Johnny Iuzinni, head judge for Bravo!’s Top Chef-Just Desserts, looks like the type of guy that your dad would totally not approve of. Lets go down the check list, shall we? Bad-Ass attitude, Check. Gorgeous smile warm enough to melt any woman’s heart with a pulse, Check. Mad swagger and swoon worthy, vintage style, Check. Motorcycle as a main form of transportation, Of Course! But under that tough exterior, would you believe there is a great pastry chef? That’s right,PASTRY chef. You would think a title like that would be a little emasculating to a hard ass dude, but not for Johnny. He absolutely loves his job and is the man responsible for the most delicious and forward thinking desserts I’ve ever seen exclusivly for Restaurant Jean Georges in New York City and Nougatine at Jean Georges.
At Jean George’s, Johnny develops a dessert tasting menu for guests to enjoy that includes 4 different dishes. They are aptly named “foreplays”. The idea (and the deserts themselves) were so appealing to the guests, Johnny decided to write a cookbook highlighting his favorite recipes and foreplay techniques…in the kitchen of course! Get your minds out of the gutter women! Most of the recipes included in Dessert Foreplay were once served at Restaurant Jean George, don’t expect to head over any time soon to see and taste them in person. Johnny develops completely new menus with the changing seasons and NEVER repeats dishes.
Being a judge on Top Desserts is one of Johnny’s career highlights for sure. Throughout each season, Johnny in known for being extremely straightforward and borderline…harsh to the competitors. His job is to light a fire under the asses of the competing chefs and give his real, professional feedback which many times is cringe-worthy but never mean-spirited. A lot of chefs carry that grandiose attitude but Johnny actually have the accolades to back it up. At a young age he apprenticed at the world-famous Lauduree in Paris as well as other wonderful bakeshops in the city. That’s enough for me! But when he returned home, he got straight to work and making a name for himself.