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Chicago pastry chef brings home the gold

October 10, 2008 12:32:12 PM PDT
While the world's top athletes were in Beijing over the summer, some of the world's top pastry chefs were holding their own Olympics.

The World Pastry Championship featured teams from all over the globe, and guess who took home the gold? Team USA.

The championships were held in Nashville over Labor Day weekend. Team USA beat out eight other countries for the gold, capturing titles of "Best Sugar Showpiece" and "Best Chocolate Bonbons" among others.

One of the winning team's members is a Chicagoan who has his own pastry shop in Lincoln Park. Dimitri Fayard recently showed ABC7 Chicago's Hungry Hound how he assembled one of his award-winning creations.

Fayard won top honors at the Amoretti World Pastry Championship in Nashville after completing a grueling task.

"Three identical eight-inch cakes, three identical frozen cakes, three different small pastries,13 of each, and 14 identical plated desserts," he said.

Fayard's regular job is pastry chef and owner of Vanille Patisserie in Lincoln Park, where the signs of his big win are everywhere. He took food reporter Steve Dolinsky through the steps of one of his "small pastry" entries, called 'emotione chocolate.'

The chef begins by piping chocolate hazelnut into a ring mold. A disc of chocolate sponge cake is placed in the center, and then more chocolate hazelnut mousse is piped over the top and evened out with an offset spatula.

After refrigeration, he begins to decorate. He pipes small amounts of milk chocolate mousse around the top and center. He then removes a thin, chocolate disk, and places it on top. Then, round two of the milk chocolate mousse, and another thin, chocolate disk to cover. Finally, a few tiny dollops of mousse in the center. And he dips hazelnut crunch into melted chocolate, placing q sweet little nugget into the center of the mousse. He paints chocolate "leaves" with edible gold, and finishes the dessert off by garnishing with that chocolate leaf.

Imagine, 13 hours over two days, competing against the best pastry chefs in the world. Fayard says he's happy about the win, but from now on, he'll stick to making edible masterpieces for his customers in Chicago.

"All day you worked, and you're stressed, and muscles are tense, and you work on the table. You're bent all day, and as soon as it's done, you get emptied out," Fayard said.

Japan took home the silver, and Switzerland got the bronze. Incidentally, Dimitri Fayard also took home top honors for "Best Degustation," which means best overall taste.

Vanille Patisserie

2229 N. Clybourn Ave.

773-868-4574


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