If you admire edible art and true-culinary talent, not the trumped-up type on edited-television shows, this show is for you. The Emmy-winning Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition released the first episode of Season Two: National Chefs today (Jan 21, 2013). The episode, Meet the Chefs, introduces the four pastry-chef finalists from across the nation and can be viewed at http://www.jmpurepastry.com/VIDEO.html.
The Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition is a single-day event where four-chef finalists are asked to make eight servings of an original, creative, plated dessert. The chefs also compete in a mystery challenge where they are asked to push the envelope of frozen, plated desserts. The winner will be the chef that presents the most creative and succulent desserts. The goal of the competition is to showcase the reality of a pastry chef kitchen, rather than the drama and glamour shown on cable television.
Season one’s competition was awarded a 2012 Chicago Midwest-Emmy award and focused on Chicago chefs. This year the challenge includes pastry chefs from all over the United States and in 2014 the competition will feature chefs from around the world.
“We can’t wait for the release of this year’s competition. We have a great group of professional pastry chefs and judges that really showcase the creativity, expertise and technique it takes to work in the restaurant industry,” said Executive Pastry Chef Jimmy MacMillan, founder of the Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition.
Many chefs from across the nation apply to be contestants in the Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition by submitting an original recipe. Four finalists are then chosen by a chef selection committee to compete.
The season two finalists include:
- Melissa Coppel of Jean-Marie Auboine Chocolatier – Las Vegas, Nevada
Chef Coppel realized early in her career that her true passion was chocolate. After working closely with Chef Jean-Marie, they collaborated to co-found Jean-Marie Auboine Chocolates. She won a People’s choice award and placed second overall in the Chocolatier of the Year 2012 Competition in Atlanta.
- Chris Ford of Wit & Wisdom – Baltimore, Maryland
Recognized for his ingredient-centric and innovative style, Chef Ford was named one of StarChef’s “Rising Stars” in the DC Area. He is proud to be part of the reputable and innovative culinary team that the Mina Group has built.
- Thomas Raquel of Acadia Restaurant – Chicago, Illinois
Chef Raquel focuses on seasonal, modern desserts grounded in classic technique – and infused with a touch of humor while at Acadia Restaurant. He hopes to open a patisserie, offering the perfect macaroon in addition to pastries and chocolates.
- Philip Speer of Uchi Restaurant – Austin, Texas
Chef Speer’s elements of surprise and artistry with fresh ingredients are trademarks of his pastry creations. He appeared as a judge on the Food Network's "Throwdown with Bobby Flay" as well as part of Chef Tyson Cole's team that competed on the Food Network's "Iron Chef America." Chef Speer has been named a James Beard Award semi-finalist in the overall pastry chef category for the past two years. This year’s Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition judges include Della Gossett from The French Pastry School, Dana Cree of Blackbird restaurant and Curtis Duffy from Grace restaurant.
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