Disney Women of Food & Beverage – Part Three

Our spotlight this week will be a favorite for many – Disney pastry chefs. These talented women create everything from life-size gingerbread houses and show-stopping wedding cakes to painstakingly detailed desserts that are works of art … not to mention the thousands of sweet treats that guests enjoy every day in our parks and resorts. Our pastry chefs are a lesson in talent, creativity, and precision. Plus, when they give you a hug they smell like fresh-baked cookies.

A Mickey-shaped macaron, a slice of lemon cake with lemon glaze, or a decadent chocolate ganache square is the perfect indulgence while reading this post. Enjoy!

Pastry Chef Kristine Farmer at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Kristine Farmer

Hometown: Herrin, Ill.

Years in the Food & Beverage Industry: 34 years

Year Started with Disney: 1988

Current Role: Pastry Chef, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Walt Disney World Resort (leading a team of 45 cast members that support 7 restaurants including Victoria & Albert’s – the only restaurant in Florida to receive the AAA Five Diamond Award and Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award

Education/Accomplishments: Culinary Arts Degree; Disney Legacy Award

Delicious Details: Passionate about teaching and mentoring the next generation of pastry chefs; enjoys landscaping and hot yoga; fueled by expressing herself through food arts; loves fall flavors so no surprise that her favorite spice is cinnamon and pumpkin pie holds favorite childhood memories of hay rides, corn fields, and bobbing for apples; popcorn junkie; described as a person with integrity, organized, and creative.

What advice would you give young women wanting to get into the food and beverage industry?

Don’t expect everything to be handed to you. You have to work for it and prove yourself. Don’t give up. If you get knocked down, get back up. Learn from your mistakes.

Pastry Sous Chef Nubia Renteria at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Nubia Renteria

Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.

Years in the Food & Beverage Industry: 18 years

Year Started with Disney: 2001

Current Role: Pastry Sous Chef, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disneyland Resort

Education/Accomplishments: Cerritos Community College – Pastry and Savory Programs

Delicious Details: All about cakes – especially wedding cakes; self-taught cake decorator; “make it nice” is her kitchen motto; sopa de fideo is her go-to comfort food; a leveler is her favorite kitchen gadget; culinary style is modern with classic flavors; loves the color annatto seeds gives to food; best at solving for complicated cake structures; loves traveling and discovering new restaurants; described as resourceful, cheerful, and troubleshooter.

What advice would you give young women wanting to get into the food and beverage industry?

My advice is to be persistent and practice your craft.

Chef Chocolatier Amanda Lauder at The Ganachery at Disney Springs

Amanda Lauder 

Hometown: Howell N.J.

Years in the Food & Beverage Industry: 20 years

Year Started with Disney: 2002 on the Disney College Program

Current Role: Chef Chocolatier, The Ganachery, Disney Springs, Walt Disney World Resort

Education/Accomplishments: Culinary Institute of America – Bachelor’s Degree in Baking and Pastry Art Management; Disney’s Partner in Excellence Award

Delicious Details: First and only “chef chocolatier” in The Walt Disney Company; culinary style is classic with a bit of whimsy; smell and taste of cinnamon makes her feel comforted, safe, and loved; known for creating hand-crafted chocolate ganache squares; loves to travel and read; passion is to advance baking and pastry at Disney though mentoring other pastry chefs; described as relentless, energetic, and driven.

What advice would you give young women wanting to get into the food and beverage industry?

Learn early on to have a life outside of the kitchen. It is the life lived outside the kitchen that will fuel your passions and evoke your curiosity to allow you to keep innovating.

Pastry Sous Chef Christina Orejel at Disneyland Resort

Christina Orejel

Hometown: Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Years in the Food & Beverage Industry: 8 years

Year Started with Disney: 2003

Current Role: Pastry Sous Chef at Central Bakery, Disneyland Resort

Education/Accomplishments: ACF Certified Pastry Chef; Hotel Restaurant Management; Culinary and Pastry Certificate

Delicious Details: Was told she was too happy so she joined Disney to surround herself with like people; started as a dishwasher at Disney and worked her way up; parents said she could be anything she wanted to be if she tried and worked hard enough; loves making maple-bourbon cake and whoopie pies; does not have a green thumb; loves hanging out with her cats; her kitchen scale is her favorite kitchen gadget; described as spunky, a cat lady, and jolly.

What advice would you give young women wanting to get into the food and beverage industry?

You’re going to have people tell you, “You are not good enough.” Just thank them for their opinion and show them how wrong they are!

Pastry Chef Yoly Lazo Colón at Amorette’s Patisserie at Disney Springs

Yolanda Lazo Colón

Hometown: Yabucoa, Puerto Rico

Years in the Food & Beverage Industry: 22 years

Year Started with Disney: 1994

Current Role: Pastry Chef, Amorette’s Patisserie, Disney Springs, Walt Disney World Resort

Education/Accomplishments: Self-taught pastry chef; License in Cosmetology; Electronic Technology Training; Disney Legacy Award; Disney Partners in Excellence

Delicious Details: Enjoys gardening; came to Disney for a vacation from Puerto Rico and never left; started as a dishwasher with Disney and one day they asked if she would like to learn to make pizza – and from there she wanted to learn everything; known as a team player; culinary style is modern and colorful; the whisk is her favorite kitchen gadget; loves to cook Spanish food at home for her family; driven by learning new techniques and teaching others; described as giving, creative, and passionate.

What advice would you give young women wanting to get into the food and beverage industry?

Never give up. Always put passion in the desserts that you create. Learn from the constructive criticism. Make time for yourself.


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