Local pastry chefs win the Sweetest Chefs competition
By Mélanie LeCroy/[email protected]
Pastry chefs from across the South East filled the Port at The Wharf with delicious treats on Friday night at the sixth annual Sweetest Chefs culinary competition.
Guests were greeted with a complimentary cocktail or mocktail with spiced rum and fig liqueur by John Emerald Distilling in Opelika, Ala. The Port’s large event space allowed guests to wander around picking up delicious, eye-catching treats like Apple Butter Macaroon and Chai Bread Pudding from Jessica Revels of Bread and Butter in Chattanooga, Tenn. or Jacqueline Ladnier’s tuxedo cake from French Kiss Pastries in Ocean Springs, Miss.
The evening also included cocktail demonstrations on the Rouses Market demonstration stage and live music throughout the night. Attendees also had savory appetizers from Moe’s Original BBQ and Rouses Market to cut the sugar.
The 11 chefs competed in three categories: Best Flavor, Most Creative and Best Presentation. Participants voted for their favorites in each category using a digital ballot. As the ballots were being compiled, guests enjoyed live music as well as feedback to the dessert tables.
Chef Lennon Harrison, formerly of Voyagers at Perdido Beach Resort, took home the best flavor award for his old-fashioned peanut butter layered cake with bourbon cheesecake mousse. The most creative award went to chef Chris Walker of the Blue Plate Mafia food truck in Starkville, Mississippi, for his Alabama baked dessert of an “oyster shell” meringue cookie. The award for Best Presentation went to Chef Patty Clark of Warehouse Bakery at Fairhope for her Black Beauty blackberry and dark chocolate dessert, covered in mirror chocolate glaze and topped with a blackberry macaroon and with gold leaf.
The pastry chefs were not the only winners of the evening. Two students from the Gulf Coast Culinary Institute at Coastal Alabama Community College each received a $ 500 scholarship. Students in the program helped throughout the event by working the gate, helping the contestants, and filling in whenever needed. The two winners were chosen by the event organizers for their hard work and dedication.
Sweetest Chefs is brought to you by Eat Y’all, a Mississippi-based company that strives to inspire and equip people to pursue meaningful careers in the restaurant and hospitality industries and strives to build relationships between chefs, small farmers and food markets around the world. The event was organized by Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism and Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Sports and Events and sponsored by The Wharf Orange Beach, Rouses Markets and Pearson Farms.
For more information on Sweetest Chefs, visit sweetestchefs.com.