Outside of TV and cookbooks, it's been awhile since we heard anything from pastry master Johnny Iuzzini, who left Jean Georges three and a half years ago. It turns out that he's been spending much of his time lately up in the Catskills where he's planning to open a coffee roastery and chocolate factory, reports Catskill Eats. A year ago, there was a rumor that he was looking to open something similar in Williamsburg or LA, but the Catskills isn't as odd of a pick as it might seem; Iuzzini grew up there. "I want to be able to be where I want to be in my life — which is up here — and to be in my little bubble with my team and be creative," he told Catskill Eats. "This is not something I'm planning on developing and then flipping in a year or two. I plan on growing and growing and growing it."
Iuzzini's currently looking for a space in Sullivan County and near Livingston Manor for his company dubbed 20 Degrees American Chocolate and Coffee Roasters. (The name is a nod to the fact that both coffee and chocolate can only grow within 20 degrees of the equator.) Iuzzini's also looking for investors and applying for a Department of Agriculture grant for rural businesses. The plan is for the plant to have a retail shop and cafe and offer both professional and kids cooking classes. The chocolate, coffee and potentially also gelato and other sweets will be sold in retail satellite shops down the line, possibly in NYC or elsewhere upstate.