Top Chef Grand Tasting Event

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May 10, 2014 by Cinfuldelights

Instead of doing my normal blog post, I decided that I would do this entry more like a journal entry, cataloging each day as it went by to help you be there along with me.

Wednesday: Alright, the event is sold out, 400 tickets have been sold, which means I need to create around 600 pieces for guests to enjoy in 1 or 2 bites. I have until Sunday when my desserts will be tasted and voted on by everyone in attendance. But what to make? What could I make that would not only capture the essence of the beers and wines being sampled but also who I am as a chef? I love working with port wines since it is a strong but not overpowering taste that can be paired well with many types of desserts, especially anything with chocolate. I decided to go with a traditional New York cheesecake swirled with port wine as well as a Devil’s Food cupcake with chopped port wine soaked cherries, topped with a port wine ganache.

Friday: Shopping day! Also crunch time, lots to do. After doing some research, I found that Hope Hospice, the benefactor of the event, uses a butterfly as their symbol. And what better way to top 400 cupcakes than with butterflies in every color of the rainbow. However, seeing as how each butterfly was handmade, this had to be started immediately, as well as getting the cupcakes rolling. After about 100 butterflies, I quickly knocked out 350 cupcakes before calling it a night. Also, the ganache wasn’t working out so it was switched to a port wine chocolate buttercream.

Saturday: Time to make some cheesecakes. After trying a few different recipes, I settled on one that tasted and looked the best. After 260 of those were made, all swirled with port wine, I decided to top them with a lemon scented whipped cream.

Sunday: Event Day!! Super excited to be getting my name out there and serving up some awesome tasty treat, however totally bummed they aren’t judging desserts. People still wrote in my name in anyway which is cool, but the general experience, I hope, is going to pay off big time.
Going forward there are a few more competitions coming up, including the Alameda County Fair, where I get to compete on a professional level. Also, I will be competing in the Iron Chef competition a the California State Fair later in the summer. All in all, it was super busy and stressful getting all of it pulled together, but man, was it a good time.

mercedes event

Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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