Cirque Du Soleil Design Determines Pastry Chef of the Year

Here at the Javits Center, in the heart of New York City, a three-day international food show is underway.

Besides hosting restaurant and food suppliers from around the world, the show presents a number of culinary shows and competitions.

One of them is the 22nd Annual U.S. pastry competition. It allows leading pastry chefs to demonstrate their talents. The selected, rising stars of the pastry world are competing to win the title "Pastry Chef of the Year."

This year's theme is Cirque du Soleil.

These are all highly technical sugar and chocolate pieces … and they're edible.

[Dominique Noel, Vice President of Paris Gourmet]:

“And the theme was chosen as being Cirque Du Soleil this year because it brings color, movement, and excitement to the cakes.”

The 15 finalists from all over the United States are judged and marked on technique, design and taste.

[Dominique Noel, Vice President of Paris Gourmet]:

“A very important part of the competitions is also, it is not only the piece itself, but also the tasting, so we have a group of judges who will taste the cake, and we have another group of judges, who will look at the technical aspect of this. On these pieces that you see here, everything is edible: made of chocolate or it’s made of sugar, but everything has to be edible. And there is no support, no metal parts in them, nothing like that.”

We caught up with a renowned New York pastry chef.

[Pichet Ong, Renowned New York Pastry Chef]:

“This pieces like this require so much skill and so much expertise, and patience to be able to do them. And they all look very different. I particularly love this one, because it has got a very organic and very different look to it, for the sugar pieces among the ones I have seen today or every year when I come to these shows.”

The winner will get a silver plate and a check for $4,000.

[Pichet Ong, Renown New York Pastry Chef]:

“The piece may take 10, 12 hours, but then probably add another 10 years of practice to make them. And for somebody who can make or do a sugar piece that makes it to the show, years and years of practice.”

This year’s title "Pastry Chef of the Year" goes to Marcio Cossio, a chef from the MGM Hotel Las Vegas.

[Marco Cossio, Winner of Pastry Competition]:

“I think the most difficult part to do will be the wings, the dragon wings, because it is pure sugar, there is no mold, you just have to do it by hand, and pull it out.”

Marcio has been a pastry chef for 18 years.

[Marco Cossio, Winner of Pastry Competition]:

“It’s a good feeling, it’s great, it feels good to be the Pastry Chef of the Year, I have been wanting this for a little while, so it finally happened.”

Next year’s theme for the International Food Show was announced, so we'll see you then for a look at "Earth, Wind, Water and Fire."

NTD News, Manhattan, New York