Pastry chefs win some sweet awards

Pastry chefs win some sweet awards

Alicia Edquist, Advertising Manager/Lab Aide

The Pastry and Baking program has taken two bronzes and a silver medal at the food show.

On Oct. 27, Bum Parks and Stephanie Lesjak competed in the Orange Empire Chef Association of the American Culinary Federation. In this competition students and professionals could compete.

Parks, is an advance student and also an aide in the department. Parks took home a bronze medal for his showpiece and another in the desserts category. Stephanie Lesjak, is also an advance student. She took silver medal in desserts.

“We are really excited about the silver medal because they only give one silver medal out of all the schools,” said Michael Pierini, Pastry and Baking teacher.

The students take about a month or more to prepare for the competition.

“The students design and get all the ingredients that are needed for the recipe,” Pierini said.

When it gets closer to the show the students spent about three grueling days putting in 12 -14 hours working on their pieces.

Everything is prepared before the show and then brought for display and tasting. Cerritos College will be the host for the competition next year in Oct. or Nov.

Along with the student competition, Pierini also competed in a Professional Chef’s Association competition called the Pastry Masterpiece Competition on Nov. 26. He took second place in the show, which was a prize of $750.

This competition has many requirements of the chefs. Each competitor has to put the required ingredients that are listed in the official rules and follow the guidelines for each type of dessert created.

Such as how big the cakes are to be, each cake must have at least 4 oz. of Blue Diamond Almonds and the Petits Fours Sec made with California Raisins.

“It is hard to incorporate all the required ingredients into your recipe, but we did it,” Pierini smiling with relief.

By we, he means that he was not the only one doing all the work. Parks assisted him in the two month preparation and making the showpiece.

“I really could not have done this with out him,” Pierini said.

The competition has a theme to go with every regional competition. The theme for this food show was “Hollywood” and Pierni and Parks designed a Hollywood style centerpiece for the table.

They also had to have one dessert for tasting and another one for the display.

“It was hard work, but the students and I had a lot of fun doing the show,” Pierini said.

Pierini will be going to Nationals in Las Vegas on March 18, 2003 to compete with the other top three winners from all the shows this year. The grand prize for that competition is $10,000.