ICE Chef Instructor Michelle Tampakis just returned from the first ever Pastry Live weekend in Atlanta, GA. Pastry chefs from all over the world gathered together to celebrate their art and craft. The three-day conference was packed with appearances from some of the world’s most accomplished pastry chefs in seminars and competitions.

Chef Michelle was a judge for The National Showpiece Championship. To qualify for the competition, each team leader must have received either a medal or best in show at a major pastry competition, making it truly a competition for the best of the best. Teams were given six hours to prepare their entries. But unlike other competitions, the chefs could only use the resources given to them, leveling the playing field for chefs who may not have access to the same costly supplies and equipment of other chefs. By reducing the financial burden on the chefs, the event was a unique opportunity for amazing pastry chefs to demonstrate their skills and highlight their creativity.

Besides Chef Michelle, the other judges included ICE alum and James Beard Award winner Stephen Durfee, Vincent Pilon and Stephane Treand. The competitors included Andy Chlebana, Tracy DeWitt, Heather Hurlbert, Yoni Mora and Jim Mullaney. In the end, the title went to Andy Chlebana and partner Nancy Carey.

In addition to the showpiece competition, Pastry Live also included a Chocolatier of the Year Competition, Art of Cake Challenge and Student Chocolate Challenge. The weekend also included seminars from world-class pastry chefs (some of whom teach in ICE’s Center for Advanced Pastry Studies (CAPS) program). It was an incredible collection of pastry talent and we are proud that Chef Michelle got a chance to be a part of it.

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