You Can Make At Home (William Morrow), which earned a 1999 James Beard Award nomination, and Dessert Circus At Home (William Morrow). He also hosted a television series, Chocolate with Jacques Torres, on the Food Network for three years. Jacques’ third cookbook, A Year in Chocolate (Stewart, Tabori and Chang) was released in 2008. He continues to participate in culinary events and make guest appearances on television shows such as Top Chef: Just Desserts and Chopped All Stars. Additionally, Jacques proudly serves as Dean of Pastry Arts at the International Culinary Center.
Jacques generously donates his time to many national charity organizations including American Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, God’s Love We Deliver, New York’s Hard of Hearing Association, Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center, the Association to Benefit Children, Make a Wish Foundation, and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. He loves children and dedicates himself to causes that support their well-being and happiness.
Jacques Torres’s Books