Emmy-award-winning competition raises the bar with world-class talent
The highly anticipated debut episode of Season Three of the Emmy-award-winning Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition (CRPC) is now available. The episode, titled “Third Time’s the Charm” in a nod to the third season of the competition, introduces the four chef contestants, who are four of the world’s best pastry chefs, and chronicles them creating and competing in an Artisan Gelato Milkshake challenge. Requirements included using PreGel gelato ingredients, Nielsen-Massey Vanilla, Wholesome Sweeteners organic sugars, and Belgian chocolate from deZaan Gourmet.
“In this first episode, you’ll see the intensity and level of competitiveness of the contestants,” says event organizer and 2013 Dessert Professional’s Top Ten Pastry Chef Jimmy MacMillan. “Our four chef contestants showed up early, were on at their stations, and were ready for war. In the end, they created four unique, elevated and visually stunning milkshakes that really showcased their individual talents, style and techniques. There’s a higher level of talent this year, and it shows through right from the start in Episode One.”
An unlikely focus for a pastry competition, MacMillan decided to add a milkshake challenge to push the boundaries of pastry arts. “Why not do a milkshake?” he said. “It brings us back to that childhood memory in mom’s kitchen or having one with your grandmother. We want to bring milkshakes forward by having these high-level chefs reimagine a milkshake.”
Chef finalists created their own take on a sophisticated and innovative milkshake, including:
Michaela Hapak of Splendido Restaurant in Toronto, Ontario
Bedrock Pop Milkshake
“The milkshake needs to be kind of like a plated dessert with technical and flavor components. It has to be interesting and different. I used layers of lemon curd, lemon arabeschi and thyme streusel,” said Hapak.
Meg Galus of NoMi Restaurant at Park Hyatt Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
The Mountain of All Milkshakes
“We’re using really, really fine ingredients. I wanted to show a milkshake really can be a dessert while elevating it. I wanted to stay a little bit true to a classic milkshake, because what I want is a chocolate malt. It’s based on a traditional French dessert called Mont Blanc with chestnuts, vanilla and rum,” said Galus.
Jim Hutchison of Winvian Relais & Chateaux in Morris, Connecticut
Forrest Berry Milkshake
“It was a surprise when I found out we had to make a milkshake. My desserts are not sweet but rather are delicate, so I wanted to keep that. I included olive oil sponge cake and crispy milk Japonaise,” said Hutchison.
Sean Pera of The Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary, North Carolina
White Chocolate Yogurt Gelato
“When I think of a milkshake, I think of eating a burger and fries, and I wanted to take that away. You have to build layers and textures. I used lemongrass, sour cherries, shiso and mascarpone foam,” said Pera.
This year’s celebrity judges are superlative Pastry Chef Antonio Bachour from St. Regis Bal Harbour in Miami, Curtis Duffy from acclaimed restaurant Grace in Chicago, and avant garde globe-trotter Will Goldfarb representing Ku De Ta in Bali.
The competition is a weekend long event featuring three pastry challenges that was filmed live in September 2013 at The Chicago School of Mold Making’s creative center in Oak Park, Ill. Dubbed CRPC3 “International,” this season is the first year the competition was open to chefs from around the world.
The CRPC Season Three includes four episodes. A new episode will be released each month on JMPurePastry.com, and the winner of the competition will be announced in April 2014. Episode release dates are: January 20, February 17, March 17 and April 21.
Season Three of the CRPC is made possible with the support of more than 10 sponsors including: Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, a manufacturer of the finest vanilla products and flavor extracts; Waring Commercial, a manufacturer of professional-quality appliances for the home, foodservice and laboratory industries; Steelite International, a manufacturer and supplier of tabletop ranges for the international hospitality industry; Wholesome Sweeteners, a leading provider of sustainable, environmentally and ethically responsible, great tasting sweeteners; PreGel AMERICA, a specialty dessert ingredients company; Midwest Foods, a specialty produce food distribution company; Will Powder, a producer of technical food ingredients; Frigomat, a company that manufactures ice cream machines; deZaan Gourmet, a producer of premium chocolate, cocoa powders, cocoa butter, chocolate batons, pralines; and CliftonLarsenAllen, a professional services and accountancy firm; and more.
About The Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition
The Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition (CRPC) is a two-time Emmy award-winning pastry competition that is aired in a series of online videos. The competition asks four chef finalists to make original, unique, plated dessert and compete in two mystery challenges. All episodes of The Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition are filmed at The Chicago School of Mold Making’s creative center in Oak Park, Ill.
The Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition has received a number of accolades for its content and film style, including two Chicago Midwest Emmy Awards, a Telly Award, two Communicator Awards and two Hermes Awards. The videos were nominated for a 2013 James Beard Media Award. The video series has received over 50,000 views worldwide.
JMPurePastry, the Executive Producers of the series, is a Chicago-based pastry solutions group specializing in high quality, well-designed media products for the restaurant, baking and hospitality industry.