The Amish farmers have brought a preview of the upcoming apple season. The quality and freshness of this collection of apples is really beautiful. Pretty cool when the inspiration comes to your work station, now all I have to do is start planning!
The 4 days I recently spent competing in the first annual StarChefs.com pastry competion will be 4 days I will never forget. At first I was very skeptical of doing it, wondering if I had what it takes to compete against 19 other pastry chefs from around the country. I took a risk and went ahead and did it. Along the way I proved many things to myself and met an amazing group of people. To work from 7am to 8pm everyday with such talented hardworking chefs was a reward within itself. Also to have such an inspiring panel of judges tasting and judging my food was an honor and a moment never to be forgotten. I am very thankful to have had the chance to participate and am so very grateful for the experience.
Congratulations to Ron Paprocki who took first place!
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The beginning process of a new dessert is my favorite part. The tastes, the ideas, the combinations that work and the ones that don't; it's what makes my job fun. The concord grape signals the change in seasons, still fruity and light in taste yet they have a deeper more hearty flavor. Along with the amazing taste they encompass they also have an even more amazing color. As of right now I am hoping that my hibiscus, concord grape and jasmine tea combination will mature into a full dessert. The perfume like aroma of the jasmine tea creates a beautiful background for the grape. But like many ideas, this may not transcend onto the plate, only time will tell.
Not only my new favorite company but their products are great. PreGel is a company going strong since 1967, providing high quality flavoring and pastes for gelato and pastries. Its hard to find a great quality pistachio paste/puree that is not 90% artificial colors and flavors. 100% pistachio, thats it. I have not tried the whole line, but from what I have tasted thus far its a great company.
So I will be competing in the first annual Starchefs.com International Pastry Competition. I am going up against 19 other very talented pastry chefs from around the country. I have never done one of these so this will one of those moments to always remember. I hope to be updating from the congress, trying to snap a photo or a hundred from the three days. I never thought in a million years I'd be on the main stage at the annual chef's congress, very exciting. Hard work has paid off yet again...Wish me luck!