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January 21, 2014

Wholesome Sweeteners Debuts In First Episode of Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition

Emmy-award-winning competition raises the bar with world-class talent

Sugar Land, TX (January 21, 2014) – The highly anticipated debut episode of Season Three of the Emmy-award-winning Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition (CRPC) is now available. Episode One went live on Monday, January 20, 2014 at midnight CST and can be viewed below or at



The episode, titled “Third Time’s the Charm” in a nod to the third season of the competition, introduces the four chef contestants, who are four of the world’s best pastry chefs, and chronicles them creating and competing in an Artisan Gelato Milkshake challenge. Requirements included using Wholesome Sweeteners organic sugars among other special ingredients. 

“In this first episode, you’ll see the intensity and level of competitiveness of the contestants,” says event organizer and 2013Dessert Professional’s Top Ten Pastry Chef Jimmy MacMillan. “Our four chef contestants showed up early, were on at their stations, and were ready for war. In the end, they created four unique, elevated and visually stunning milkshakes that really showcased their individual talents, style and techniques. There’s a higher level of talent this year, and it shows through right from the start in Episode One.”

An unlikely focus for a pastry competition, MacMillan decided to add a milkshake challenge to push the boundaries of pastry arts. “Why not do a milkshake?” he said. “It brings us back to that childhood memory in mom’s kitchen or having one with your grandmother. We want to bring milkshakes forward by having these high-level chefs reimagine a milkshake.”

Chef finalists created their own take on a sophisticated and innovative milkshake, including:

Michaela Hapak of Splendido Restaurant in Toronto, Ontario

Bedrock Pop Milkshake

“The milkshake needs to be kind of like a plated dessert with technical and flavor components. It has to be interesting and different. I used layers of lemon curd, lemon arabeschi and thyme streusel,” said Hapak.

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

The Mountain of All Milkshakes

“We’re using really, really fine ingredients. I wanted to show a milkshake really can be a dessert while elevating it. I wanted to stay a little bit true to a classic milkshake, because what I want is a chocolate malt. It’s based on a traditional French dessert called Mont Blanc with chestnuts, vanilla and rum,” said Galus.

Jim Hutchison of Winvian Relais & Chateaux in Morris, Connecticut

Forrest Berry Milkshake

“It was a surprise when I found out we had to make a milkshake. My desserts are not sweet but rather are delicate, so I wanted to keep that. I included olive oil sponge cake and crispy milk Japonaise,” said Hutchison.

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

White Chocolate Yogurt Gelato 

“When I think of a milkshake, I think of eating a burger and fries, and I wanted to take that away. You have to build layers and textures. I used lemongrass, sour cherries, shiso and mascarpone foam,” said Pera.

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.

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.  Other episode release dates are: 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 eight plates of an original, unique, plated dessert and compete in two mystery challenges. The 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, and the video series has received more than 40,000 views worldwide.

JMPurePastry, the Executive Producer 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.