pastry profiles

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Pastry Profiles Storejiyeon designer chef bags

* Email
* First Name
* Last Name
* Country
* = Required Field


The Pastry Profiles Blog

Competition Corner

Chef Interviews



Photo Galleries

News Stories




 Subscribe to
The Pastry Profiles Newsletter


                               Sugar Art Casting Challenge


See the The Sugar Art Casting Challenge Promo

Got an appetite for art? Let Art Institute DC show you how to develop your creativity

jared Danks Casting Sugarnatasha Capper Casting Sugar













3rd Place showpiece by Jared Danks          2nd place showpiece by Natasha Capper

Photos by Anekapol Rasmidatta

Professional Division: 1st Place Heather Hurlbert,2nd Place Natasha Capper, 3rd Place Jared Danks

Student Division: 1st Place Herlina Kwee 2nd Place Victoria McKinley  3rd Place LaShunta Shallowford

      On Saturday and Sunday, November 9 & 10, there was “sugar in the air” in Kitchens 500 and 558 at the Art Institute in Atlanta. This was the second year the school has hosted this awe-inspiring event in conjunction with the Chicago School of Mold Making. Six student competitors displayed their creative talents on Saturday
Herlina Kwee's First Place showpiece in the students division by building a Zodiac themed showpiece. With a minimum height requirement of 30 inches, the sugar (isomalt) was cast, pulled and blown into galaxies, scorpions, fish, elements, planets and crabs. Colors were bright, bold, lustrous and beautiful. Tough lessons learned were minimal as piece breakage was limited to one competitor and she Jared Danks pouring isomaltwas able to work through it well enough to earn a place in both judging tracts. The judges for this segment were: Chef Robert Epskamp, Instructor from Johnson & Wales Culinary School in Charlotte, NC, Chef John Oeschner, Instructor from the International Culinary School at the Art Institute, Atlanta and Christian Balbierer, from Chocolate Pink bakery in Atlanta. The judging was delineated into Judge’s Choice and Competitor’s Choice with the winners receiving gift certificates for molds from the Chicago School of Mold Making. The following people particularly wowed the judges: First Place: Herlina Kwee Second Place: Victoria McKinley Third Place: LaShunta Langford A new twist this year was to add a competitors choice award, which allowed the competitors to choose their favorites for whatever reason they choose to do so. They had definite favorites as they selected: Jared Danks casting into silicone molds First Place: LaShunta Langford and her Fish in the Ocean Second Place: Victoria McKinley and her zodiac symbols of the crab and fish On Sunday, five professional chefs wowed everyone with their inspiring skill and creations of breathtaking beauty based on the Zodiac Theme. Their minimum height requirement of 40 inches had some standing on stools to complete as they were assisted by the students who had competed herlina kwee winning sugar showpieceon Saturday. These chefs also utilized pulling, blowing and casting with isomalt while some also incorporated accent pieces made of pastillage. The judges who had the challenging job of determining a winner in this segment were: Pastry Chef Susan Notter, Chef Robert Epskamp, of Johnson & Wales, NC and Chef James Satterwhite of The Ritz Carlton Buckhead , Atlanta. The First Place prize was over $2000 worth of molds from the Chicago School of Mold Making. The recipients were: First Place: Heather Hurlbert Second Place:Natasha Capper Third Place: Jared Danks Competitors Choice Award : First Place: Heather Hurlbert 2nd Place: TIE Natasha Capper and Jared Danks written by Elisabeth Walker

      What do you get when you combine the sugar from beets, a blowtorch, high heat, and an artist’s skilled hands? A Sugar Showpiece. On a cool Saturday afternoon while colorful autumn leaves were falling, six contestants were creating magic on the 5th floor at the International Culinary School. Michael Joy of the Chicago School of Mold Making was in Atlanta to conduct a Sugar Art Casting Challenge and to promote the innovative use of artisan silicone molds. The Saturday competition consisted of six culinary students .On Sunday six of the top pastry chefs in the Southeast competed. Chef Paul Bodrogi from the culinary school was the competition coordinator and instructor for the students. Competitors spent weeks in preparation, drawing templates, and practicing the fine art of sugar casting, all for a chance to become the best at the unique talent and craft that few pastry chefs can master. Sugar was colored, poured, blown, pulled, molded, and sometimes combined with pastillage. One competitor, Tori McKinley, flew in from Oxford, Mississippi the night before the competition. She decided not to bring her blowtorch through Atlanta security. How do you describe sugar casting to airline security, or anyone for that matter? Perhaps you could say it incorporates the precision of a watchmaker with the artistry of a glass blower. If you breathe too deeply, the blowtorch might burn the sugar; if you sneeze, the sculpture might shatter like an icicle. During the first day of competition, students intricately created their sculptures representing the Zodiac, while challenged to creatively use only the molds they were provided. Mr. Joy, who is a pioneer in mold making, shared his vision of artistic cooking:”I believe that a successful sculpture is one that can captivate both a child and an adult simultaneously”. The mood in the room during the competition was intense. Judges hovered over the competitors with detailed grading sheets and a critical eye. As they shouted out time warnings, the tension and sense of urgency mounted. With five minutes left, one student bumped her sculpture and a crack ran through the base. Would the crack stop or fracture the entire base?Ê What happened in a millisecond jeopardized hours of concentrated effort. The judge shook his head slightly and whispered softly, too bad. But it wasn’t over! The crack stopped and like a seasoned competitor, the student grabbed a piece of sugar sitting like a melted lollipop under the heat lamp. She stretched itinto a curled ribbon and placed it over the crack. Finally, after 4 hours, the student competitors could stand back, and admire their creations. They held their breath while the judges graded their work before announcing the winner. With little time for Victoria McKinley attaching sugarcelebration, the students were back assisting the professionals the next morning. The professionals competed on Sunday, constructing elaborate pieces that were both exquisite and fragile. From blowing sugar into the shape of a lovely fish, to building a violin bow from a striped ribbon, the professional sugar casters created amazing works of art. Onlookers marveled at the spectacle. For two days the audience was mesmerized watching the magic unfold. At first they saw only a pot of isomalt, then a melted liquid, and four hours later they watched the construction of an artistic piece worthy of the Museum of Modern Art. For all who experienced the event, it was a visual feast of sweet masterpieces. Written by Ellen Anderson




Victoria McKinley assembling sugar













Privacy Policy /Contact Us