Pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini has been making headlines ever since he resigned from his post at Jean Georges, so we caught up with the Top Chef Just Desserts judge at Dannon’s launch of Activia Harvest Picks.
In between talks about the benefits of probiotics, we got a glimpse of Iuzzini's upcoming plans (including two weeks in Italy mastering gelato, and a vacation in Fiji with his dad).
"I’m going to stay in food, but I want to do food concepts, focused," he told us. "I want to do a gelato concept, I want to do a chocolate and coffee concept, I want to do a cocktail bar."
Of course there's also that pop-up children's book idea, which he says he's still working on. "[Children's books are] one of the hardest categories to get into, and it has to be just right," he told us, "but I haven't given up on it yet."
All of this goes on top of the just-signed desserts cookbook he says will be out fall 2013, an energy bar he's working on, and maybe a line of bitters. As for Top Chef Just Desserts, Iuzzini says he has no idea if it's coming back. "They don't tell us until six weeks before the show," he said.
Iuzzini does get our hopes up with plans for a "high-end dessert bar" eventually, but in the meantime, he's got the rest of his list to check off (and the occasional healthy-eating stint with Activia).
"I wasn't allowed any sugar when I was a kid, I was hyperkinetic," he said. "All the other kids had Twinkies and doughnuts. My mom gave me beef jerky and banana chips. I could never trade them; I’d get beat up over it. And now I’m a pastry chef, so I win."
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