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SIMON HERFRAY

Born in France, I began my education and immersion in the art of fine French pastry making in the Nantes area of France. After five years of classes, training and hands-on experience, I graduated with a Masters Degree in Pastry and Bakery.

Immediately after graduation, I left France to work in London and joined the culinary team at Aubaine, a renowned French Restaurant-Bakery in South Kensington, a hub of prestigious world-class restaurants, hotels and museums with a significant French cultural presence. Many celebrities living in the neighborhood can be seen here, eating a croissant! After one year in London, I headed to Australia where I lived and worked in Brisbane, and later on in Sydney, to polish and diversify my skills with new techniques.

An offer to join the acclaimed Blue Bird Restaurant in London brought me back to the UK. The Blue Bird Restaurant is a fabulous addition to the Kings Road restaurant scene, and also located in South Kensington. In 2009, I came across the pond, and entered New York City's pastry scene as the new Executive French Pastry Chef of Falai LLC. During this time, I had the chance to play a role in several unique events with Restaurant Benoit, Le Cirque, Peter Luger Steakhouse and even made bread for a party hosted by Martha Stewart! Then I moved on to Café M, a cozy pastry and coffee shop by the Empire State Building in Manhattan. Soon after, I crossed the bridge to Downtown Brooklyn and continued to create unique and delicious desserts at sister restaurants, Bacchus and La Defense Bakery and Bistro.

In January 2014, I launched my own company, a culinary company focused on catering and teaching the fine art of French pastry making through classes and workshops. I am excited to share my talents and expertise in French pastry and dessert making with the New York City community through my classes and menus for weddings and private/corporate events.

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BRENDA L.JENKINS

Hello everyone, it is very nice to meet you. My name is Brenda L. Jenkins and I am thrilled to be joining the Atelier Sucre team.

I have been working in the culinary world for almost twenty years, and have a degree in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management. Before beginning culinary school at the New York Restaurant School in January of 1999 I had a career in the fashion industry as a sales and marketing executive. I earned a degree in Fashion Merchandising at a small trade school called the Hill Institute. It is extremely gratifying to know that I am fortunate enough to use both of my degrees each and every day. After graduating Culinary School in October of 2000, I went to work in restaurants in order to get reinforcement for the foundation I received in school. Fortunately, I was part of the opening team for some really great restaurants, OTTO and Artisanal, and to have worked with some amazing Chefs. The experiences and knowledge I gained along the way, support me every day. After my restaurant exposure, I decided to gain some continuing education at FCI, now ICC in their catering department. I then moved on to the catering world, where I continue to thrive.

I have been a freelance catering chef for more than a decade, and it is here that I am truly content. The pace and ever changing environment keeps me current and humble in the industry. My passion for food is something that has been with me since I was a little girl growing up in Northwest New Jersey. I always loved Julia Child and the Galloping Gourmet and on Saturdays, instead of going out to play, I would choose a recipe from my Betty Crocker Junior Cookbook. Cooking was fun for me then, and it is still fun for me now.

Connecting to people through food is a wonderful experience. Hopefully, one day, we can share this experience together. As for down time, whenever I have it, I enjoy concert experiences, museums, shopping and going to the gym. Thank you for taking the time to get to know me, and I am looking forward to seeing you out in the culinary world. Cheers…!!