Article: A Dash of Disturbing, a Smidge of Fright, and Just the Right Touch of Fun! | The French Pastry School

Article: A Dash of Disturbing, a Smidge of Fright, and Just the Right Touch of Fun!

A Dash of Disturbing, a Smidge of Fright, and Just the Right Touch of Fun!
The French Pastry School |
November 1, 2014

Pastry Chicago's 8th Annual Haunted Cupcake Competition 2014

Pastry Chicago’s 8th Annual Amateur Haunted Cupcake competition was held on October 24, 2014, at Esperanza Community Services, a nonprofit organization that helps children and adults with developmental disabilities be independent. This year's competition was all about decoration and 40 contestants used a variety of techniques to create visually haunting, whimsical, or scary cupcakes. Participants from Esperanza Community Services also got in on the fun as a way to build their skills and make meaningful connections. In addition to helping as greeters, baristas, emcees, and assistant servers, they put together three baking teams who created cupcakes for the event.

While the cupcakes were being evaluated by a panel of professional judges, Chef Nicole Bujewski, Chef Instructor of The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College at City Colleges of Chicago, demonstrated several techniques perfect for decorating Halloween cupcakes and beyond. The panel of judges included Memo Aguilar, Pastry Chef at Vanille Patisserie; Evan Bockenfeld, Manager at Magnolia Bakery; Angela Kelly, Management Recruiter at Mariano's Fresh Market; Elysia Root, Owner/Pastry Chef at Elysia Root Cakes; Kathy Summers, Executive Director of the Illinois Restaurant Association; and Joely Vargas, Production Manager at Magnolia Bakery.

Attendees enjoyed no tricks and lots of treats. Adam Snow of Beans and Bagels provided coffee for the event. Chef Don Zajac, Executive Chef at Cress Creek Country Club, served up mouthwatering sliders and appetizers, and Chef Will Hastert, Executive Chef at Odyssey Country Club, presented an exquisite hors d'oeuvre. Halloween-themed mini cupcakes were prepared and shared by The French Pastry School.

Prizes for the top five winners were provided by KitchenAid, Plugrá European Style Butter, and Nielsen-Massey Vanillas. The winner, Takelya Weathers, took home a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, a gift basket from Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, and an apron and coupons from Plugrá European Style Butter for her ghoulish-looking cupcakes. Second place went to Mariana Jordan for her cupcakes with a whimsical, witch's hat-wearing octopus sitting atop a pumpkin. Clare Studwell won third place for her Day of the Dead themed cupcakes. Fourth place went to Cindy Negard and her spooky owl cupcakes. Judy Trieu won fifth place for her cupcakes decorated like a fantastical witch's brew.

Pastry Chicago’s next event will be the 4th Annual Amateur Brownie Competition at Alliance Paper & FoodService Equipment, Chicagoland’s iconic kitchen supply store, in Lombard, Illinois. On November 8, amateur and student contestants will get a chance to see a demonstration by Chef Patrice Caillot from The French Pastry School and to submit their version of chocolate brownies for a chance to win great prizes. For more information on future Pastry Chicago events, please visit

Make sure to check out more photos from the event on The French Pastry School Facebook page