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Chocolate Competition Today

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23 replies to this topic

#1 PastryLady

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 08:14 PM

Just thought I would share my pictures of the chocolate competition I was in today. One of Michael's assistants was in the masterpiece competition as well. My first competiton and I placed 2nd! It was a stressful day after I got lost getting to the venue and arrived with only about an hour and a half to set up, but so glad I did it. It was a nice step to challenge myself since I am a newbie to competitions. Hoping the link works! I have be awol from the computer for a bit this past week.
Debra Diller
"Sweet dreams are made of this" - Eurithmics

#2 bripastryguy

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 08:29 PM

Great Job Debra!!!!!!!!!
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
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Brian Fishman

#3 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 08:42 PM

Congratulations!

Would you tell us alittle more about the event? Where was it? How many people competed? Are all those photos your work? If not which ones were? Who did the judging? Was any thing prepared on site? What is the masterpiece compeitition and how is that different?

I hope you'll come back and share all the details and your personal feelings about this experience?

#4 cbarre02

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 08:44 PM

First and formost, congratulations deb... I have competed 3 times in this very same competition. It is a very stressful one, but at least the michigan winter was kind for travels this year.

Did baker win the student division?
Cory Barrett
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#5 Pan

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 08:53 PM

Do you know what criteria they used to judge the entries?

#6 cbarre02

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 08:57 PM

For the masterpiece catagory:

One chocolate centerpiece
One chocolate fondant covered cake
30 bon bons
5 plated dessets (identical to cake)
Cory Barrett
Pastry Chef

#7 PastryLady

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 09:31 PM

Baker College win? Nooooooo that would be sooooo predictable!

Yes, Baker College won the student masterpiece, but honestly I didn't take a picture of the other "showpiece" because it just looked bad to me. Picture a leaning, not enough buttercream underneath the fondant cake that was probably (my guess) 14 inches high and made to resemble a top hat I believe. The one that had the staircase saying "Amore" was the baker entry team. It was my first competition so I wanted to start out small and entered my Turtle ganache cheesecake in the competition. I actually posted a picture of me in the link for once, but I look so tired! Really, when I am out of the sausage chef wear clothing with atleast 6 hours sleep I take better pictures.

My thoughts (randomly of course, because what else is there on about 4 hours sleep):

I have all my items done, chocolate picture frame, hearts various non edible decorations, boxes for height and cloth. I redo my caramel for the plated dessert twice the night before, set all my stuff aside by the front door for the next day. I wake up at about 5:30 and start putting my samples in their papers with sable cutouts as fast as I can for just waking up. Take shower and try not to worry. Still thinking about the wedding cake I delivered the day before and if the m---f#@* ng martha stewart monogram fondant plaque stayed put (I have a picture of that too). Stressful weekend as it was my first time delivering a wedding cake besides the one I did in my class at school. I didn't stress over that one because that one didn't cost $500. Sorry tangent... Anyways, so I proceed to pack up my car, grab a makeshift breakfast and dash out the door. I am following the darn computer directions for this drive to Lansing which should have taken an hour and a half.... So I end up by the palace (large venue north of here where the pistons play) and I call my husband because the map says I need to drive for 36 miles and I wanted to make sure I was going those in the correct direction. Told him where I was and had to turn around, got turned around twice more and finally, yes, finally back on track. I probably called my husband 5 times this morning just to make sure. I am now frazzled. I am starting to freak out because it is 9am and setup started at 8:30. I have a near panic attack because I didn't remember packing my decorations, I packed the boxes, but thinking where the F---* are the decorations. Call husband once more, see if they are still in the living room and after tearing my back seat apart I find the decorations inside the bag with the box. Phew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Proceed to Lansing at 85mph praying no cops today! I get to the center, get checked in and there were 5 others that hadn't showed up still and it is now about 9:30.... Setup is over at 10:45. So I pull up to the loading dock and practically run all my stuff to my table. Meanwhile the 5 others show up all at the same time and one guy blocks my car in. ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I asked him if I could get out and parked please and yes, I am on my way to starting this thing! Too many details I guess. So I am plating up, setting up and proceed to make an ass of myself. I walk over to the micro to melt my chocolate. This guy comes over and asks if he could get into the microwave for 30 seconds. (Foot in mouth story coming) I am thinking look buddy, we are all here to have the same goal and I have just a minute left on the micro, can I have some f-* ng space please. I point to the other micro and say, "would you mind using that micro instead? He then says, well I really need to use the micro. Deb thinks.... who the hell are you and leave me be! So now I am pissed and I say, I will be out in just a minute you could use that micro that is available over there (pointing to micro 30 paces away). [Chef walks to micro finally] I know the chef's team heard all this (guy working on showpiece) so I kind of apologize to them and tell them that I am running behind and was sorry. So chocolate is now done melting, I can start to quickly temper it. Chef with chocolate bowl comes back over to micro and says to me, I need to use my micro as this bowl only fits in the one I brought. :huh: :huh: :huh: :huh: I felt like such a dumb ass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I apologized over and over as much as I could in 10 seconds running back to my table. I was using his micro that he brought and being an ass about it. So I get back to my table and have less than 20 minutes to finish. Realizing my support piece is a 1/2 # of chocolate I desperately head for the kitchen's walk in freezer and find some popsicles to properly support the piece for the frame. Run back to table, finish plated desserts, set up and decorations, clean up and go back for frame. Trying to prop it up on the top box was not working and I now have about 2 minutes to finish. Nothing like down to the wire right?! I am now saying the F word every two seconds as nothing is letting my frame stand. It was at the wrong angle and wasn't going to work. Last minute, I prop up the frame on one of the boxes, fix the decorations and put some caramel glue on the table cloth underneath my box so it wouldn't slide.
Talked with people and enjoyed myself from then on. Such a stress reliever after that. Didn't even care if I placed. I did it! After about two hours the judging was over, people were free of stress and talking like normal people again. Everyone was so nice and I apologized to the chef I hijacked his micro again. I got his picture with his gigantic showpiece and his assistants too to schmooze some more. I felt so bad, but getting over it now. They announced the awards and I couldn't hear very well with the large ballroom and the strange microphone. I was by my piece talking to my hubby and my mother in law who came to see my work and I and heard my name. Realizing I had won something I was trucking over to the other side of the ballroom as fast as I could. They called my name a few more times and I felt like a missing person. Finally I got up to the podium and they had medals! I felt like I was in the olympics or something. He put the silver medal over my head and I shook the hand of the president of Noel Chocolate (I believe) as he handed me a check for $50. Funny thing is I thought, "well, now I am out of chocolate after all this, there goes the $50". People were so nice who attended the show and said that I had to compete again (annual event) next year. I felt so alive at this point as I met so many new people and saw some nice familiar faces. I was glad to see other people's ideas too. The theme by the way was "Greatest Lovers in History" and basically Valentines themed. I do believe that in time I could do the masterpiece competition, but would need a pastry helper. Going to bed now after a looooooooooooooooong week! Guten Abend
Debra Diller
"Sweet dreams are made of this" - Eurithmics

#8 Rhea_S

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 11:08 AM

Congratulations! The chef and his assistant should have immediately told you why they needed that particular microwave. In any case, judging by their smiles in the your photos, no hurt feelings. It must be very gratifying to do so well in your first competition.

#9 Michael Laiskonis

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 01:17 PM

Nice job, Debra. Now I feel extra worse for casually chatting you up right at the end there, not knowing that you were at the height of your stress! Did you get to formally meet the chef with whom you had the 'incident'? He's Craig Lewkowitz, who just moved to the area a few months ago from New Jersey and competed in Vegas over the summer. Nice guy and nice work.

This was a learning experience for me, too. It is tough coaching an assistant, letting him run wild, all the while remembering that your own reputation is on the line as well. If anything, he learned alot in the process (both technical and organizational skills) and I'm proud that I was able to take him to the next level and steer him in certain directions. With his third place showing, I realize I've created a monster, as he is all too eager to continue competing!

For some background to the event, it is an annual show/competition held at Michigan State University's Kellogg Center. The driving force behind it is a local wholesale company, Great Lakes Gourmet. Cacao Noel was the primary sponsor. Judges included Philippe Laurier from Paris Gourmet, along with a handful of pastry chefs and pastry chef instructors. Proceeds from the event help fund the MSU Museum.
Michael Laiskonis
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New York
www.michael-laiskonis.com

#10 WorkinDood

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 02:52 PM

Glad you enjoyed the competition Debra. Congrats!! Tom Chaput has worked hard over the years with the Michigan State Museum Chocolate Party Benefit. In fact 15 years. It is now a well oiled machine. The staff for the Museum do a wonderful job. The good people at Paris Gourmet have been very generous as well.

Soon Tom Chaput is going to get himself registered here and I will let him give all the details. But if anyone has any questions in the meantime I will be glad to (try) answer them.

Also, as I have told Tanya you are welcome to have a copy of my pics of the competition. I don't have that many because I was the guy running the Demo room across the hall and I just didn't have the time.
Stephen Ring
Great Lakes Gourmet

#11 PastryLady

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 03:37 PM

Stephen, tell Tom he puts on a great show! The only problem people told me is that by the time the competitors put out their samples of the chocolate items they were so sick of chocolate that I only gave away 1/2 of the samples required. Many competitors said that this happens. People loved the show though and I will definately be there next year! I am going for a new category though probably.


I also have to say the best for Baker's entry because I felt that if it was entered in the main masterpiece competition it definately would have won. It was truly the best entry I felt! Even though on little sleep I crack jokes about it all I really thought they did a great job. :biggrin:

Edited by PastryLady, 18 March 2004 - 03:40 PM.

Debra Diller
"Sweet dreams are made of this" - Eurithmics

#12 aidensnd

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 05:49 PM

How did you mould the picture frame?

Thanks
Dan

#13 PastryLady

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 10:10 AM

I was in a bind for time meaning I only had less than 3 days to do it. (Had to work Friday and Saturday before). I bought a block of clay actually. I kind of free shaped the clay to about 1/2 inch thick and a bit wider than the frame. Then I laid out plastic wrap over the clay and lightly pressed at first into the frame. Pulling up the frame I realized that I needed to press harder so I put the sheet pan with clay down on the floor and pressed down as hard as I could. Literally. After pressing, I grabbed up the clay on the middle and the outsides so that the chocolate wouldn't spill out. This is what took the longest. I then lifted the frame out carefully not to lift any part of the plastic wrap. Brushed my mold with the color dust and tempered my chocolate. The only thing I should have done is do a tube of chocolate rather than making another mold of the kickstand for the frame, becuase it wouldn't stand how I put it up. Next time I would probably try to get a silicone mold a few weeks in advance, but sometimes the ideas come when you least expect it.
Debra Diller
"Sweet dreams are made of this" - Eurithmics

#14 Chocolate Guy

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 03:35 PM

:biggrin:
Debra:

Thank you for joining us at the competition and congratulations on the 2nd place entry. That is a wonderful feat for your first year.
The committee that puts this on meets year round and we have begun laying out next years competition.
I still am deciding on "regular competition categories" but this is a great place for people to get their "feet wet" in competition by entering this category. We are increasing the money to $200.00, $100.00, and $50.00 for the places along with the medals and opportunities for other prizes.

Of course, where the real money and prizes are at is in the Masterpiece, and rightly so, due to all the requirements. $1500.00, $750.00. $500.00 plus medals, trophys, round trip airline tickets, and many other monetary prizes.

I am still working on the Masterpiece but it will probably include chef's developing a recipe using the new Revolutionary New Product developed by Noel called "Noel Atomized Chocolate". This is not cocoa powder, but is powdered conched reduced fat (10-11%) chocolate without the BITTERNESS of cocoa powder, and can be used for most recipes by just adding it to any liquid. A wonderful product to use in hot, humid kitchens, since it won't break due to too much fat or not being in temper.
See www.parisgourmetusa.com for more information and as soon as it comes up hit the flashing bucket.

We are going to give Chef's Coats to those entering Masterpiece.

We are looking to increase participation of the culinary students, but need help.
Any suggestions in getting more culinary colleges competiing besides Baker College of Muskegon? If not I will have to drop this part of the competition. And this is the future of our industry.....

I expect to have the rules ready by Sept. 1. The competiton is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 27, 2005 at the Kellogg Center on the campus of Michigan State University.

A big thank you to all those who have competed, judged, or helped in any way over the past 15 years, and heres to number 16!
:biggrin:
Tom Chaput
President/Owner
Great Lakes Gourmet

#15 wes

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 07:44 PM

Very nice. Great work!

#16 Chocolate Guy

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 09:44 AM

:biggrin:

To add too my last post........

Our Theme for the 2005 Great Lakes Gourmet Regional Chocolate Competition at the MSU Museum Chocolate Party is "Out of Africa".

This will not have anything to do with the movie by the same name, but is revolving aroung the MSU Museum Exhibit that will be shown at the museum regarding artifact collections from Africa.

One of the MSU Museum staff woud be glad to give a tour of the artifacts when the exhibition is up.

Theme is not a judging criteria concerning the actual judging, but is a seperate $500.00 award and medal given by the Museum and judged by the Musem staff.

Contact me with any questions.

:cool:
Tom Chaput
President/Owner
Great Lakes Gourmet

#17 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 06:18 AM

I don't know maybe this is crazy........but have you advertised this to Chicago based culinary schools? I'm in that area and don't find the drive to MI bad at all. I supose students might have a hard time with transportation-yet the insentive to win something and be able to include that on a resume should entise a few, no?


I admire your company providing a compeitition like this!!!!! It's very cool, I wish you great success Chocolate Guy!

#18 Chocolate Guy

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 09:43 AM

:biggrin:

We haven't advertized to the Chicago Culinary Schools, but we do to all the Michigan schools.

I will take any addresses (e-mail would be great) to any school in the midwest region with a contact person to at least send them the information when it is available.

They can e-mail me at glg@voyager.net

Thanks

Edited by Chocolate Guy, 15 April 2004 - 09:44 AM.

Tom Chaput
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Great Lakes Gourmet

#19 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 05:58 PM

I need someones help here, isn't there a website specific to cooking schools? I'd swear I've seen it. I think that might be a good place to get alot of names, correct addresses and contact names from.

Theres several well known junior colleges that have culinary programs in Chi town, Kendall, C.h.i.c., E.C.C., who else? The Art Institute chain of schools now have culinary programs....theres one in Schaumburg, IL.

And the reknown French Pastry School should get you some interested students.

I'd make a phone call and talk dirrectly to an instructor/or similar so they verablly mention this in class and then send something 2d for them to post in their student lounge.

(unforunately I didn't do the culinary school route and my knowledge is limited on schools)

#20 Chocolate Guy

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 05:40 PM

:rolleyes:
Paris Gourmet has posted pictures of the competition on their web site at www.parisgourmetusa.com

Look around for the MSU Chocolate Competiton. :cool:
Tom Chaput
President/Owner
Great Lakes Gourmet

#21 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 06:29 AM

Chocolateguy your link didn't work (I wanted to take a look), any chance you could look at it again and adjust it so we can click on? Thanks!

#22 WorkinDood

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 06:37 AM

Wendy,

That link works. I just tested it. Maybe Philippe took it down to work on it for a bit while you tried to access it.

Here it is again... http://www.parisgourmetusa.com/

Click Next, Next, and you should be at the home page.

The Comp pics are on the right of the page...

Enjoy the Click Fest... ;)
Stephen Ring
Great Lakes Gourmet

#23 Chefs Son

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 11:51 AM

oy! MSU Chocolate Competiton... Hmmm Ive been there a couple of times :wink:

#24 Chocolate Guy

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 01:52 PM

Pastry Lady:

Are you going to be in the competition this year?

Please let me know soon. I want to get you in. I hope you are not breaking your back at the "Ritz".

Chocolate Guy :wacko: :wacko: :wacko: :wacko:
Tom Chaput
President/Owner
Great Lakes Gourmet





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