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March 18, 2014

Contestants Step Up To The Plate in Episode Three of Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition

Emmy-award-winning competition releases new episode online

Sugar Land, TX (March 18, 2014)– The third episode of Season Three of the Emmy-award-winning Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition (CRPC) is now available and Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Sugars and Honeys make an appearance. Episode Three went live on Monday, March 17, 2014 at midnight CST and can be viewed below or at

The episode, titled “Signature Plated Desserts,” follows the four pastry chef contestants, selected from among the world’s top pastry chefs. Chefs were given approximately five hours to prepare eight portions of their creative, original plated dessert.

Upping the ante in this episode, chefs were required to use the colorful Craft textured plates and were not told of the plate’s shape or color in advance. Four plate styles were available, and once selected, no other chef contestant could choose that plate. For this challenge, ingredient and appliance requirements included utilizing Wholesome Sweeteners Organic sugars and Honey.

“Because this is the last challenge in the competition, we wanted to change it up and give the contestants something that would really make them step up to the plate. We increased the difficulty of the challenge with the colorful plates in different shapes, which surprised them. A plate is a chef’s canvas, particularly for pastry chefs and affects the flow of items on the plate. They had to quickly think on their feet and adapt for the challenge,” said event organizer and Dessert Professional Top Ten Pastry Chef Jimmy MacMillan.

“Total curveball,” said chef finalist Meg Galus. “I had no idea that there was going to be color on the plates. It hadn’t even crossed my mind that we might have colored plates. I was thinking about all types of little, wacky shapes, and little divvies−all sorts of crazy stuff, but never ever considered color.”

Chef finalists created four unique signature plated desserts, including:

Meg Galus of NoMi Restaurant at Park Hyatt Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
Late Summer Plums

“I wanted to create something with plums. I feel like plums sort of get a bad rap. People either throw them into pies, or opt for peaches, and I really love plums. So I wanted to do a dessert that really gave the plum something to be the focus of and have lots of little bursts of flavors that really surround the plum. I made a fromage blanc mousse with hibiscus poached plums, St. Germaine plum sorbet, and a tonka bean cake.”

Sean Pera of The Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary, North Carolina
Farm Field

“The idea behind the dessert is looking beyond what you would expect to find at a farm, and really digging into the earth, to the terroir. There’s an edible kaolin chip, an edible egg shell, and the pot de crème base is toasted hay. There’s a crumble of salted sunflower seed, a golden beet cake, sweetened goat cheese sorbet, vinegar meringue, poached saffron pears, and the little baby carrots are glazed petite yellow carrot tips.”

Jim Hutchison of Winvian Relais & Chateaux in Morris, Connecticut
Vanilla Miso Bavaroise

“The main component is a Miso Vanilla Bavaroise, accompanied by hot carrot cremeux. There’s a citrus anise curd, a sake gelee coin, some buckwheat cake, and more flavors of anise on the plate. I’ve smoked some pecans and made a smoked pecan praline paste and made smoked pecan praline ice cream. There are also some candied pecans on there as well.”

Michaela Hapak of Splendido Restaurant in Toronto, Ontario
The Nutty North

“Here we have the Nutty North. The bottom layer is a hazelnut financier with a hazelnut panna cotta with a verjus and himrod grape jelly on top. The himrod grapes are from British Columbia so I’ve included them on top as well. They’re fresh and slightly roasted. There’s also a hazelnut caraway streusel, rehydrated vanilla sultanas, toasted hazelnuts, and shaved nuts, and you have a spruce ice cream”.

This year’s celebrity judges are superlative Pastry Chef Antonio Bachour from St. Regis Bal Harbour in Miami, Curtis Duffy from acclaimed restaurant Grace in Chicago, and avant garde globe-trotter Will Goldfarb representing Ku De Ta in Bali.

Signature Plated Desserts are scored based on taste, use of ingredients, dessert concept, originality, presentation, cleanliness, and composition (plating). The judges are looking for fresh, exciting and stimulating dessert ideas and concepts.

The competition is a weekend long event featuring three pastry challenges that was filmed live in September 2013 at The Chicago School of Mold Making’s creative center in Oak Park, Ill. Dubbed CRPC3 “International,” this season is the first year the competition was open to chefs from around the world.

The CRPC Season Three includes four episodes. A new episode will be released each month on, and the winner of the competition will be announced in April 2014. Episode release dates are: January 20, February 17, March 17 and April 21.

For more information:
For interviews with Jimmy MacMillan, competitors, or for more information and updates on the Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition, visit or contact Kathryn Kjarsgaard at or 708/434-5006.

About The Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition
The Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition (CRPC) is a two-time Emmy award-winning pastry competition that is aired in a series of online videos. The competition asks four chef finalists to make an original, unique, plated dessert and compete in two mystery challenges. All episodes of the Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition are filmed at The Chicago School of Mold Making’s creative center in Oak Park, Ill.

The Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition has received a number of accolades for its content and film style, including two Chicago Midwest Emmy Awards, a Telly Award, two Communicator Awards and two Hermes Awards. The videos were nominated for a 2013 James Beard Media Award. The video series has received over 50,000 views worldwide.

JMPurePastry, the Executive Producers of the series, is a Chicago-based pastry solutions group specializing in high quality, well-designed media products for the restaurant, baking and hospitality industry.

About Wholesome Sweeteners
Wholesome Sweeteners is the nation’s leader in Fair Trade Certified, Organic, Non-GMO Verified, and sustainably produced sugars, syrups, nectars and honeys. Founded in 2001 in Sugar Land, Texas, Wholesome Sweeteners’ mission is to bring sweet, joyous moments to every delicious occasion and to leave the planet better than we found it. Fair Trade means that farmers can buy land, send their kids to school, and build thriving communities. Premiums paid by Wholesome Sweeteners have helped bring clean water, electricity, schools and health care facilities to villages in Malawi, Mexico, Brazil, and Paraguay.