2011 National Showpiece Championship

Some of America’s best pastry chefs came together to prove their showpiece making skills in the National Showpiece Championship. To qualify for the competition, each team leader had to have received either a medal or best in show a national level competition. The teams were given six hours in which to complete their entry in either sugar or chocolate, their choice. The task of judging fell onto some of most capable hand in the industry; Jean-Marie Auboine, Stephen Durfee, Jerome Landrieu, Susan Notter, Vincent Pilon, Karen Portaleo, Michelle Tampakis and head judge, Stéphane Treand, MOF. The pieces were so impressive, no one envied the judges.

And the winners are..

The five categories to place in were:

Showpiece Championship

Most Excellent Showpiece -  Andy Chlebana and Nancy CareyWe proudly announce The National Showpiece Champions,

Andy Chlebana and Nancy Carey

(click the image for a better view)

Name of Showpiece: Theobroma Cacao ‘Geastrum’
“Given the innovative format and criterion set forth for the competition we approached our piece’s conception in an unconventional manner; beginning without a narrative theme but rather, focusing on the development of formal and structural strengths. (more…)

Best Chocolate - Team Chlebana/CareyBest Chocolate Showpiece
Team Chlebana/Carey
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Best Sugar - Team Hurlbert/CapperBest Sugar Showpiece
Team Hurlbert/Capper
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“The Abyss” was inspired by the last unexplored frontier, the ocean deep…(more)

Competitors Choice - Team DeWitt/SmoakeCompetitor’s Choice Award
Team DeWitt/Smoake
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The inspiration for our Showpiece, Smoake on the Water began 60 days ago…(more)

Audience Choice - Team Mullaney/RamirezAudience Choice Award:
Team Mullaney/Ramirez
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“Playing in the Fountain”: A chocolate centerpiece that was designed to be… (more)

Team Mora/Rueda 
Team Mora/Rueda
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“Thor” – Man has always been dominated since… (more)


Competitor’s Choice Award:   Tracy Dewitt & David Smoake
Audience Choice Award:              Jim Mullaney & Dave Ramirez
Yoni Mora & Alfredo Rueda

A New Competition

The Pastry Live Showpiece Championship is organized to overcome the time constraints and resource requirements chefs experience in other competitions. It is feasible for top level chefs to participate at the highest level competition without making extraordinary personal and financial sacrifices.

Six teams of two chefs will choose either chocolate or sugar as their showpiece medium. To qualify for the competition, each team leader must have received either a medal or best in show at a major pastry competition. The team leader will then be free to choose a partner without any restrictions in regard to prior competitive recognition or experience.

Teams will be given 6 hours in which to prepare their competition entry and have a chance to win a share of over $5,000 in cash and prizes. The winning showpiece will earn its team the title of National Showpiece Champions.

Download a copy of the rules Here

What the competition is…

This competition is intended to create a more level playing field for chefs. Provisions have been put into place to reduce the financial burden of competing and restrict high dollar investments into specialty tools and equipment. The event is also intended to provide a unique opportunity for pastry chefs to demonstrate their skills and highlight their creativity and innovation. This competition is about new ideas, new techniques and new designs.

What the competition is not…

This competition is not meant to trip up competitors with endless rules and structure. At this level of competition, we believe an event should not limit the creativity of the contestants. There are specific rules, but more importantly, we want the spirit of the rules to be followed. Digging into every nook and cranny of the rules will not be worth the competitors time. Remember, this competition is not a casting challenge. Casting in molds and forms is important, but the integration of hand skills and/or casting manipulations is required, and will effect the scoring.

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2011 National Showpiece Championship Teams