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Specialized knowledge and experience sets us apart.

For over 20 years, Chicago Culinary FX has been the industry leader in custom silicone mold design and manufacturing. Established in 2002 as the Chicago School of Mold Making, founder and CEO Michael Joy spent years teaching executive chefs and entrepreneurs how to safely and efficiently shape ingredients of all kinds. Since then, Joy maintains global recognition as a pioneer in culinary mold making through his thousands of collaborations with renowned chefs and confectioneries around the world.

Specialized knowledge and experience such as this is what sets our company apart. Many manufacturers can engineer a beautiful mold, but Chicago Culinary FX is the only custom mold designer and manufacturer that implements specific tactics and traits to increase productivity and maximize longevity of your molds. Food casting is the name of our game, and we want to see you win.

Founder & CEO

Michael Joy

Author of Confectionery Art Casting: Silicone Mold Making for the Pastry Chef, Michael Joy, is both a master mold maker and sculptor. Graduating from the Art Institute of Chicago, his skills quickly evolved when he founded a sculptural fabrication studio where he undertook a wide variety of commercial projects ranging from creating the master model for the Oscar’s trophy to large scale monument restorations. Not only is Michael recognized for his commitment to superior craftsmanship, but also for his wide range of projects that have later been displayed globally.

Director of Operations

Balin Pagadala

Balin started with Chicago Culinary FX (formerly The Chicago School of Mold Making) in 2013. He is one of the world’s premiere designers in the food shaping industry. With an extensive background in fabrication, illustration and food development, Balin blends his craftsmanship and artistry with his knowledge of molecular gastronomy. 


Mentored under CEO and Master Mold Maker Michael Joy, Balin currently leads the team at Chicago Culinary FX. Whether designing molds for high yield candy manufacturing or designing showpieces and plates for international culinary competitions, every project is thoroughly examined and thoughtfully designed to help the clients achieve their best results.


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