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U.S. Pastry Competition Pastry Chef of the Year 2018

Paris Gourmet Presents the 29th Annual U.S. Pastry Competition

Who is ready for dessert? Are you ready to feast your eyes on some of the most spectacular desserts from the 29th Annual U.S. Pastry Competition? Held during the 2018 International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York and hosted by Paris Gourmet, several of the nation’s leading pastry chefs competed for the prestigious honor of being called Pastry Chef of the Year.

While some of these will look for like artwork, they are in fact entirely edible desserts. Over a dozen finalists showcased their showpieces inspired by “The Great Race” at the Javits Center.  The leading pastry chefs were selected to participate were tasked with creating a showpiece derived from any form of recognized racing, such as car racing, swimming, horse racing, running, cycling and boating. They had three hours to set-up their exhibit and were each permitted one assistant.

The Pastry chefs showcased their talents by creating “petit gateau buffet” (mini cake/dessert display) and a plated dessert, exhibited along highly technical chocolate sculpted showpieces using Cacao Noel brand chocolate. The top eye-catching winning desserts included:

Stephen Sullivan – Winner & U.S. Pastry Competition Pastry Chef of the Year 2018

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Steven Tran – 2nd Place Winner of the 29th U.S. Pastry Competition

2nd Place Winner of the 29th U.S. Pastry Competition

Courtney Cormier – 3rd Place Winner of the 29th U.S. Pastry Competition

3rd Place Winner of the 29th U.S. Pastry Competition

Alexandra Inkley – Honorable Mention Winner of the 29th U.S. Pastry Competition

Honorable Mention Winner of the 29th U.S. Pastry Competition

 “It is amazing to see the incredible chocolate sculpted showpieces from these extremely talented chefs. Board members of the Societe Culinaire Philanthropique, one of the oldest and most prestigious chef associations in the world, presided over the judging procedures with over $16,000 of the award money presented,” said Tom Loughran, Vice President for the Event.

U.S. Pastry Competition

The pastry competition also had a Junior Division, the winning desserts included:

Michael Metcalf – Junior Division Grand Prize Winner

Junior Division Grand Prize Winner Michael Metcalf

Sizhen Ivy Chen – Junior Division 2nd Place Winner

Junior Division 2nd Place Winner

Michael Fersner – Junior Division 3rd Place Winner

Junior Division 3rd Place Winner Michael Fersner

“The U.S. Pastry Competition, now in its 29th year, is America’s most prestigious pastry event and we are excited to welcome the competitors and judges to the leading restaurant and foodservice event in the heart of New York City,” stated Dominique Noel, Vice President of Paris Gourmet, the competition sponsor. “We look forward to a dazzling array of entries from the best and most creative pastry chefs.”

Other notable mentions we had to highlight include desserts by:

Xolisile Medina

Timothy Maguire

Julie Velasquez

Sequoya Anderson

The breathtaking competition was co-sponsored by Cacao Noel Chocolate, Pastry 1 (pastry ingredients), Beurremont Butter, Gourmand, and Maison de Choix. For more information, visit www.parisgourmet.com.

Manischewitz All-Star Cook-Off Crowns a Winner

We had the pleasure of attending the Manischewitz All-Star Cook-Off where five previous Manischewitz Cook-Off competitors were invited back to submit their recipes for a second chance at a $25,000 Grand Prize. Five finalists were chosen from various states (including one from New York), to go head-to-head against each other using Manischewitz’s All-Natural Broth. Their dishes were judged by a prestigious judging panel including Helen Rosner from Saveur Magazine, Sharon Franke from Good Housekeeping, Claire Suddath from Bloomberg Business Week, Rosie Saferstein from New Jersey Monthly, and Jen Goran from JCC (Jewish Community Center).

The event started with a recipe tasting event, two recipes from Jen Goren, the JCC’s Test Kitchen Director, and Kristin Magnani editor of Saveur magazine, the dishes included Gundi (Persian Chicken Meatball Soup) and Pappardelle with Duck Sago, also made with Manischewitz’s All-Natural Broth.

The competition continued with the Live Cook-Off Contest between finalists, Jamie Brown-Miller, Napa, CA – Chicken and Waffled Latkes (2010), Naylet LaRochelle, Miami, FL – Halibut Couscous (2011), Ronna Sue Farley, Rockville, MD – Beef Tenderloin Puffs (2012), Dina Burcat, New York, NY – Latke-Crusted Chicken with Apple Cider, Mushroom and Rosemary Sauce (2011), and Joe Carver, Philadelphia, PA – Bubby’s Noodle Strudel (2008) – whose dishes, we had the wonderful opportunity to sample.

Each candidate presented their dishes to the judges, shared a bit about themselves and their recipe entry. After a brief intermission, the five entrants were called upon stage where four were presented with Manischewitz All-Star Cook-Off Finalists awards and a surprised and tearfully happy, Jamie Brown-Miller from Napa, CA was crowned  the Manischewitz All-Star Cook-Off Champion for her delicious and inventive Chicken and Waffled Latkes.

As the winner, Jaime was awarded the Grand Prize worth $25,000, including cash, a beautiful trophy (see above), a Saveur Magazine subscription, and various Maytag kitchen appliances. We had a chance to speak with Jaime after the announcement, see our interview below:

Along with samples the delicious dishes, we also got a peak at some of the new and delicious snack offerings from Manischewitz® including Coconut Crisp Cookies, Almond Pecan Granola, Pistachio Orange Macaroons, and more!