To celebrate the arrival of the August/September 2016 issue of Dessert Professional Magazine that will feature the top pastry chefs in America, we celebrated by indulging in too many delicious chocolates, pastries, and desserts.
The 23rd annual tasting event was held at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) and presented by Guittard Chocolate, KitchenAid, Beurremont, Prova Gourmet, agrimontana, Pastry 1, and Sasa-Demarle.
Matthew Stevens, editor of Dessert Professional Magazine, emceed the awards ceremony:
“A talented and dedicated pastry chef is an invaluable asset in any kitchen. Our 2016 Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America have also distinguished themselves as innovators, leaders, and mentors in their chosen career paths. It is our honor to recognize them for their many and varied contributions to our industry.
We are also proud to honor this year’s Hall of Fame inductee, Biagio Settepani, Pastry Chef & Owner of Pasticceria Bruno, Staten Island NY. He is one of the most talented pastry chefs in America. Biagio is also an outstanding mentor who has tirelessly contributed to our industry in more ways than I can list. And he is America’s preeminent ambassador for fine Italian desserts.”
The desserts were outstanding, gorgeous, and delicious. Here are this year’s Top Ten Pastry Chefs and their signature desserts!
Franck Iglesias, the Executive Pastry Chef of Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT, created an impressive display of various desserts that stunned the entire crowd. The assortment of desserts included a strawberry rhubarb push-pop, hazelnut and banana yuzu cream, Irish Cream Pop Rocks choux, and – the crowd favorite – the Spring Globe, which look like beautiful mini terrariums.
Morand Dare, Executive Pastry Chef of New York Hilton Midtown, had individual cakes dubbed the Strawberry Blossom: strawberry yuzu with green tea for a beautiful and harmonious combination.
Cedric Barberet, Pastry Chef & Owner of Bistro Barberet in Lancaster, PA developed BLACK, a flourless chocolate cake with blackberry tea, dark chocolate mousse, a Gianduja violet center, and topped with a blackberry violet macaron.
Jean-Marc Viallet, Executive Pastry Chef at Disneyland Resort, probably wins for most adorable dessert with the Disneyland 60th Anniversary Hat.
Robert Nieto, Corporate Pastry Chef of Kendall-Jackson Winery in Santa Rosa, CA, served a delicious blueberry mousse with with dehydrated dulcey mousse verjus gel and jasmine cream, but my favorite part was the mango passion fruit sorbet. Sign me up for a pint.
Scott Green, the Executive Pastry Chef at the Langham Hotel, had his desserts vanish so speedily. Guests vied for his Strawberry Petit Gateau with black pepper gooey butter cake, cream cheese mouse, and wild strawberries.
Joseph DiPaolo Jr., the Corporate Pastry Chef for Pinnacle Foods, took an ordinary box of Duncan Hines mix and elevated it to epic proportions with the Duncan Hines Brownie Peanut Butter Delight, blending sweet with a tart raspberry sour cherry marmalade.
Alex Grunert, Pastry Chef of Brooklyn Fare Manhattan, served a giant sized chocolate vanilla truffle with a white soy caramel with caramelized cacao nibs and brown butter. Soft, delicious, and beautiful!
Lauren V. Haas, Department Chair of the International Institute of Baking and Pastry Arts at Johnson & Wales University, had an impressive display of kumquat and yogurt-cassis moelleaux and chocolate Sable-Bergamot, coconut, lime and milk chocolate. Almost too pretty to eat!
Kelly Fields, Executive Pastry Chef of Willa Jean in New Orleans combined dessert and brunch into one amazing dish with her cornbread pudding with bourbon blackberry peaches with a side of buttermilk sherbet. Probably my favorite dish from the evening! There was also an array of amazing cookies and rice crispy treats for the taking. I am even more excited now for my trip to NOLA in July!
Photos by Battman and by Socially Superlative