Vincent Attali reached the third and last day of the AUI Pastry Cup along with Joel Gonzalez (2nd) and Guillermo Magana (3rd), to then surpass them and achieve the final victory. 10,000 euros prize money distributed and high-level creations is the outcome of the first edition of this initiative by Albert Ulster Fine Foods, which had a total of 12 finalists and a jury chaired by Antonio Bachour.
Maximum level and requirement starting with the selection of the finalists. According to Antonio Bachour, the organization received 80 applications to participate, of which 12 finalists from some of the best kitchens in the country were selected. As was expected, the competition started at a very high level. Held behind closed doors in a thoroughly equipped kitchen, the 12 contestants were required to develop a proposal for pre desserts over three hours. Six contestants were eliminated here.
The next day and for three more hours, the competition became a test of the ability of the remaining six finalists on plated desserts, which had to be as close as possible to the one presented in the admission process of the competition. Once again the jury made up of Orlando Santos (MGM Grand in Detroit), Christophe Elbow (Elbow Chocolates) and Ewald Notter (Notter School), plus Bachour as president, evaluated their points so that the three cited finalists remained. The criteria used were workmanship, appearance, flavor, texture, degree of difficulty, innovative technique, and use of the featured ingredient INTI COCOA.
Maximum excitement on a final day that lasted up to six hours of competition for the three chosen to present their buffets composed of two different bonbons and an entremet.
The balance of this first edition by the organization and the jury could not be more positive. Because of this they are already looking forward to a second edition with the enthusiasm of a job well-done of the first edition and to match or exceed the expectations generated. Soon we will get to know the talent of the winner, Vincent Attali, in more detail since in addition to winning several awards, he will be included in the next issue of So Good with unpublished creations.
The 12 finalists
- Vincent Attali, Pastry chef at Mourad (San Francisco CA), 1st place
- Joel Gonzalez, Executive Pastry Chef at JW Marriott Desert Ridge (Phoenix AR), 2nd place
- Guillermo Magana, Pastry Chef de partie at Phoenician Resort and Hotel (Scottsdale, AZ), 3rd place
- Erin Reed, Executive Pastry Chef at DBGB DC (Washington, DC) (2nd day)
- Giane Cavaliere, Pastry Chef at Restaurant Volt (Frederick, MD) (2nd day)
- Cori Schlemmer, Pastry sous chef at L’Auberge Casino Resort (Lake Charles, LA) (2nd day)
- Corey Thomson, Executive Pastry Chef at Ritz Carlton Dallas (Dallas, TX) (1st day)
- Nina Firulli, Pastry Chef at Tallulah on Thames (Newport, RI) (1st day)
- Alex Weissenfluh, Pastry Chef at Marsh Bistro Marsh (Kennebunk, ME) (1st day)
- Eric Kalaboke, Executive Pastry Chef at Le Bilboquet (New York, NY) (1st day)
- David Collier, Executive Pastry Chef at Park Hyatt DC (Washington, DC) (1st day)
- Keith Wallace, Executive Pastry Chef at Gurneys Montauk (Montauk, NY) (1st day)