Winning Brownies from 2011!

Please click on the name of each brownie to download its recipe.

1st Place

Audrey Wang

Mocha Brownie Bars with Speculoos Crust, Bourbon Caramel and Spiced Pecans

2nd Place

Jodi Wellman

Triple Mocha Meinl Fudge Brownies

3rd Place

Violet Orellana

Chocolate and Hazelnut Brownies

4th Place

Vanessa Musi

Cream Cheese and Coffee Brownies

5th Place

Karla Valadez

White Chocolate Coffee Brownies

Every participant received a free French Pastry Experience gift certificate and a certificate of participation.

Fifth place through First place received various KitchenAid brand products, among which includes the KitchenAid stand mixer for first place.

Judging Criteria:
60% Taste

30% Decoration

5% Texture

5% Punctuality and Professionalism

 

First Annual Amateur Brownie Competition

BROWNIES BENEFIT A GOOD CAUSE
Pastry Chicago’s First Annual Brownie Competition Draws a Crowd to Esperanza Community Services

Click image above to see more photos



Chicago, Illinois (November 11, 2011) –Callebaut chocolate and Julius Meinl coffee were the star flavors of over a dozen brownies entered into the Pastry Chicago’s First Annual Amateur Brownie Competition hosted this weekend at Esperanza Community Services Holiday Art and Gift Fest.  Amid the arts and crafts for sale to benefit the organization, Chef Joshua Johnson of The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College, shared his own craft with the event’s spectators through a sugar showpiece demonstration.  The expert judges were tasked with a difficult decision as they evaluated the variety of exceptional amateur brownies.

 

After completing his holiday themed showpiece, Chef Johnson spent time giving extra tips to the Esperanza Community Services clients who were fascinated by this new craft.  The organization focuses on educating and training developmentally disabled children and adults so they can reach their fullest potential and enjoy productive and independent lives within their communities.  Through their therapeutic education, the teachers stress hands-on learning, the success of which was reflected as some clients entered the brownie competition and others actively participated in the demonstration.

 

Meanwhile, the judges deliberated in a closed room: the most important aspect of this brownie competition was taste, followed by decoration, texture and professionalism.  As the delicious squares and circles of chocolate and coffee were placed before the Pastry Chicago judges, they knew there was a tough decision ahead of them.  The panel included Chef Patrick Fahy, Executive Pastry Chef of Hotel Sofitel Chicago; Nancy Powers of Esperanza Community Services; Peter Rios, owner and Pastry Chef of Alliance Bakery; and Peter Yuen, World Baking Champion, Owner and Pastry Chef of La Pâtisserie P in Chicago.

 

The judges chose the top five contestants to win KitchenAid prizes which will make baking easier for the brownie champions.  Audrey Wang, a current pastry student, won first prize with her Mocha Brownie Bars that were enhanced by a Speculoos crust, a Bourbon caramel topping and spiced pecans.  Chicago resident, Jodi Wellman, wowed her way to second place with her Triple Mocha Meinl Fudge Brownies which she fashioned into a coffee cup complete with a chocolate handle and mini-biscotti.  Hazelnut-Fudge Brownies accented with coffee won third prize for Violet Orellana.  Vanessa Musi, a current pastry student from Mexico, won fourth prize with her Cream Cheese and Coffee Brownies.  High School student and participant in the After School Matters program, Karla Valadez, won fifth place with her chocolaty interpretation of White Chocolate and Coffee Brownies.

 

Pastry Chicago’s next competition will be hosted at the Hotel Sofitel of Chicago on Saturday, December 3rd.  Amateur contestants will get a chance to see a demonstration by a chef instructor from The French Pastry School and to submit their unique gingerbread creations for the Fifth Annual Amateur and Student Gingerbread Competition.  For recipes from this month’s winners and more information on future Pastry Chicago events, please visit www.pastrychicago.org

 

About Pastry Chicago

Pastry Chicago is a group of passionate people who love and enjoy all forms of pastries. Pastry Chicago is made up of professional pastry chefs, students of the art of pastry and people who enjoy eating and the visual art of pastry. The goal of our group is to experience the Art of Pastry in all its glory at educational fun events across the city of Chicago and at the same time promote the fantastic talents of all the Artisans who work at the craft of producing beautiful delicious pastries.

 

About The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College

The French Pastry School is a premier international institution of pastry arts education. Superb instruction, superior equipment, and top quality ingredients enable the co-founders and Academic Deans, Chefs Jacquy Pfeiffer and Sébastien Canonne, M.O.F., to uphold an exceptional educational facility for pastry and baking. The French Pastry School’s team of award-winning instructors has grown to a faculty of many renowned chefs, including Jonathan Dendauw, World Pastry Champion Dimitri Fayard, Della Gossett, Scott Green, World Pastry Champion En-Ming Hsu, Joshua Johnson, Master Cake Artist Nicholas Lodge, Kristen Ryan, Master Cake Artist Mark Seaman, and World Baking Champion Pierre Zimmermann. 

 

The French Pastry School offers the rare opportunity for students to learn the art of pastry in an intimate setting, being personally mentored by masters in their field. Students’ skills are finely honed through hands-on practice and repeated exposure to the best pastry techniques, tools, and ingredients. Our programs are ideal for anyone from the career changer to the professional to the novice. Programs offered include L’Art de la Pâtisserie, the 24-week Professional Pastry and Baking Program; L’Art du Gâteau, the 16-week Professional Cake Decorating and Baking Program; L’Art de la Boulangerie, the 8-week Artisanal Bread Baking Course; and Continuing Education Courses for professionals as well as food enthusiasts. For more information on The French Pastry School, please visit www.frenchpastryschool.com.


Download the press release in PDF format here.


Pastry Chicago is a group of passionate people who love and enjoy all forms of pastries. Pastry Chicago is made up of professional pastry chefs, students of the art of pastry and people who enjoy eating and the visual art of pastry. The goal of our group is to experience the Art of Pastry in all its glory at educational fun events across the city of Chicago and at the same time promote the fantastic talents of all the Artisans who work at the craft of producing beautiful delicious pastries.


www.pastrychicago.org, or contact
Anne Kauffmann
The French Pastry School
312.726.2419 ext.207
akauffmann@frenchpastryschool.com
www.frenchpastryschool.com

 

Rules and Regulations: 

  • To sign up for the competition, first send in your registration to Pastry Chicago then buy your ticket at www.esperanzacommunity.org (click on “Events” on the bottom of the home page then select “Holiday Art and Gift Fest”).   Your confirmation will not be sent until you have completed both steps.
  • Mandatory flavor component: Chocolate and Coffee
  • Contestants must submit a total of 12 individual identical stand-alone brownies: six for judging and six for display. All brownies must be submitted at the time of registration.
  • No additional display items may accompany your brownies.
  • Recipes must be submitted with the brownie (if no recipe is submitted your brownie will not be judged).
  • Brownies will be served cold or at room temperature. No baking or decorating is done on premises.
  • All contestants must use the following ingredients, but are not limited to only these ingredients: Callebaut Chocolate, Nielsen-Massey Vanilla, Plugrà European-Style Butter and King Arthur Flour. All of these items can be found at your local Whole Foods store. In addition, must use Julius Meinl Coffee.
  • In order to obtain a sample of 250g of ground coffee to use in your entry, please contact Sonja Lund, Julius Meinl’s Coffee Service Specialist.  You can pick up your sample at one of two of their retail outlets in Chicago:
    Julius Meinl Coffeehouse
    3601 N. Southport Ave
    Chicago, IL 60613

    Julius Meinl Coffeehouse
    4363 N. Lincoln Ave
    Chicago, IL 60618


    You must present the confirmation email you receive upon completing your registration for the event in order to collect the coffee sample.  Please contact Sonja Lund at (773) 883-1862 ext. 127 or  sonja.lund@meinl.com.
  • Each entry must be the sole work of the entrant.
  • All brownies and decorations must be edible.
  • All entries must be submitted for judging by 3:00 pm (begin to arrive at 2:30 pm).
  • Pastry Chicago and Esperanza Community Services are not responsible for any lost or stolen items or any items left behind. No trays or containers will be returned.
  • Only the first 30 entries will be accepted for the competition.


For information on becoming a participant of the competition or should you have any questions please contact Maggie Fahey at info@pastrychicago.org, 312.726.2419 ext.208.

 

Please note that this competition is for amateurs only. This excludes professionals working in the pastry industry as well as graduates of pastry or culinary programs.

This event is in support of:


Esperanza Community Services

 

Event Sponsored by:

 

 

 

 





 


Pastry Chicago: Showcasing the Art of Pastry