Waylynn Lucas Bio

Waylynn Lucas is a judge on Cake Wars.

Photo by: Emile Wamsteker ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Emile Wamsteker, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Waylynn Lucas is a judge on Cake Wars.

Waylynn Lucas is an award-winning pastry chef who takes joy in marrying the nostalgia of classic sweets with modern and exciting flavor profiles and techniques. She currently owns and operates Fonuts, a new spin on the traditional coffee-and-doughnut shop. Her doughnuts are baked, not fried, and she also offers a selection of gluten-free and vegan products. This project stays true to her diverse and prestigious culinary pedigree, offering sweet and savory, from traditional to avant-garde. She has always had the entrepreneurial spirit and knew early on she wanted to be her own boss. She opened her first restaurant early on, while living in Costa Rica. She ran it successfully for years until she decided to sell it to move back to the States and further her culinary career.

Upon Waylynn's return to California, she worked as pastry chef of SLS Hotel Beverly Hills and as the patisserie at The Bazaar by José Andrés. Here Waylynn experimented with many different cooking techniques, from traditional to very modern. While working at The Bazaar, she received her first four-star review. Later Waylynn further refined her trademark style as the executive pastry chef of Patina, Joachim Splichal’s fabled Michelin-starred restaurant that also received a Los Angeles Times four-star review while Waylynn was pastry chef, making her the only pastry chef in Los Angeles to have ever earned two four-star reviews.

Waylynn is currently a judge on the Food Network series Cake Wars. In 2013 she appeared on Bravo's Eat. Drink. Love., which showcased the lives of five successful businesswomen in Los Angeles all working and making their way in the predominantly male-run food industry. She was a permanent adviser on the first season of CNBC's Restaurant Startup, consulting with new entrepreneurs who wanted to start their own business within the food world and hoped to win an investment from two culinary experts, Joe Bastianich and Tim Love.

Waylynn continues to expand and grow her business, spreading into other realms of the restaurant and food industry: teaching kids to bake, planning on opening multiple new businesses in Los Angeles, and consulting with local restaurants to develop and expand their dessert menus.

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Ask Chef Marc Murphy where he grew up and he'll fire off a list of cosmopolitan destinations — Milan, Paris, Villefranche, Washington, D.C., Rome and Genoa — "and that's before I turned 12," he’ll explain. This dizzying list of hometowns served as an excellent education in French and Italian cuisine, though as a teenager this was not his first passion. When the reality hit that he didn't have the funds to become a professional racecar driver, Marc followed his brother to the Institute of Culinary Education. After graduation he apprenticed at restaurants in France and Italy before returning to New York, where he landed a job as a line cook at Terrance Brennan's Prix Fixe. He stayed there for almost two years, working his way through every station in the kitchen and forging a professional bond with Brennan’s Sous Chefs Joseph Fortunato and David Pasternak. Eager to return to Europe, Marc flew to Paris and landed a position at the one-star Le Miraville, where he stayed for one-and-a-half years. Afterward, he staged at the famed Louis XV in Monte Carlo, where Executive Chef Alain Ducasse was so impressed with Marc's skills that he personally made arrangements for him to work with Sylvain Portay at Le Cirque once he returned to the States. Marc still considers Portay to be his greatest teacher. "Sylvain was above all concerned with coaxing out the most-vibrant, interesting flavors any ingredient had to offer, yet he insisted on minimal manipulation," he recalls. Following Le Cirque, Fortunato tapped him to work as a sous chef at Layla, Drew Nieporent's Middle Eastern fantasy in Tribeca, where he met consultant Georges Masraff. When Masraff joined forces to open Cellar in the Sky at Windows on the World, he recruited Marc to serve as executive chef. After receiving critical acclaim, including a two-star review from The New York Times, Marc headed uptown to serve as executive chef of La Fourchette, where NYT critic Ruth Reichl awarded him another glowing two-star review, citing his "open desire to transform food [so that] in his hands, even a simple green salad ... looks like a ruffled hat in a painting by Renoir." In March 2004 Marc opened his first solo enterprise with Landmarc [Tribeca], which won rave reviews both for its eclectic French and Italian menu as well as its highly untraditional wine list. Following its success, Marc opened Ditch Plains in the West Village in 2006 serving casual, beach-style cuisine such as lobster rolls, fish tacos and the infamous ditch dog, as well as other comfort food favorites. In 2007 Marc was given the opportunity to open another Landmarc restaurant in the pres­tigious Time Warner Center, where he brought his bistro-style cuisine midtown. In October 2013 Marc opened Kingside at the Viceroy New York hotel on New York's iconic West 57th Street, serving his interpretation of New American cuisine. Marc's restaurants now fall under the Benchmarc Restaurants by Marc Murphy name, where he acts as executive chef and owner. In addition to the restaurants, Marc also heads up the company's catering division, Benchmarc Events by Marc Murphy, where his signature style of accessible contemporary cuisine transcends the boundaries of what is offered in his restaurant locations. Today Marc's involvement in the industry moves beyond the restaurants as well, with a regular role as a judge on Food Network's top-rated hit Chopped as well as appearances on other hit series such as Guy's Grocery Games, Beat Bobby Flay and Worst Cooks in America. Marc also appears on The Rachael Ray Show and The Today Show, among others. He is the president of the Manhattan chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association, a board member of City Harvest, Culintro and Passport NYC at the 92nd Street Y Culinary Camp, as well as a member of the Food + Finance High School's Industry Advisory Board, a member of the Leadership Council for Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign and the national spokesperson for Share Our Strength's Dine Out For No Kid Hungry. In 2012 Marc joined the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, where he takes part in public diplomacy programs that engage foreign audiences abroad as well as those visiting the United States. Marc's debut cookbook, Season with Authority: Confident Home Cooking, was released by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in April 2015.

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