Biagio Settepani began his career at the age of 13 in a small pastry shop in Brooklyn, New York, spending his next few years learning as much as he could. At the age of 21 took over the reins of Bruno Bakery, a well-known Bakery/Café in New York City. Since then his dedication to excellence has brought him around the world in search of knowledge. He has competed nationally and internationally for over a decade earning him several medals and numerous accolades. In 2001 be became a C.M.B. (certified master baker). He now runs together with his family a retail shops in New York City and Staten Island, and still finds time to share his knowledge by teaching at various schools to the new generations of pastry chefs.
• 1997 – Gold Medal – Societe Culinaire Philanthropique – Salon Culinaire –Pastry Art Confection.
• 1997 –First Place “ Cake of the Century “ competition Plaza Hotel New York City
• 1998 – Gold Medal –Societe Culinaire Philanthropique, 1st place pastry competition.
• 1999- Gold Medal – Societe Culinaire Philanthropique, Salon Culinaire –Prize of Honor.
• 1999- 1st place in taste -10th US pastry Competition
• 2000- 1st place- Ville de Paris Gold Medal, Salon Culinaire , New York City.
• Grand Prize Du Salon – Silver Medal of the French Government- Societe Culinaire Philanthropique
• Captain National Pastry team –Competition Las Vegas, Nevada, Team Settepani -4th place Overall-Best chocolate Showpiece –Team Spirit Award.
• 2001 – CMB, certification, Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York. (Certified master baker)
• Member Staten Island Culinary Team –Gold Medal / Silver Medal / Bronze medal. International Wacs competition, Massa Carrara /Italy – Second Place /Silver Medal overall competition.
• 2005- Phoenix, Arizona / Chef Instructor for World Pastry Forum / Gelato class.
• Johnsons & Wales University- Distinguished Chef Award –April 2006.
• April 2006 –ACF Northeastern Region Pastry Chef of the Year, Award Toronto, Canada.
• July 2006 – Quest Chef Instructor –at Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), New York City.
• Liaison / assistant to the Italian Team for 2006 International Pastry Team Competition, Phoenix, Arizona.
• Head Judge for 2nd National Bread & Pastry Team Competition –October 2006, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
• 2007-Judge for chocolate confection competition / Rimini, Italy.
• 2007- Liaison / assistant to the Italian team at Nashville World Pastry Team Competition
• 2007- elected as president of the New York state bakers association
• 2008- Named “RETAIL BAKERY OF THE YEAR” BY MODERN BAKING MAGAZINE
• 2008- elected as a honorary member of “associazione maestri pasticceri italiani”, Verona, Italy
• 2009- Food Network “ Sugar Adventures” Challenge, Gold Medal winner.
• 2009- Special Award at MIG ( mostra internazionale del gelato artgianale ) , Longarone , Italy
• 2010 – Instructor special class at Johnson &Wales University “ Special Italian Holiday Baking “
• 2010 – Instructor special class at Notter School of Confectionary Arts, Orlando Florida.
• 2010 – Instructor at World Pastry Forum, Phoenix, Arizona, Italian desserts class
• 2010 – Liaison / Assistant to the Italian team in Phoenix, Arizona, World pastry team championship.
• 2010- Winner of Cannoli Throwdown with Bobby Flay
• 2012- Pastry Chef of the Year at the WPTC Las Vegas, Nevada
From the very early stages of his life, Salvatore Settepani, has been around the art of pastry and baking. As a Certified Master Baker, his father, Biagio Settepani always had the tools, experience, and love for pastry around the house. With the knowledge, guidance and mentoring of his father, Salvatore began to focus on his career as a pastry chef at age eighteen.
He began his journey at the The Culinary Institute of America where he studied baking and pastry for two years to develop his knowledge and skills further. While at CIA, Salvatore got unforgettable opportunity to study overseas in Padova, Italy with Luigi Biasetto. For seven months he learned to develop his craft working side by side with a “Champion Del Mondo” or World Champion–a true privilege for him.
Upon his return and graduation, he began to work with his family to run several retail locations in New York, known as Pasticceria Bruno and Bruno Bakery under the tutelage of Biagio. His father, for as long as he can remember, gave Salvatore his inspiration and drive. They both work together, with the rest of their family, to expand their businesses and teach others the knowledge of food and pastry. After being in the industry on his own for several years now, he still feels he is ready to take on new adventures, and still always leave room to learn something new. He continues to travel, and is constantly looking for innovative techniques to bring back to his bakeries and make his own. In a field where it is important to always be growing, he has the discipline and determination needed to keep his expertise at the highest level of his profession.
He opened his own shop in Staten Island, New York in June 2008 and with his skill and creativity, is still succeeding
• 2007 Paris Gourmet US Pastry Competition- Honorable Mention
• 2007 Societe Culinaire Philantropique Grand Prize od Salon
• 2008 Cake For The Pope’s Birthday
• 2008 Paris Gourmet US Pastry Competition- 3rd
• 2009 Paris Gourmet US Pastry Competition- 2nd
• 2009 June 24 Food Network Challenge “Sugar Adventure- WINNER
• 2010 Paris Gourmet US Pastry Competition- 2nd
• 2011 July 14 Sweet Genius- Nocked out 2nd
• 2013 Paris Gourmet US Pastry Competition- Honorable
Gianfranco Franzese was born in Italy on November 18th 1968. He graduated with a degree in Culinary Arts from the Istituto Professionale Albeghiero in Bari, Italy 1987. After working in various establishments such as restaurants, hotels and pastry shops he learned about culinary trends, simultaneously gaining experience as a chef.
At the age of 21, he came to the United States and worked in various restaurants, such as Villa Portofino, Cafe Del Mondo, Excelsior Grand Caterers and Bocelli Restaurant as an Executive Chef. In 1995, he was introduced to the world of food competitions, which later on would earn him 25 different awards at the national level in both cold and hot food championships (18 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze).
In 1997, he became a Certified Executive Chef through the American Culinary Federation. Two years later, Chef Franzese was invited as guest chef for the Hames Beard Foundation, requiring him to perform a cooking demonstration for a group of delegates of the Beard House. In the year 2000, Gianfranco Franzese further proved his passion for the culinary arts through competing internationally and winning more medals including an Olympic gold medal with the 2000 New York Culinery Team, in Efurt, Germany. He was also the winner of the Cup of Nations in Quebec, Cananda in 2002, and he received a bronze medal for individual display with the American Culinary Federation Big Apple Team. Furthermore, in 2004 Chef Frenzese acted as the Captain and Manager of the Staten Island Culinary Team in a W.A.C.S. sponsored competition held in Italy, winning 9 gold medals with his teammates and a 1st place trophy for the hot food championship nationally and a 2nd place trophy overall internationally. In 2003, he was a guest for “La Cucina Magazine” and “Cooking and Living Magazine” with a live cooking demo. Also, in the same years while he was working at Bocelli Restaurant, it was awarded the best Italian Restaurant on Staten Island, rated 4 stars. He is also a member of the Chef De Cuisine Association and the American Culinary Federation. Also, Chef Franzese was awarded “Chef of the Year” in 2005 from the A.C.F. for the New York area. This award recognizes an Outstanding Chef who works in a full-service dining facility and demonstrates the highest standard in culinary arts.