This summer, Atlanta hosted the annual Pastry Live event that represents the most robust pastry event in the States featuring no less than six different competitions in only three days and seminar presentations from accomplished Pastry Chefs and Cake Artists.
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The participants showed their talent and skills. Here is the comment of Jimmy MacMillan, one the judges of the competition.
“I was proud to be a judge again for the Pastry Live 5 event. What Chef Paul Bodrogi has put together is very special in that it brings together so many individuals in the pastry community. There are too many top level chefs to mention – a who’s who of judges – as well as the notable amount of young pastry chef competitors and spectators. The level of the cake competition and plated dessert was very high this year, surpassed only by the National Showpiece Championship, which featured a first appearance by a team from Japan. I cannot think of another venue that has seven serious pastry competitions in three day span. Participation is one key to growing this beautiful sweets industry, and Pastry Live has made a major contribution to that industry”.
Regarding the prestigious National Showpiece Championship, Team Kengo Akabame and Toshinori Akishiro, from the Imperial Hotel Tokyo, won Best Overall, Best Chocolate, Sponsors’ Choice, and People’s Choice. Their piece featured a very stylized robot adorned with various toys, including a biplane.
Sixteen chocolate artisans from across the Country brought their very best chocolate work. Presenting both a molded and enrobed bonbon of their choice. It was Chef Brittany Mateika (Norman Love Confections) who earned the title Chocolatier of the Year.
Her “Apricot Lavender Shortbread” (on right) consisted of layers of vanilla-lavender ganache and apricot ganache with a shortbread base, all encased in a white chocolate shell. Her “Banana Almond Praline” (on left) contained both banana and milk chocolate ganaches and an almond praline with feuilletine layer, all enrobed in milk chocolate.
2nd place went to Molly Rothermel (Norman Love Confections).
“Cassis-Pistachio” featuring cassis jam, vanilla ganache and pistachio praline, all encased in a dark chocolate shell (on right). Her “Coffee-Hazelnut” contained hazelnut crunch, gianduja ganache and coffee ganache, enrobed in dark chocolate (on left).
3rd place and Audience Choice went to Natalya Shapiro (Chef Brulee Chocolates & Gateaux).
“Natasha” (on right) featured black currant coulis and crunchy pistachio encased in a dark chocolate shell. Her “Boris” (on left) contained a lemon-line almond cream center with almond praline on the outside, all enrobed in dark chocolate.
Nine top pastry chefs prepared their own Signature dessert. Each dessert was judged according to design balance, presentation and most importantly, overall flavor execution.
1st place went to Nicolas Blouin (Rosewood Mansion), 2nd place to Vincent Attali (Joël Robuchon & L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand, Las Vegas), and 3rd place to Michael Craig (St. Regis Atlanta).
This year’s Art of Cake competition was split into two categories, Sculpted and Multi-Tiered Celebration/Wedding cakes. The theme for the Sculpted Category was Toys and for the Multi-Tiered Celebration/Wedding Category the theme was The Colors of Crayons.
1st place went to Johanna Wyss, (Joliet Junior College), 2nd to Katharina McCawley (Pretty Cake Machine), 3rd to Marilyn Bawol (Unique Cakes).
1st place went to Joseph Cumm (Edenjoescakery), 2nd place to Phetsada Mounnarath (PM Sugar Art), and 3rd place went to Irene Widjaya (Peninsula New York).
For the Student Chocolate Challenge, eight talented students from schools across the Country competed presenting some of the best student work the organizers have seen to date. Each piece had to utilize this year’s theme of Toys.
1st place went to Emily Holtz (Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts), 2nd place to Brooke Ball (Joliet Junior College), 3rd was Megan Kuk (Joliet Junior College).
Regarding The Dessert Cup, Nicolas Blouin (Rosewood Mansion) was 1st; 2nd place went to Ben Kallenbach (The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge), 3rd place to Curtis Cameron (The Little Nell). Maggie Gibbs (Central Restaurant) won the Audience Choice.
The prize for Best Sugar Showpiece was given to Cori Schlemmer and Rachel Young (L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles); the Competitors’ Choice went to Julie Eslinger and Mariana Ramirez (Colorado Convention Center), and Best Artistry to Lionel Touya (Jean-Marie Auboine Chocolates) and Christophe Rull (MGM Grand).
Credit Photographers & Companies
Beatrice – Chicago Mold School
Franziska – Amoretti