William Foltz – Pastry Chef at L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles, Louisiana
Featured Chef in the 2014 Vanilla Vine, Issue #2
Creative, innovative, inspired: these are just a few words to describe the beauty and intricacy of Pastry Chef Bill Foltz’ pastries, sugar sculptures and chocolate showpieces.
Nielsen-Massey had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Foltz, who recently won Best Artistry, Best Sugar Showpiece and the Competitors’ Choice award with his teammate, Chef Arlety Estévez, at the Pastry Live 2013 Showpiece Championship.
Previously, he earned a gold medal at the 2006 U.S. Pastry Competition where he was named U.S. Pastry Chef of the Year and later was named one of the Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America by Dessert Professional magazine in 2010. He was also a member of the American Team at the 2011 Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, where he took home the “Best Sugar” trophy.
Aside from these great accomplishments and his many other prestigious accolades, Chef Foltz is a Pastry Chef at the award- winning L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The customers he serves there, as well as his staff, are what inspire him to create delicious and visually stunning food. Although Chef Foltz loves to be creative and think outside the box, he takes a different approach to his everyday confectionery and pastry creations. “I have to take it down a couple notches… our clientele really love the simple, guilty pleasures, so the emphasis is focused on quality products and consistent execution.”
With more than twenty years of experience working in fine dining, banquets and in leadership roles at top restaurants, he credits his love for the culinary arts to his family.
Chef Foltz explains, “I used to marvel at how my grandpa would create meals from nothing. I still remember making cobblers, pies and breads with my mom on the weekends using products from the local orchard. I think my dad has become a bigger foodie than I am. I have always loved using my hands to create, whether it is wood, metal, clay or sugar. I always wanted to be an architect and love drafting three-dimensional objects. What better way to make a living than making 8-foot tall lollipops!”
Tip: when using vanilla, “don’t overcomplicate it; vanilla is the star!”
His artistic talents and approachability are also complemented by business sensibility. Along with his degrees in Hospitality Studies and Baking and Pastry Arts, Chef Foltz also graduated with an Associate Degree in Applied Business in Culinary Arts Technology. “As a chef, you absolutely have to have strong business acumen. Understanding profit and loss statements, budgets, and labor controls are the foundation that keeps us employed. These are taught and learned on the job. Leadership is the part you cannot pick up a book and read about.”
With his business-savvy attitude and remarkable talent, Chef Foltz also credits his success with the quality of ingredients he uses. “Using quality ingredients to me is a privilege. Every pastry professional should aspire to use the best they can afford where it will make the most impact.” And quality vanilla and flavor products are no different. After discovering Nielsen-Massey early in his career, he loves using Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Beans, particularly the Tahitian Pure Vanilla Beans.