Jean-Philippe Maury enjoys the sweet life in Las Vegas. He worked as executive pastry chef of Bellagio for 11 years and has now been appointed executive pastry chef of ARIA Resort & Casino in CityCenter. His expertise and passion for French pastry have found their ultimate expression through his two Jean Philippe Pâtisseries, one located in Bellagio and the second in ARIA. This second shop features a larger layout with an 85-seat café for relaxing over snacks or quick gourmet meals from an on-site kitchen; a line of house-made gelato; exquisite chocolates by the piece; meal boxes to go; and a sexy black-white-and-chrome design.
Maury grew up in Perpignan in the South of France and declares a simple reason for his attraction to the pastry arts: “My aunt loved to make cakes and she would let me help,” he said. “At eight years old I told my parents I wanted to be a pastry chef. And, they believed me!” At age 17 he enrolled at L’Ecole Hôtelière du Moulin à Vent in Perpignan. On weekends he interned with Master Pastry Chef Marc Comte, which extended his repertoire to Mediterranean and Catalan pastries. A month-long, intensive mentorship with Chef Gérard Bertin, recipient of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France, further enriched his skills. Chef Lucien Turquet, owner of the most famous pâtisserie in Perpignan, wasted no time persuading the young prodigy to join his team. While working for Turquet, Maury pursued his Master’s studies at La Chambre de Métiers in Perpignan, receiving his degree in 1991.
Six years later, it was the competition circuit that finally allowed Maury’s indisputable talent to command the public stage: bronze medals in Paris and Sète, a gold in Bordeaux and in 1997 the title Meilleur Ouvrier de France – Best Pastry Chef in France. This top honor brought instant international recognition. Within the year, Chef François Paillard brought Maury to New York as pastry chef for his restaurant and shop, and the new champion’s elaborate creations were published in Pastry Art & Design and The New York Times.
Less than a year later, Maury accepted the position of executive pastry chef for the AAA Five Diamond Bellagio in Las Vegas. Adjusting with ease to the increased scale of his responsibilities, he oversaw dessert production for 17 gourmet restaurants, room service and catering functions, as well as producing close to 15,000 pastries each day with his team of 70 employees.
At the same time, Maury continued his inevitable ascent to the pinnacle of his industry. He won golds at the Nevada Gourmet competition and the Beaver Creek National Pastry Championship, then appeared as an honored chef on The Discovery Channel, E! (Entertainment), and CBS’s “The Early Show.” At the 2002 World Pastry Team Championship, as a member of Team USA, Maury helped bring home the Gold Medal with an extravagant circus-themed centerpiece prepared entirely of chocolate. The team was featured in a two-page story in Newsweek and a full-hour program on The Food Network. In 2004, two of Maury’s assistants won the gold for Team USA again. As team coach, Maury now officially holds a double world title.
Such achievements reflect Maury’s philosophy toward his craft. While most pastry chefs specialize in a single area, he has mastered all aspects, making him versatile enough to take on any challenge. In 2005 he set his sights on a long-time dream – to open a French pâtisserie in the United States with an opulence never before seen. With the opening of Jean Philippe Pâtisserie in Bellagio in early 2006that day arrived. “Sometimes, when a person gets what they wanted for so long, they stop looking ahead,” he said. “Not me. I want to try everything; I mean that.” Testament to the truth of these words, Maury has opened his second French pâtisserie at ARIA Resort & Casino, with a grandeur matched only by the first.
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