Sunday, August 24th, Pastry Live commenced with a seminar hosted by Chef Lauren V. Haas on “Creative Confections.”
Pastry Atlanta then presented the best pastries and confections the city has to offer, with Pastry Live’s audience voting for their favorites. Prizes were awarded to participants in several categories, but “Best in Show” went to Neal Idnani of Naanstop for his scrumptious samosas. That same day also allowed both professional judges and the audience a chance to critique the nation’s top chocolates in the Chocolatier of the Year. Chef Justin Fry of Norman Love Confections was dubbed not only the Chocolatier of the Year, but was the audience’s favorite for the People’s Choice award. Finishing out the day was a presentation by Michael Joy of the Chicago School of Mold Making. Through colorful stories, his seminar detailed how to expand creativity in the kitchen and go beyond simply looking at others work for inspiration.
Monday, August 25th began with a demonstration by Chef Rocco Lugrine, which featured various fall inspired recipes designed around Cacao Barry’s new line of Purity From Nature chocolates. Soon to follow was the Art of Cake competition in which nineteen cake artists from across the country interpreted the theme of “The Seas and the Skies” in fondant and icing. Cathy Kincaid of Pulaski Technical College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute was the 2014 winner. The Signature Plated Dessert competition followed in which ten top pastry chefs, both national and international, competed to have their creation named as the very best dessert. Many delicious plates were presented, but Angela Kim of The Modern took first place with her "White Chocolate and Apricot Sphere," a surprising gem filled with layers of citrus, apricot and lime components.
Additional seminars that day included a demonstration by Chef Jimmy MacMillan on “Contemporary Desserts” and a “Sensorial Workshop” hosted by Chef Stephan Iten. Chef MacMillan’s seminar instructed the audience on how to create modern desserts, including "Intense Chocolate Custard with Huckleberries and Ginger Meringues" and "Nebbiolo Barolo", with recipes featuring deZaan Gourmet Chocolates. Chef Iten’s workshop, sponsored by Swiss Chalet Fine Foods, took attendees on a tasting journey through Grand Cru chocolate and included detailed information on the method behind cacao harvesting and processing.
The final day of the event, Tuesday, August 26th, started off early with the National Showpiece Championship. Five teams of two chefs competed over the course of seven hours, constructing showpieces utilizing a unique trio of pedestal bases, encouraging an entirely new range of showpiece design. Team Bill Foltz and Cori Schlemmer of L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles, LA (http://www.mylauberge.com) earned this year’s title of National Showpiece Champions, along with a cash prize of $5,000. The team was also awarded Best Sugar Showpiece and the Competitor’s Choice Award for their creative design titled “Dragon Ball.” Additional winners included Team Christophe Rull and Nicolas Rio (Best Chocolate Showpiece and Best Artistry), Team Julian Perrigo-Jimenez and Jordan Snider (People’s Choice Award) and Team Cher Harris and Joseph Settepani (Sponsor’s Choice Award).
Also taking place that same day was our newest competition, The Dessert Cup. Thirteen chefs from across the country were asked to craft desserts in a glass, layering multiple flavors and textures together to create the ultimate verrine. Many elegant creations were produced, but Laurent Vals of Laurent Vals Handcrafted Chocolates took first with his "Catalan Verrine." As the audience also had a say in who had the top verrine, the Peoples’ Choice award went to Johnny Wesley of Mr. Peeples Restaurant for his "Smoked Black Forest Cake."
Finishing out the event’s seminars were two additional classes showcasing some of the best cake talent in the industry. Karen Portaleo’s “Art & Flavor” revealed not only her signature cake carving techniques, but also the usage of Amoretti’s flavorings to make cakes as delicious as they look. Chef Nicholas Lodge then explained to attendees how to integrate flavors into each component of a beautiful cake, from fillings to decorations, while showcasing Nielsen-Massey’
This year’s turnout of attendees and the talent level present were unprecedented. With another year past, planning is in motion for Pastry Live 2015 and event dates will soon be released.
For more about Pastry Live, please contact Event Producer Paul Bodrogi at firstname.lastname@example.org or 678.881.9490. Further information is also available online at www.pastrylive.com.