Team USA - Current

Positions on Bread Bakers Guild Team USA are open to any American baker who qualifies. The team is composed of three bakers specializing in one of three categories: Baguette & Specialty Breads, Viennoiserie, or Artistic Design. 


In March 2015, the following members of Bread Bakers Team USA 2016 were selected from a series of tryouts held at various locations and dates.

They competed in the 2016 Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie held at Europain in Paris, France, February 5-9, 2016.


2016 Competitors:
Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie


Artistic Design

Jacob Baggenstos began baking at age 19. He attended culinary school in Olympia, Washington with a focus on baking and pastry.

After graduating, he went to work for Grand Central Bakery in Seattle. There he honed his skill with rustic breads before leaving to take over a Viennoiserie position at Bakery Nouveau, where he began practicing the discipline of bread showpiece.

He is currently the Pastry Chef at Bakery Nouveau's Capitol Hill location in Seattle, Washington.

Baguette & Specialty Breads

Nicky Giusto is a fourth generation miller and baker who grew up in the world of bread. Nicky learned production baking in large pan bread and sourdough bakeries with his uncle, Keith Giusto. He later honed his skills by training with Didier Rosada and Mike Zakowski. Nicky has an in-depth understanding of how ingredient quality and processing methods contribute to the success of artisan bread.

He currently works for The Central Milling Company developing bread programs and providing tech support for their customers, in addition to holding workshops for bakers of all levels. He is also an owner and contributor to the bread program at Eva’s Bakery in Salt Lake City.

In 2013, Nicky won Grand Prize in the Artisan Baking category at the America’s Best Raisin Bread Baking competition.      


Jeffrey de Leon, a native of Southern California, is the Group Pastry Chef for Farmshop in Santa Monica, CA.

After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena with a degree in culinary arts,  he was awarded a pastry internship at Thomas Keller's Bouchon in Las Vegas. This led to other opportunities within the company:  he helped lead the team in Yountville and was part of the opening team for Bouchon in Beverly Hills.

When he was Executive Pastry Chef for the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, UT, the hotel’s patisserie was named “Best of Salt Lake” and “Best of State.”

Jeffrey currently spends the majority of his time at Farmshop's new commissary bakery in Culver City, CA.


Harry Peemoeller represented Team USA 2012 competing at the Paris Coupe du Monde in the Artistic Design Category and won the silver medal.

He works as a Senior Instructor at Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte Campus as a Professor of Bakery studies. He received his Certified Master Baker certification in 1982 from the Baking Academy of Hanover, Germany and his Bachelor degree in Food Service Management from Johnson & Wales University, Norfolk Campus in 2004.

After moving to the United States in 1989, he worked at European Bakery in Orlando, Florida and at Biga Bakery and Café in Miami, Florida before joining the faculty of Johnson & Wales University in 2001.

Special Thanks

Facility Hosts (Tryouts/Finals)

The following facilities donated space and ingredients to host the Bread Bakers Guild Team USA tryouts and finals:

  • Culinary Institute of America - Hyde Park, NY
  • General Mills, Inc - Minneapolis, MN
  • Johnson & Wales - Charlotte, NC
  • Johnson & Wales - Providence, RI



Ciril Hitz, Solveig Tofte,
Coach Harry Peemoeller

Craig Ponsford, Mitch Stamm, Jeffrey Hamelman, Coach Harry Peemoeller

We would like to also thank the following BBGA Members who volunteered their time to judge the Team USA Tryouts at various locations all over the country:

  • Jory Downer
  • Jeffrey Hamelman
  • Ciril Hitz
  • Harry Peemoeller
  • Craig Ponsford
  • Mitch Stamm
  • Solveig Tofte


  • Contact Us
  • Find Members
  • Classifieds
  • Store
Member Login
Search This Site
Find The Bread Bakers Guild on TwitterFollow The Bread Bakers Guild on Twitter Follow Us

Proud Sponsor of
Bread Bakers Guild
Team USA

King Arthur Flour Logo