Johnny Iuzzini /u-zee-nee/ (born August 31, 1974) is an American pastry chef, television celebrity and cookbook author. He resides in New York City. He is a 1994 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and served as executive pastry chef at Daniel from 2001 through 2002, and at Jean Georges from 2002 through 2011. Iuzzini is author of two cookbooks,[2][3] and was a judge on the third season of The Great American Baking Show in 2017; however, on November 29, 2017, Iuzzini was accused of sexual harassment by four former employees,[4] and that season of The Great American Baking Show was pulled after two episodes.[5]

Johnny Iuzzini
Johnny Iuzzini March, 2014.jpg
Iuzzini in 2014
John Joseph Iuzzini III

(1974-08-31) August 31, 1974 (age 45)
ResidenceNew York City, New York
OccupationPastry chef, cookbook author, TV celebrity
Years active1994–present

Early lifeEdit

Iuzzini was born August 31, 1974, and raised in the Catskills region of New York. His father was a plumbing and heating technician, his mother a veterinarian assistant and wildlife rehabilitator.[6][7]



Iuzzini's first restaurant job was after school as a part-time dishwasher at the local golf club.[8] At the time, he was enrolled in his high school's voc-tech culinary program, and Iuzzini garnered his first cooking award by finishing second in a New York City culinary competition.[6] At age seventeen Iuzzini took a job as garde manger, beginning his career in New York City, and began assisting Pastry Chef Eric Gouteyron at the restaurant. He then switched jobs to work making desserts full-time, launching his career as a pastry chef.[6] Iuzzini attended The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, graduating in 1994 with a Baking and Pastry Arts degree.[6]

Pastry chefEdit

During his externship at the Culinary Institute of America, Iuzzini worked with pastry chef Lincoln Carson at Luxe, who had formerly worked for Francois Payard at Le Bernadin; he coaxed Iuzzini to visit Payard, who then offered Iuzzini a job as pastry chef at Daniel. During the next three and a half years, he mastered all dessert stations and became Payard's close assistant. When Payard opened his Payard Pâtisserie and Bistro in 1997, Iuzzini was selected as sous chef, while continuing to work at Daniel.[9][10]

In 1998, burned out from the hectic pace, Iuzzini took a break from the kitchen and in France he studied pastry technique while staging at several of the country's finest patisseries.[11] After eight months around the world, he returned to New York to work for chef/owner Daniel Boulud, opening Café Boulud and the new Daniel as Executive Sous Chef. In 2001 Boulud promoted the 26-year-old Iuzzini to Executive Pastry Chef.

In May 2002, chef/owner Jean-Georges Vongerichten selected Iuzzini for the position of Executive Pastry Chef at Restaurant Jean Georges, including the restaurant's café, Nougatine. It is during this period of his career that Iuzzini achieved his most distinguished recognition and awards, including “Best Pastry Chef” by New York Magazine in 2002, “Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year” nomination by the James Beard Foundation in 2003,[12] and “Ten Best Pastry Chefs in America” by Pastry Art and Design Magazine in 2003 and 2004. When Jean-Georges opened Perry Street in 2005, Iuzzini added Executive Pastry Chef role for that location to his responsibilities. The following year, 2006, Iuzzini was awarded Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year[13] by the James Beard Foundation. 2007 landed him among the honorees of the title of “10 Most Influential Chefs in America” from, as one of the “Tastemaking Chefs”.[14][15]

Pastry and culinary arts consultingEdit

In 2011 Iuzzini left the kitchen[16] and started his pastry and culinary arts consulting company, Sugar Fueled, Inc,[17] performing demonstrations of pastry techniques to live audiences. In 2014 he entered a partnership with Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, featuring "signature" éclair recipes[18]


In September 2010, Iuzzini was enlisted for two seasons as head judge on the American reality competition show Top Chef: Just Desserts on the Bravo cable television network.[19][20] This show, a spin-off of the highly successful Top Chef, focused exclusively on desserts. The pastry chef contestants battled weekly for the top prize in the familiar Top Chef format featuring both “Quickfire Challenge” and “Elimination Challenge” tests. Each season featured nine episodes plus a finale. In 2011 the show received the GLAAD Media Award nomination for Outstanding Reality Program.[21] On October 23, 2014, he appeared as a competitor in the "Superstar Sabotage" tournament of Cutthroat Kitchen.[22]

Personal lifeEdit

Sexual harassment allegationsEdit

On November 29, 2017, Iuzzini was accused of sexual harassment by four of his former employees.[4] As a result of the accusations against Iuzzini, the third season of The Great American Baking Show was pulled after two episodes.[5]

On December 13, 2017, Iuzzini was fired from ABC and The Great American Baking Show following the sexual misconduct allegations.[23]


Johnny Iuzzini at a book signing in 2014

In Dessert Fourplay, Iuzzini provides recipes based upon his after-dinner quartet offerings from Jean Georges.[citation needed]

With his second cookbook, Sugar Rush, Iuzzini wrote a cookbook for home cooks. He worked with cook and food stylist Wes Martin to create a book of recipes with examples of basic preparation techniques.[24][25][26][27]


  • Iuzzini, Johnny; Finamore, Roy (December 2008). Dessert FourPlay: Sweet Quartets from a Four-Star Pastry Chef. Clarkson Potter. ISBN 978-0-307-35137-1.
  • Iuzzini, Johnny; Martin, Wes (September 2014). Sugar Rush: Master Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Sweet Baking. Clarkson Potter. ISBN 978-0-770-43369-7.


  1. ^ Johnny Iuzzini March, 2014
  2. ^ Vallis, Alexandra, "Practice Your ‘FourPlay’ With Johnny Iuzzini",, September 22, 2008
  3. ^ Merwin, Hugh, "Post-Retirement, Johnny Iuzzini Has a New Cookbook in the Works",, January 3, 2012
  4. ^ a b Kimble, Lindsay (November 29, 2017). "Former Top Chef judge Johnny Iuzzini accused of sexual harassment by 4 former employees". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "ABC Pulls 'Great American Baking Show' Amid Johnny Iuzzini Sexual Harassment Claims". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  6. ^ a b c d McBride, Anne E., "Interview with Johnny Iuzzini",, January, 2007
  7. ^ McDermott, Miranda J., "TeenLIVE at the NYPL in Retrospect: Johnny Iuzzini on September 20, 2012",, April, 2013
  8. ^ Rosenberg, Sarah and Caron, Christina, "Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini's Driving Ambition",, March 20, 2009
  9. ^ Lurie, Joshua,"Interview: Pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini Discusses the Catskills, Cocktails, Clubbing, Traveling the World and More", June 2011
  10. ^ Bernard, Sarah,"Sweet Sensation",
  11. ^ "Johnny Iuzzini ’94, Pastry Chef/Consultant, Sugar Fueled, Inc.",
  12. ^ "2003 Outstanding Pastry Chef Nomination",
  13. ^ "The 16th annual James Beard award ceremony",
  14. ^ "Johnny Iuzzini Author Profile",
  15. ^ Marcus, Miriam, "Tastemakers: Chefs",, March 14, 2007
  16. ^ Niko, "Last call: Johnny Iuzzini’s final desserts from Jean Georges part I",, January 2, 2012
  17. ^ "Macy’s Culinary Council Updates Its Roster with Top Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini",, March 27, 2012
  18. ^ "How a pastry chef sources seasonally",
  19. ^ Forbes, Paula, "Top Chef: Just Desserts Judges Announced! Johnny Iuzzini, Hubert Keller, Dannielle Kyrillos",, July 1, 2010
  20. ^ Gallagher, Aileen, "Johnny Iuzzini and Hubert Keller to Judge Top Chef: Just Desserts",, July 1, 2010
  21. ^ Finke, Nikki, "22nd GLAAD Film/TV Awards Nominations",, January 19, 2011
  22. ^ "Top-Notch Chefs to Turn Evilicious in Cutthroat Kitchen's First Superstar Sabotage Tournament". Food Network.
  23. ^ Erik Pedersen (December 13, 2017). "ABC Pulls 'The Great American Baking Show' & Axes Judge Johnny Iuzzini Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  24. ^ "Sugar Rush: Master Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Sweet Baking",}
  25. ^ "Taste of the Kentucky Derby: Johnny Iuzzini's Maker's Mark mint julep ice cream",
  26. ^ "Here's What it Takes to Make Every Dessert in Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini's New Cookbook",
  27. ^ "He’s No Cream Puff: Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini Shares His Secrets",

External linksEdit