Page 40 - Pastry & Baking Magazine

Competitions
38
Pastry & Baking North America
By Michelle Duda
U.S. Pastry Competition
P
articipants in the annual U.S. Pastry
Competition have seen their share of the
elements over the years. In 2010 it was a
snowstorm that clobbered New York City and made
transporting people – much less fragile showpieces – a
feat. There’s been rain, high winds, flooding and every
weather condition akin to the east coast in March.
But not this year. On March 4th, the sun was
beaming and the only elements to speak of appeared
in the entries themselves.
Nine of the nation’s rising pastry chefs showcased
their sweet interpretations on The Four Elements
at the 23rd annual Competition in a bid to win the
coveted title of Pastry Chef of the Year.
The International Foodservice Show of New York,
held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, was
once again the setting for this prestigious tournament
of talent. Presented by Paris Gourmet, the event
challenged contenders to compose highly technical
showpieces of equal parts sugar and chocolate.
Each entry must feature an exquisite cake and six
handcrafted chocolate bonbons.
While recipes must be submitted four months
prior to the Competition, chefs began imagining their
entries long before. When asked how many sketches
it took to arrive at her final design, first-time U.S.P.C
competitor Yoshie Shirakawa (Panya, NYC) simply
offered an emphatic, “Many!”
Ashley Alioto (Pastry Chef Consultant, NYC), who
has served as an assistant to past competitors, echoed
the sentiment. “You can see the transition from my
first sketch to now. The final piece came together in
the last few months, but I’ve been sketching it over and
over, for about a year.”
The Four Elements
at the 23rd annual competition in a bid to
win the coveted title of Pastry Chef of the Year.
Standing – Pastry Chef of the Year Anthony Smith and 2nd Place
winner Daniel Keadle. Below – 3rd place finisher Ashley Alioto and
Artis Kalsons who received Honorable Mention