Norman Love chocolatier returns to alma mater as Distinguished Visiting Chef

Maura Metheny, chef chocolatier with Norman Love Confections, was invited to return to her alma mater, Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, as its 175th Distinguished Visiting Chef. Three times each academic year, internationally recognized chefs from the United States and abroad are invited to visit the university to share their knowledge, demonstrate their culinary techniques and reveal their signature recipes to students, while providing insight from their own personal paths to career success.

Metheny, who graduated in 2000, conducted two demonstrations for 300 students and faculty members.

“I met with Chancellor John Bowen, who has been with the university for more than three decades, I was assisted by Isabella Tioseco, the student who received a scholarship in my name, and I also was able to reconnect with some long-time friends and colleagues at the university,” said Metheny. “It was an incredible experience.”

Metheny, a Massachusetts native, was formally trained in ceramic arts and glass, earning a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in New York. Intrigued by the artistry of baking and pastry, she then earned an associate degree in pastry arts at Johnson & Wales.

After working in Switzerland and with The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, she joined Norman Love Confections in 2001. She managed chocolate production and was promoted to head of chocolate design and product innovation in 2011. She is responsible for the development of new products, packaging design and the continued development and execution of all chocolate lines produced by Norman Love Confections.

Metheny was named a 2014 40 under 40 honoree by Gulfshore Business magazine. She is the recipient of the 2014 National Product Design Award for the Love Origins product packaging and was selected as a judge for the 2014 Pastry Live competition in Atlanta. She also has earned numerous medals and awards for her work in chocolate and pastry and recently was named one of America’s Top 10 Pastry Chefs for 2015 by Dessert Professional magazine.
Scholarship recipient Tioseco, a baking and pastry arts major who will graduate May 2016, is interning this summer at Chef Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, California.

The Distinguished Visiting Chef Program, launched in 1979, has included Paul Bocuse, Jacques Pepin, Madeleine Kamman, David Burke, Marcus Samuelsson, Anil Rohira and Norman Love along with alumni Emeril Lagasse, Beau MacMillan, Graham Elliot and Chris Santos.

Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 16,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at four campuses. Its unique model integrates arts and sciences and industry-focused education with work experience and leadership opportunities, inspiring students to achieve professional success and lifelong personal growth.

Norman Love Confections has Chocolate Salons in Fort Myers, Estero and Naples in Southwest Florida. The chocolatier creates and distributes handcrafted artisanal chocolates from its Fort Myers corporate headquarters that encompasses both production and retail operations. Chocolates, gift baskets, sipping chocolate and Love’s new book, “Artistry in Chocolate, A Story of Love,” can be ordered online at In addition, Norman Love Confections chocolates and desserts are offered on 18 Princess Cruises’ ships through the “Chocolate Journeys” partnership.

The award-winning Fort Myers-based chocolatier has been lauded more than a dozen times by a leading consumer ratings magazine, including recognition six times for producing the best ultra-premium chocolates in the nation. included Norman Love Confections BLACK line on its list of the nation’s top 10 truffles; The Huffington Post listed it among the six best U.S. destinations in its Chocolate Lover’s Travel Guide; and USA Today named Love as one of its top 10 entrepreneurs for 2014.

Love and his wife, Mary, founded the business in 2001 and contribute to more than 250 charitable causes every year.

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Photo captions:

Metheny at Johnson & Wales 2015: Chef Ciril Hitz, Chef Lauren Haas, Maura Metheny, Chef Craig Piermarini and Chef Dean Lavornia

Isabella Tioseco and Maura Metheny: Isabella Tioseco, a baking and pastry arts major at Johnson & Wales, received a scholarship in Maura Metheny’s name to celebrate her Distinguished Visiting Chef trip to the university.