Web Exclusive: Getting to know a hotel pastry chef

Chef Joshua Cain, the Caribe Royale Orlando’s executive pastry chef, is changing the game for hotel pastry chefs. He’s revamped the resort’s pastry and chocolate program, following Caribe Royale’s $140-million reimagination, and just recently, he competed as a contestant on the Food Network’s “Spring Baking Championship.” Soon, he will be launching hands-on chocolate programming he’s designed for the resort’s Chocolate Room. Hotel Business spoke with Cain about his career journey and what it’s like to wear the apron.

Where did your passion for pastry come from?

My passion came from having a huge sweet tooth as a kid. I fell in love with the artistry of creating desserts.

Can you detail your first pastry job? What did you learn from it?

My first pastry job was at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island. I started as an intern—an overnight baker—and worked my way through the ranks in various pastry cook positions to then become a Pastry Chef de Partie. I also worked for a year as the Pastry Chef for the 5-diamond restaurant Salt, the Grille at Ritz- Carlton.

Why hospitality? What about the industry are you passionate about?

For me, my love of hospitality comes from being a giver and wanting everyone to be pleased with my desserts. I want people to smile and think, “It’s almost too pretty to eat.”

How have you revamped the chocolate and pastry program at Caribe Royale?

When I started at Caribe Royale Orlando, there was no chocolate program in place at all so to say “revamped” is an understatement. We provide custom chocolates, bonbons, truffles, clusters, bars and centerpieces. We even have our own chocolate “Grand Noir” and “Grand Lait” coming soon that I personally formulated, and will be available only at Caribe Royale.

What do you wish more people knew about pastry and pastry chefs?

The sacrifice that goes into creating what we are passionate about. We work long hours, holidays and weekends to make sure that we please any and every guest that walks through the doors.

Why do you think pastry chefs may not get the recognition that culinary hotel chefs do?

I don’t believe this to be an accurate statement. Pastry chefs always steal the show when it comes to artistry and flavor.

Can you detail your experience on “Spring Baking Championship”?

My experience was a humble one. I knew the competition would be tough, but it turned out to be way more than I could have imagined. It was overall a great experience and showed me what I do and don’t know when it comes to baking.

What are some of your goals for the year? Next few years?

Continue to grow Caribe Royale Orlando’s Chocolate Room and experiences that we will offer guests. I also plan on more TV shows in the future, as well.

What advice do you have for aspiring hotel chefs?

Put your head down, dig deep and learn as much as you can. Nothing will be handed to you. You must work for it, and the more effort that you put in the better off you will be. Stay humble. If you want something, strive for it and don’t give up no matter what. Failure is a part of growth and will lead to great things.

Is there anything else you would like readers to know?

Since our recent $140-million reimagination, we have worked hard to elevate Caribe Royale Orlando’s F&B offerings, providing many unique, food-centric experiences to our guests. We will be launching exclusive, small-group hands-on chocolate programming this summer.