The Best Address

Executive Pastry Chef Sean Dwyer

From his humble beginnings in Colusa, California, to formative years at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Portland, Oregon, and his various adventures in prestigious kitchens across the country, Executive Pastry Chef Sean Dwyer’s path has been guided by a relentless pursuit of excellence and a deep love for the sweet delights of the pastry world.

Now, as the Executive Pastry Chef at Cache Creek, he feels privileged to lead a team of talented individuals in crafting unforgettable desserts that captivate the senses and leave a lasting impression. Whether it’s a classic French delicacy, a modern interpretation of a childhood favorite, or an innovative creation that pushes the boundaries of pastry-making, each dish is a testament to the team’s dedication to quality, creativity, and innovation.

Key to my heart dessert- duo chocolate mousse with raspberry gel

What inspired you to become a pastry chef? You’ve been in the industry for quite some time. Would you have done anything differently when first starting out? 

Becoming a pastry chef wasn’t just a decision for me; it was a calling, one that blossomed from a love affair with flavors, textures, and the sheer joy of creating something beautiful and delicious. My journey began in Colusa, California, where I discovered my passion for baking at an early age. But it was during my time at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Portland, Oregon, where I truly honed my skills and found my path in the world of pastry.

The decision to move to Naples, Florida, in 2004 was a pivotal moment in my career. Working in prestigious hotels like the Ritz Carlton and Waldorf Astoria allowed me to refine my craft and learn from some of the best in the industry.

Looking back, if I could change anything about my journey, I would have focused more on networking and building relationships within the industry from the very beginning. While culinary school provided me with a solid foundation, the connections I made along the way have been invaluable in opening doors and opportunities throughout my career. Returning to California to become the Executive Pastry Chef at Cache Creek Casino Resort in 2023 was a homecoming of sorts, a chance to bring together everything I’ve learned and create unforgettable experiences for guests.

Chocolate praline crunch- chocolate praline mousse with raspberry gelee and croquette crunch

What is the philosophy and ethos behind the food you create?

For me, pastry isn’t just about creating something that looks good on a plate; it’s about evoking emotions and memories through flavor and presentation. My philosophy revolves around using the finest quality ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible, to create desserts that not only tantalize the taste buds but also tell a story. Each dish I create is a reflection of my experiences and influences, from my upbringing in California to my time spent in culinary school and working in various kitchens across the country. I believe in honoring tradition while embracing innovation, constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of pastry.

At the heart of everything I do is a deep respect for the ingredients I work with and the people who will ultimately enjoy my creations. Whether it’s a classic French pastry or a modern interpretation of a childhood favorite, I strive to create desserts that are not only visually stunning but also deliver an unforgettable culinary experience. Above all, my ethos is rooted in passion and dedication to my craft. I pour my heart and soul into every dessert I create, and nothing brings me greater joy than seeing the smiles on my guests’ faces as they indulge in the fruits of my labor.

Tropical paradise- flavors of passion fruit, coconut and mango

What’s the latest trend when it comes to baking and patisserie? What is one food (pastry) trend you wish would just go away?

The latest trend in baking and patisserie seems to be a continued focus on sustainability and health-conscious choices. Many pastry chefs, myself included, are exploring alternative ingredients and techniques to create desserts that are not only delicious but also better for the environment and our bodies. This could mean using more plant-based ingredients, reducing sugar and artificial additives, or sourcing ingredients locally to minimize carbon footprint.

As for a trend I wish would go away, it would have to be the overuse of excessive decoration and gimmicky elements that overshadow the taste and quality of the pastry itself. While I appreciate the artistry and creativity behind intricate designs, I believe that simplicity and authenticity should always be at the forefront of pastry-making.

Popsicle trio- snickers, pina colada, and pistachio cherry flavors

What is your baking style and the philosophy behind it?

My baking style is deeply rooted in tradition but infused with a touch of innovation. I draw inspiration from classic techniques and flavor combinations, but I’m always looking for ways to elevate and modernize them. At the core of my philosophy is a commitment to using the highest quality ingredients and letting their natural flavors shine. I believe in the importance of balance in every aspect of pastry-making – balance of flavors, textures, and visual appeal. Whether I’m creating a delicate French pastry or a rustic American dessert, I strive to achieve harmony in every bite.

Another key aspect of my baking style is versatility. I love experimenting with different flavor profiles and drawing influences from cuisines around the world. This allows me to create desserts that are both familiar and unexpected, keeping diners intrigued and delighted with each bite.

Ultimately, my goal is to create desserts that not only satisfy the palate but also nourish the soul. Whether it’s a simple fruit tart or an elaborate multi-layered cake, I want my creations to evoke joy, comfort, and a sense of connection to the rich tapestry of culinary traditions that inspire me.

What’s your favourite comfort food? What’s your favourite pastry or cake or baked product ?

As a pastry chef, my favorite comfort food has to be a classic slice of warm apple pie with a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream on top. There’s something about the combination of sweet, tender apples, warm spices, and buttery crust that instantly transports me back to fond memories of home and family gatherings. When it comes to my favorite pastry or baked product, it’s hard to choose just one! But if I had to pick, I would say a perfectly flaky and buttery croissant holds a special place in my heart.

Mango delight- mango mousse vanilla sponge cake and mango sorbet

Who or what was your inspiration to become a pastry chef?

My inspiration to become a pastry chef stems from a combination of factors, but it ultimately traces back to my upbringing and the love for baking instilled in me from a young age. Growing up, I spent countless hours in the kitchen with my family, baking cookies, cakes, and pies for special occasions and everyday treats.

However, it was my grandmother who truly ignited my passion for pastry. She was a phenomenal baker, and I was in awe of her ability to transform simple ingredients into delicious confections that brought joy to everyone around her. Her patience, creativity, and attention to detail were inspiring, and I knew from a young age that I wanted to follow in her footsteps.

As I grew older, my fascination with the art and science of baking only deepened, leading me to pursue formal training at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School. Along the way, I’ve been fortunate to learn from talented mentors, work in esteemed kitchens, and explore diverse culinary traditions that have shaped my approach to pastry-making.


Cherry- black cherry mousse, citrus cake, almond cookie, chocolate stem.

What is your advice to aspiring pastry chefs?

To aspiring pastry chefs, my advice is to never stop learning and experimenting. The world of pastry is vast and ever-evolving, so stay curious and open-minded as you explore different techniques, flavors, and ingredients.

Seek out opportunities to gain hands-on experience in professional kitchens, whether through internships, apprenticeships, or entry-level positions. Every kitchen has its own unique culture and methods, and you’ll learn valuable skills from working alongside seasoned professionals.

Practice patience and attention to detail in everything you do. Pastry-making is as much a science as it is an art, so precision and consistency are key to achieving excellent results. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – they’re all part of the learning process. Embrace failures as opportunities for growth and use them to refine your skills and techniques. Lastly, never lose sight of your passion and love for pastry. It’s what will drive you to continually push boundaries, innovate, and create desserts that bring joy to others. Stay true to yourself and your culinary vision, and the rest will follow.

PB&J- peanut butter praline, raspberry gel, peanut butter chocolate mousse

Future Plans?

My future plans include continuing to refine my craft as a pastry chef, exploring new techniques, flavors, and culinary trends. I want to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of pastry, constantly challenging myself to create desserts that are both innovative and delicious.

At the same time, my family is my top priority. Raising my 3 1/2-month-old daughter, Gaia, alongside my wife Taylor, is a joy and privilege that I cherish every day. As Gaia grows, I look forward to sharing my love for baking with her, passing down family recipes and traditions, and instilling in her a passion for food and creativity.

Pistachio saint honore tart- pistachio cream, vanilla chantilly, pate au choux with craquelin

Balancing my career ambitions with my responsibilities as a husband and father will be a priority for me moving forward. I want to create a nurturing and supportive environment for my family while also pursuing my professional goals in the culinary world. Ultimately, my future plans revolve around creating a fulfilling life that encompasses both my love for pastry and my devotion to my family. I’m excited for the journey ahead and the adventures that await us as we navigate this beautiful thing called life together.

Wicked apple- apple pie mousse, spiced apple compote, cinnamon crumble

Would you consider yourself as an artist? Are you inspired by artists when you create your pastries? When you create different products everyday where do you get inspired from?

Yes, I consider myself an artist in every sense of the word. Just like a painter uses a canvas and brushes to create a masterpiece, I use ingredients and techniques to craft edible works of art. Each dessert is a reflection of my creativity, passion, and vision, carefully composed to delight the senses and evoke emotion.

While I draw inspiration from a variety of sources, including nature, travel, and culinary trends, I’m also inspired by artists from other disciplines. The way a sculptor manipulates clay or a musician composes a symphony can inform my approach to pastry-making, inspiring me to experiment with different textures, shapes, and flavors.


Caramel apple- caramel mousse, Granny Smith compote, white chocolate stick, caramel glaze

The topic of local food, from smaller, specialized and personally known producers, is becoming more important. What are some of your local partners from whom you source?

At Cache Creek Casino Resort, we take great pride in sourcing ingredients from local producers in the Capay Valley and surrounding regions. We believe in supporting our community and showcasing the best that our area has to offer. One of our valued partners is Seka Hills, known for their exceptional olive oil and honey. We use their high-quality olive oil in many of our pastry recipes, adding a subtle richness and depth of flavor. Their honey adds a natural sweetness and complexity to our desserts, elevating each bite with its distinct floral notes.

We also collaborate with Capay Valley Lavender, incorporating their fragrant lavender into some of our specialty desserts. Whether it’s infused into a delicate custard or sprinkled atop a buttery shortbread, their lavender adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to our creations. For our flour, we turn to Capay Valley Mills, which produces premium stone-ground flours using locally-grown grains. Their dedication to quality and sustainability shines through in every batch of flour we use, ensuring that our pastries have the perfect texture and flavor.

By partnering with these local producers, we not only ensure the freshest ingredients for our guests but also contribute to the vitality of our community. It’s a win-win situation that allows us to create exceptional desserts while supporting the growers and artisans who make our region so special


What would you say is the key/winning feature of your creations ?

The winning feature of my creations lies in the meticulous attention to detail and the commitment to quality ingredients. Every dessert that emerges from my kitchen is a labor of love, crafted with precision and care to ensure a truly exceptional culinary experience.

Whether it’s the delicate balance of flavors in a macaroon, the flaky perfection of a croissant, or the intricate design of a wedding cake, I strive for excellence in every aspect of my pastry-making. From sourcing the finest locally-sourced ingredients to mastering traditional techniques and exploring innovative flavor combinations, I leave no stone unturned in my quest to create desserts that dazzle the senses and delight the palate.

But beyond the technical skill and artistry, what truly sets my creations apart is the passion and soul that I pour into each and every one. It’s the intangible quality that elevates a good dessert to a memorable culinary experience, leaving a lasting impression on all who indulge.

In essence, the key winning feature of my creations is the combination of craftsmanship, creativity, and heart that goes into every dish. It’s the secret ingredient that makes each bite a moment to savor and cherish, and it’s what keeps guests coming back for more, time and time again.

Christmas ornament- peppermint cream, vanilla anglaise, candy cane sponge, chocolate hoop

What are the most important considerations when crafting your menu?

When crafting my menu, there are several important considerations that guide my decision-making process:

  1. Seasonality: I prioritize using seasonal ingredients in my creations, as they offer the freshest flavors and are often more readily available from local producers. By embracing what each season has to offer, I ensure that my menu reflects the natural rhythms of the earth and provides guests with an ever-changing array of delicious options.
  2. Flavor balance: Each dish on my menu is carefully crafted to achieve a harmonious balance of flavors. Whether it’s a dessert that combines sweet and savory elements or a pastry that plays with contrasting textures, I strive to create dishes that excite the palate and leave a memorable impression.
  3. Variety: I believe in offering a diverse range of options on my menu to cater to different tastes and preferences. From classic favorites to innovative creations, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. I also consider dietary restrictions and allergies, providing gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options whenever possible to ensure that all guests can indulge in the pleasures of pastry.
  4. Presentation: The visual appeal of a dish is just as important as its taste, which is why I pay close attention to presentation when crafting my menu. Each dessert is meticulously plated to showcase its beauty and elegance, inviting guests to feast with their eyes before savoring every delicious bite.
  5. Innovation: While I draw inspiration from tradition and classic techniques, I’m always looking for ways to push the boundaries of pastry-making and incorporate new flavors, ingredients, and techniques into my creations. Innovation is key to keeping my menu fresh and exciting, and I’m constantly experimenting and evolving to stay at the forefront of culinary trends.

By considering these factors when crafting my menu, I strive to create a dining experience that is not only delicious and memorable but also reflective of my passion for pastry and commitment to excellence.

Zen stones- yuzu Cremeux, grapefruit gel, white chocolate shell

Have you ever considered being a vegan chef? How practical is it being a pastry chef?

While I have the utmost respect for vegan cuisine and those who are passionate about it, I must admit that I haven’t seriously considered becoming a vegan chef myself. My true passion lies in traditional pastry-making, where I have spent years honing my skills and exploring the artistry of baking with classic ingredients like butter, eggs, and cream.

That being said, I wholeheartedly respect others’ dietary preferences and allergies, and I am committed to providing options for all guests to enjoy. In my role as a pastry chef, I strive to accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions and preferences, including veganism, by offering plant-based alternatives and carefully labeling allergens on my menu.

However, I also recognize the unique challenges that come with vegan pastry-making, such as finding suitable substitutes for animal-derived ingredients and achieving the desired texture and flavor profiles without compromising on quality. While it’s certainly possible to create delicious vegan desserts, it requires a different skill set and approach than traditional pastry-making.


Fine assortment of gourmet truffles

What’s your signature dish?

As a pastry chef, I don’t have a signature dessert that I’m known for personally, as I enjoy exploring a wide range of flavors and techniques in my creations. However, our fine dining restaurant at Cache Creek Casino Resort does have a standout dessert that has become somewhat of a signature dish: the Flaming Chocolate Sphere with flavors of caramel, hazelnut, and milk chocolate.

This show-stopping dessert is a true spectacle to behold, as a perfectly crafted chocolate sphere is brought to the table and dramatically set ablaze, revealing a decadent filling of caramel, hazelnut, and rich milk chocolate. The combination of flavors and textures is simply divine, making it a favorite among our guests and a highlight of the dining experience.


Green tea and white chocolate ganache flavored truffles

How can restaurants/ hotels/ chefs communicate the approach of innovative sustainable plant-based food/ food chains to others?

As a pastry chef who is committed to both innovation and sustainability, I believe that effective communication is key to promoting the approach of innovative, sustainable, plant-based food to others within the culinary industry and beyond.

One way restaurants, hotels, and chefs can communicate this approach is by leading by example. By incorporating innovative plant-based dishes into their menus and highlighting the use of sustainable ingredients, they can showcase the delicious possibilities of plant-based cuisine and inspire others to follow suit.

Additionally, chefs and culinary professionals can use their platforms to educate and inform others about the benefits of plant-based eating and the importance of sustainability. This can be done through cooking demonstrations, workshops, and seminars, as well as through engaging content on social media and other digital platforms.

Collaboration and partnership with local farmers, producers, and suppliers who share a commitment to sustainability can also help to amplify the message and create a more sustainable food system. By sourcing ingredients responsibly and supporting ethical and eco-friendly practices, chefs and food establishments can demonstrate their dedication to sustainability and inspire others to do the same.


Which is the dish you’ve created that you are most proud of and why?

One of the dishes I am most proud of is the Chocolate Chessboard Cake with flavors of praline, dark chocolate, and salted caramel. This creation holds a special place in my heart because it was not only a labor of love but also a testament to my dedication to craftsmanship and innovation. The chocolate chessboard cake was a culmination of years of experience and experimentation, blending classic techniques with modern flavors to create a dessert that was both visually stunning and incredibly delicious.

But beyond the recognition and praise, what makes this dish truly special to me is the joy it brought to those who had the pleasure of experiencing it. Whether enjoyed as a show-stopping finale to a fine dining meal or savored as a decadent indulgence on its own, the Chocolate Chessboard Cake was a testament to the power of pastry to delight, inspire, and bring people together. In creating this dish, I pushed the boundaries of what’s possible in pastry-making and poured my heart and soul into every element. It’s a dish that represents the culmination of my passion, creativity, and dedication to my craft.

Lavender Olive Oil Cake with Honey Glaze


For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (sourced from Capay Valley Mills)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers (from Capay Valley Lavender)
  • 1/2 cup Seka Hills olive oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole milk

For the honey glaze:

  • 1/4 cup honey (from Cache Creek’s local partners)
  • 1 tablespoon warm water


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and dried lavender flowers. Set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and granulated sugar until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, being careful not to over mix.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. While the cake is baking, prepare the honey glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and warm water until smooth.
  7. Once the cake is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, carefully transfer the cake to a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
  8. While the cake is still warm, drizzle the honey glaze evenly over the top of the cake, allowing it to soak in.
  9. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing and serving. Enjoy the delightful combination of flavors from the lavender-infused olive oil cake and the sweet honey glaze!

This Lavender Olive Oil Cake with Honey Glaze is sure to impress with its delicate floral notes and moist, tender crumb. It’s a perfect treat to enjoy alongside a cup of tea or coffee, or as a light dessert after a delicious meal.

Black Forest dessert

dark chocolate mousse

  • 490g half and half
  • 6 ea silver gelatin sheets
  • 645g  chocolate
  • 980g cream (soft peaks)
  • 125g sugar


  • 1. soak gelatin in ice water until soft and squeeze out extra water.
  • 2. In a pot bring half and half, and sugar to a boil and stir in gelatin until melted.
  • 3. Slowly pour over chocolate and whisk until smooth cover with plastic wrap and cool until 40C.
  • 4. Fold into cream and Use immediately.

cherry gel

  • 300g cherry puree
  • 3g agar agar
  • 85g sugar


  • 1. bring all ingredients to a boil.
  • 2. Chill in cooler until set.
  • 3. blend until smooth.
  • 4. fill ocpo kitchen mini 3D sphere mold and freeze.

cherry cremeaux

  • 400g cherry puree
  • 120g yolks
  • 50g eggs
  • 150g sugar
  • 11g silver gelatin sheets
  • 75g butter


  • 1. soak Gelatin in ice water and until soft and squeeze out extra water and set aside.
  • 2. bring purée to a simmer.
  • 3. temper over yolks, eggs, and sugar.
  • 4. Cook to 180f stir consistently.
  • 5. stir in gelatin until melted.
  • 6. Stain and cool till 90F then blend In softened butter with a hand blender.
  • 7.pour into ocpo kitchen mini 3D mold and freeze.

milk chocolate shell

  • 300g milk chocolate
  • 55g canola oil
  • 250g cocoa butter


1. combine and heat to 40C

cherry shell

  • 200g white chocolate
  • 200g cocoa butter
  • red cocoa color tt


  • 1. combine cocoa butter and white chocolate and heat to 40C.
  • 2. Add melted red cocoa color until desired color is reached.


  • 1. pour chocolate mousse into large silicon canelle mold3/4 full.
  • 2. Place unmolded frozen cherry gel into the center of mold and smooth top with a spatula. Freeze and unmold.
  • 3. Dip frozen chocolate mousse into milk chocolate shell.
  • 4. dip frozen cremeaux into white  chocolate shell.
  • 5. Set cherry cremeaux on top of mousse.
  • 6. make cherry stem out of tempered chocolate (optional)



1 Comment

  1. Michel Urbano

    Your work is truly exceptional, and I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to you on all your achievements, Chef Dwyer. Your dedication and talent are truly admirable. Keep up the outstanding work. Congratulations!


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