4th Annual StarChefs.com International Pastry Competition

4th Annual StarChefs.com International Pastry Competition

Congrats to Pastry Cook Sean Pera of Herons at the Umstead, in Carey, North Carolina for winning the 4th Annual StarChefs.com International Pastry Competition,presented by PreGel. This year's sweet showdown took place at the 8th Annual StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress, September 29 - October 1 in New York City. Pera won for his Lychee Hazelnut Ginger Bon Bons, Vanilla Goat Cheese Cake, Pickled Raspberry-Rose Gelée and Vanilla Bavarian Entremet, and Chocolate Egg Showpiece.

The 3rd Annual StarChefs.com International Pastry Competition

The 3rd Annual StarChefs.com International Pastry Competition

Pastry Chefs Meg Galus of NoMi and Thomas Raquel of Acadia, both from Chicago, also made it to Round 3 of the competition.

This year, a select group of 20 international and U.S. pastry chefs competed for the grand prize that included a year's worth of bragging rights. After four years, four grand prize winners, and 80 extraordinary candidates, the International Pastry Competition is still one of the only of its kind to highlight the professional skills of the restaurant pastry chef. Contestants were judged on the timely—and tasty—execution of a sophisticated dessert menu, with three rounds focusing on pre-desserts, plated desserts, and chocolates (bonbons, centerpiece, and entremets). "Top Chef Just Desserts" star and all-around pastry guru Johnny Iuzzini returned as Executive Pastry Chef of the competition to guide a team of high-ranking industry judges, including Claudia Fleming (North Fork Table and Inn), Elizabeth Falkner (Corvo Bianco), Salvatore Martone (Garden at Four Seasons), Sam Mason (OddFellows), and Jeffrey Steingarten (Vogue).

  • Pastry Competitors

    Name Restaurant
    Joseph Baker Le Cordon Bleu – Dallas, TX
    Laszlo Bollok Le Cirque – New York, NY
    Ryan Butler Highlands Restaurant Group – New York, NY
    Taria Camerino Sugar Coated Radical – Atlanta, GA
    Giane Cavaliere Rogue 24 – Washington, D.C.
    Bruno Feldeisen Four Seasons Vancouver – Vancouver, BC
    Meg Galus NoMI at Park Hyatt Chicago – Chicago, IL
    Pete Schmutte Cerulean - Indianapolis, IN
    Sharon Gofreed Uchi – Houston, TX
    Samantha Mendoza Triniti - Houston, TX
    Yoshikazu Kizu Ritz Carlton Orlando – Orlando, FL
    Jared Bacheller L'Espalier – Boston, MA
    Sean Pera Herons – Cary, NC
    Thomas Raquel Acadia – Chicago, IL
    Mellisa Root Madera at Rosewood Sandhill – Palo Alto, CA
    Peter Scarola R2L – Philadelphia, PA
    Bobby Schaffer Grace – Chicago, IL
    Thiago Silva

    EMM Group – New York, NY

    Davina Soondrum Filter Dining Room – Philadelphia, PA
    Donna Yuen The Dupont Circle Hotel - Washington D.C.

    Pastry Alternates

    Christina Mercado

    Finale – Boston, MA

    Floor Judges

    Name Restaurant
    Eric Bedoucha Financier Patisserie – Brooklyn, NY
    Richard Capizzi Lincoln – New York, NY
    Heather Carlucci Mother New York – New York, NY
    Collen Grapes The Red Cat – Brooklyn, NY
    Shuna Lydoneggbeater Brooklyn, NY
    Jenny McCoy Brooklyn, NY
    Frederick Monti  
    Angela Pinkerton Eleven Madison Park - New York, NY
    Sebastien Rouxel Per Se – New York, NY
    Philip Speer Uchiko – Austin, TX

    Tasting Judges

    Name Restaurant
    Dominique Ansel Dominique Ansel Bakery – New York, NY
    Elizabeth Falkner Corvo Bianco – New York, NY
    Claudia Fleming North Fork Table and Inn – Southold, NY
    Johnny Iuzzini Sugar Fueled Inc – Brooklyn, NY
    Jeffrey Steingarten Vogue - New York, NY
    David Burke David Burke's Kitchen - New York, NY
    Michael Laiskonis Institute of Culinary Education - New York, NY

  • Old Money - Benjamin Schiller of Boka
    Emcee Keegan Gerhard talks while the pastry competitors prepare their dishes

    What is the StarChefs.com International Pastry Competition?

    • An original, three-day pastry competition designed to showcase the creativity of the most talented pastry chefs in the industry
    • 20 pastry chefs compete for the chance to win the grand prize

    Pre-competition, September 28: Pastry training and prep for Round 1

    Round 1, September 29: Pre-dessert competition

    Round 2, September 30: Plated dessert competition

    Round 3, October 1: Finalists create three corresponding desserts, each showcasing a different technique

    The first and second days of the competition are elimination rounds, culminating in three finalists on the Main Stage during the last day of the ICC. Each of the three competition rounds will be judged based on criteria specific to the items being created and presented that day.

    A separate demonstration kitchen will be available to continuing competitors on days one and two for their mise-en-place between elimination rounds.

    Round 1: 20 chefs compete for 10 spots to advance to Round 2.

    Round 2: 10 chefs compete for three finalist spots and prizes and advance to the final round.

    Round 3: 1 pastry chef wins the grand prize.


    This year's Grand Prize includes:

    • $5,000 cash, an invitation to attend a 5-Star Pastry Series seminar, and a potential opportunity to work with the 5-Star Pastry Series or Ambassador Program with media promotion, stipend, and accommodations Presented by PreGel America

    • A WFP16S (New 4 quart Food Processor) Presented by Waring Commercial

    • Profile on StarChefs.com

    • Montague Vectaire Double Deck, Full-Size Standard Electric Convection Oven, presented by Montague

    Additional Prizes Include;

    • All Competitors receive a WSB33X (7" Immersion Blender), presented by Waring Commercial

    • 3 Finalists receive a WIH400 (Induction Range), presented by Waring Commercial