Chad Durkin

Chad DurkinEven from childhood, Chad Durkin was destined for a career in the culinary arts. When he was young, he was exposed to all sorts of rustic breads and pastries at his grandfather’s restaurant. Just as he is today, Durkin was always anxious to master a new skill and learned to make many of the homemade Italian specialties. While his late grandfather may have had a hint of what was to come, Durkin had no idea that these lessons were at the heart of his life’s passion. From that point on, Durkin jumped at every opportunity to learn more about his new fascination with food, particularly sweets. He juggled two part-time jobs at local eateries throughout high school and even challenged cooks to replace their long-standing recipes with his own. As no surprise to those around him, Durkin enrolled in culinary school and headed off to Philadelphia.
While studying at The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, Durkin’s talent andChad Durkin dedication once again took him to the top of the class. He competed and earned a spot on the 2004 American Culinary Federation Youth Team, where he was later named the team’s pastry chef. Energized by the opportunities ahead, he interned under the area’s most renowned chefs, including Master Pastry Chef Gunther Heiland. He spent the next four years traveling the globe, racking up medal after medal from the world’s most prestigious culinary judges. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Pastry Arts and becoming a Certified Pastry Chef, Durkin took a position at Philadelphia’s acclaimed Susanna Foo Chinese Cuisine. He quickly rose through the ranks, impressing award-winning Chef Foo, and became Executive Pastry Chef there, where he earned Philadelphia’s four-bell honor.
In his typical fashion, Durkin managed to find time to share his expertise with local eateries, consulting on their seasonal menus. Chef Durkin moved on to the Water Works restaurant and lounge, where he played a vital role in the restaurant’s successful opening. As Executive Pastry Chef and Chef de Cuisine, he continued to earn praise in the culinary community, drawing the attention of many regional and national media Chad Durkinoutlets and becoming a finalist for the American Culinary Federation’s Pastry Chef of the Year regional competition.
Always up for a challenge, Durkin jumped at the opportunity to take over Gunther Heiland’s at the time twenty-three year old, 6000 sq-foot wholesale businesses, Desserts International, Inc., in 2008. Durkin’s commitment to maintaining the quality for which Desserts International is known, combined with his youthful ambition, business-savvy, and endless display of creativity, doubled the company’s gross profit in just the first eight months. Durkin then decided to reform Desserts International into a specialty dessert manufacturing plant, side-by-side with his ambition to create delicious and most beautiful wedding cakes around the area.
Chef Durkin performs many pastry demos and educational seminar’s though-out the United States with the American Culinary Federation. He has preformed and aired on four Food Network Challenge episodes, and in 2013 aired on TLC’s Next Great Baker gaining international recongnition. With a full plate Durkin still manages to fit in teaching Part-time classes at the Art Institute of Philadelphia and MontgomeryChad Durkin Community College in Lansdale. He recently undertook an endovor with Sidecar/Kraftwork owner Adam Ritter to open the Pizzeria/Bakery hybrid Kermits Bake Shoppe in Graduate Hospital. Its been a year already and Kermit’s gained praises in and around the community as well as many media outlets. With Chef Durkin’s passion and commitment to his profession, it is evident to everyone he meets and is tasted in every work of art, that Kermit’s is sure to remain a Philadelphia staple.

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