The Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition Tests Top U.S. Pastry Chefs


The Emmy award-winning Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition released the second episode of Season Two: National Chefs February 19. The episode, named “Gelato Challenge,” follows the four pastry chef finalists into the kitchen as they blend, mix, aerate, chop, combine, and create colorful and inventive gelato desserts. This episode can be viewed at

Chef Melissa Coppel of Jean-Marie Auboine Chocolatier in Las Vegas; Chef Chris Ford of Wit & Wisdom in Baltimore; Chef Thomas Raquel of Acadia Restaurant in Chicago; and Chef Philip Speer of Uchi Restaurant in Austin must use the ingredients that they selected in episode one during this gelato challenge. The ingredients include products from:

  • Nielsen-Massey Vanillas produces the world’s finest vanilla and pure flavor products.
  • Capfruit Puree specializes in the transformation of fruit, offering a wide range of top-quality products.
  • PreGel AMERICA is the largest manufacturer and distributor of ingredients for gelato, sorbetto, frozen yogurt, semifreddo, pastries, and more. 
  • in2foods is the exclusive U.S. importer of Europe’s premium chocolate brands including Dobla, Chocovic, and Pruvé.

“To produce a creative and equally tasty dish, the finalists needed to think outside of the box and use each ingredient to its full potential,” says executive pastry chef Jimmy MacMillan, founder of the Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition. “Chefs Melissa Coppel and Philip Speer go above and beyond by unleashing liquid nitrogen into the kitchen.”

In this single day event, the chefs made and presented their gelato creations as well as eight servings of an original, creative, plated dessert to judges Della Gossett from The French Pastry School, Dana Cree of Blackbird restaurant, and Curtis Duffy of Grace restaurant. In this episode, the judges taste each gelato dessert and discuss the chef’s use of ingredients and their creativity with the challenge.

Season two of The Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition includes a trailer and four episodes. A new episode will be released each month and the winner of the competition will be announced in April. Episode one, “Meet the Chefs,” can be viewed online at:

Follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #CRPC2.

The Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition is an Emmy award-winning pastry chef competition that is aired in a series of online videos. The single day competition asks four chef finalists to make eight plates of an original, unique, plated dessert and compete in a challenge. The winner is the chef that offers the most creative and palate pleasing desserts. All episodes of The Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition are filmed at The Chicago School of Mold Making’s creative center.

The Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition has received a number of accolades for its content and film style, including a Chicago Midwest Emmy, Telly Award, two Communicator Awards, and two Hermes Awards. The competition would not be possible without its brand of distinction sponsors including Capfruit, Chicago School of Mold Making, Frigomat, in2food, Nielsen-Massey, PreGel America, Steelite International, Thermo Hauser, and Waring Commercial.

JMPurePastry, the Executive Producers of the series, are a Chicago-based pastry solutions group specializing in high quality, well designed products for the restaurant, baking, and hospitality industry. 


News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.

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