First Place- Bethany Marquis 

Second Place - Kathy Sherman

Third Place - Michael Hiller

Fourth Place - Estelle Agena

Fifth Place - AmberRose Valdez


Results! Fifth Annual Student Cake Decorating Competition


Students Compete with Avatar themed Cakes at Whole Foods

Download the press release

Chicago, Illinois (May 7, 2010) – Students from culinary and high schools competed for prizes and recognition at Whole Foods on Halsted on Saturday, April 17, 2010 for the Pastry Chicago 5th Annual Student Cake Decorating Competition, creating cakes that represented an Avatar theme for this year’s competition. Pastry Chicago, a volunteer organization which brings culinary schools, businesses, community organizations, and members of the Chicago community together saw another fun and successful event.

Spectators and competitors gathered at Whole Foods in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Students brought their multi-colored cakes covered with fantastic trees, waterfalls, Avatar characters, and more displaying some impressive gumpaste, rolled fondant, sugar, and other edible decorations. Cakes were displayed letting Whole Foods patrons get a close look at the unique creations.

Competitors at the high school and culinary school levels showcased Chicagoland talent for this year’s titles and prizes donated by KitchenAid, the sponsor to the event. Judges who volunteered their time included Chef Keli Fayard of Vanille Pâtisserie; Chef Peter Rios of Alliance Bakery; and Renee DeMan of Whole Foods.

While the judges examined each contestant’s cake which consisted of three-tiered decorated dummy cakes, all of the guests observed a demonstration by Master Cake Artist Mark Seaman. Mark is the owner of Marked for Dessert and an instructor in The French Pastry School’s L’Art du Gâteau, 16-week Professional Cake Decorating & Baking Program. He demonstrated some decorating methods along the Avatar theme, displaying some interesting techniques for the students, like ironing on prints to rolled fondant.

The judges awarded five winners in one category comprised of Chicago culinary school and high school students.  Fifth place went to AmberRose Valdez; Estelle Agena won fourth place; third place went to Michael Hiller; Kathy Sherman won second place; and first place went to Bethany Marquis.

“The competition provided an interesting challenge and creative outlet for culinary students,” said Renée Bohus, Assistant Director of Pastry Chicago. “This year’s theme brought out some very imaginative cake decorations, and I think, inspired some of our new guests to compete next year.”

Pastry Chicago will hold more events to come this year, such as an ice cream social at Esperanza Community Services in July, and the Third Annual Amateur Pie Competition in September. More details will soon be available at


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.



For more information on Pastry Chicago, please visit, or contact

Anne Kauffmann

The French Pastry School

312.726.2419 ext.207


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Whole Foods Market - Halsted

3640 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60613
Phone: 773.472.0400

1:00 – 4:00 pm

1:00 – 1:30 pm Contestants’ time to set up cakes (no working on the premises is allowed)
1:30 pm   

Educational Seminar/Demonstration  (all are welcome)
Demonstration by Chef Mark Seaman of Marked for Dessert

Judging begins

3:00 pm Social Networking
4:00 pm Winners will be announced


Join us on April 17, 2010 for our Fifth Annual Student Cake Decorating Contest, hosted by Whole Foods Market. If you are a High School or College Culinary Student, try your hand at this exciting competition. This year's contest theme will be Avatar (the movie).

For our Educational Seminar/Demonstration we are proud to have a presentation by Chef Mark Seaman of Marked for Dessert and Chef Instructor at The French Pastry School. He will showcase an exciting and useful cake decorating technique that will compliment the theme of the competition.

All are welcome to attend the demonstration, RSVP to The first 20 entries will be accepted for the competition.

Entries to the competition are currently being accepted, details below. 

Rules and Regulations: 

  • Must present a 3-tiered dummy cake at the competition.
  • Cake must have a 6" cake dummy, 10" cake dummy and 12" cake dummy layers.  Tiers can be of any height.
  • The total dimensions of the cake (including decoration) and base can not exceed 16" w x 16"d x 22" h
  • The theme is Avatar (the movie). The cake presented must reflect the theme of the competition.
  • Pastry Chicago and Whole Foods are not responsible for any items left behind at the end of this event.

Registration Form:

  • Registration form must be received by Lindsay Koriath by the end of day on April 9, 2010. The first 20 entries will be accepted for the competition.
  • Download the Registration Form.


Should you have any questions contact us at:, 312.726.2419 ext.208. 

Event Sponsored by:


Pastry Chicago: Showcasing the Art of Pastry