events The First Annual International Pastry Competition
The First Annual International Pastry Competition
Presented by PreGel at the International Chefs Congress launches its inaugural International Pastry Competition presented by PreGel at the fifth annual International Chefs Congress this September 20-22 in New York City. A select group of twenty (20) leading international and US pastry chefs will compete for a grand prize: a stage in a top pastry kitchen. The competition is unlike any other pastry competition and is designed to let fine dining restaurant pastry chefs shine with an emphasis on courses of plated desserts. No traditional showpieces to be had here!

The competitors will make their magic happen on the ICC Main Stage for all of the Congress attendees to observe. The judging panel is a who’s who of industry luminaries who know their way around a kitchen, and who represent both classical and cutting-edge philosophies: rock star Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini will be the official Executive Pastry Chef Consultant of the competition; guest judges will include Jacques Torres, Elizabeth Falkner, and more to be announced in the coming weeks.

Designed specifically with the fine dining restaurant pastry chef in mind (but not to the preclusion of any other working pastry chef), this competition focuses on elements critical to the execution of a well-rounded dessert menu. The International Pastry Competition presented by PreGel will give pastry chefs an opportunity to be evaluated for talent and techniques used in an everyday restaurant setting in competition with their peers. In contrast to the usual template for pastry competitions that focus on large-scale pulled sugar and chocolate showpieces, this competition will focus on showcasing plated desserts in the first two elimination rounds and more advanced techniques will be incorporated by the three finalists. Participants will be judged on presentation, execution, creativity, taste, and theme.

What is the 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 will compete for the chance to win the grand prize (a stage in a top pastry kitchen).

Day 1, Sept. 20th, 8:30am-10:30am: Pre-Dessert Competition
Day 2, Sept. 21st, 8:30am-10:30am: Plated Dessert Competition
Day 3, Sept. 22nd, 4:00pm-5:00pm: Finalists create three corresponding chocolate items
that each showcase a different technique:

  • Chocolate Centerpiece
  • Bonbon
  • Entremets

The first and second days of the competition are elimination rounds, culminating in three finalists on the Main Stage during the final 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.

Round 1: 20 chefs compete for 10 spots to advance to round two based on creativity, presentation, taste, execution, and theme.
Round 2: 10 chefs compete for 3 finalist spots and prizes and advance to the final round.
Round 3: 1 pastry chef will win the grand prize.

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

  • Competition is open to any working pastry professional (restaurant, hotel, catering, banquet, bakery, pastry shop, chocolate shop, private chef).


  • Competitors will not be allowed to bring in any outside ingredients or tools.
  • A pantry of items will be provided by, PreGel, and supporting sponsors of the competition.


  • Each competitor will receive a toolkit on site containing smallwares and an induction burner. Items in the toolkit may change for each round. Competitors will receive list of contents of the toolkit in advance of the competition.
  • During the competition, competitors will be given their own table/area but must share other relevant heavy equipment.


  • General judging criteria will evaluate presentation, execution, creativity, taste and theme where applicable.
  • Participating judges to include Jacques Torres, Elizabeth Falkner and more to be announced.
  • Tasting portions of the competition will occur in staggered intervals.
  • Competitors advancing onto rounds two and three will be given appropriate time for mise-en-place in a appointed prep kitchen.