Press release: DOZENS OF CLASSIC AND CREATIVE COOKIES ON DISPLAY AT MARIANO’S | The French Pastry School

Press release: DOZENS OF CLASSIC AND CREATIVE COOKIES ON DISPLAY AT MARIANO’S

DOZENS OF CLASSIC AND CREATIVE COOKIES ON DISPLAY AT MARIANO’S
The French Pastry School |
June 14, 2013
Pastry Chicago’s Cookie Competition Inspires Pastry Enthusiasts to Test New Recipes

Chicago, Illinois (June 12, 2013) – If you give pastry enthusiasts a cookie competition, they’re going to need more than just a glass of milk.  The over twenty competitor’s at Pastry Chicago’s Sixth Annual Student/Amateur Cookie Competition used California Raisins, Plugrá Butter, King Arthur Flour, and Nielsen-Massey Vanilla to create unique cookies and compete for prizes from KitchenAid.  From traditional oatmeal-raisin to chocolate-enrobed ice cream sandwiches, not one of the cookies that were displayed throughout Mariano’s Fresh Market was alike.  Chef Joshua Johnson of The French Pastry of Kennedy-King College at City Colleges of Chicago also took the opportunity to experiment with one of his favorite recipes and teach the guests the science of cookie baking.


Chef Johnson is a National Pastry Champion who has experience in making award-winning French pastries and stunning chocolate showpieces, but he still has a special place in his heart for chocolate chip cookies.  His recipe for California Raisin, Milk Chocolate and Pecan Cookies was straightforward but hit the perfect balance of chewy, crisp, gooey, and chewy.  Chef Johnson taught the guests that making the best cookies depends on using top quality ingredients with the correct technique.  Each ingredient has a role that must be respected to get consistent, delicious results.

As the demonstration was in full-swing, the professional chef judges tasted and evaluated all of the different cookies: the most important aspect of this competition was taste, followed by texture, presentation, originality, and professionalism.  The panel included Jared Anderson of Mariano’s Fresh Market; Ariel Bagadiong of The Dana Hotel; Erin Brew of Fairmont Hotel – Millennium Park; Craig Harzewski of Naha Restaurant; Andrea Katavic of Miller & Stryker Associates; and Siddharth Mangalore of Kendall College.  They each had a chance to introduce their recipes and the process behind creating them to the audience before the winners were announced.

Stephanie Katz won First Place and a KitchenAid Mixer with her Maple Raisin Swirl Cookies, a cookie-dough homage to cinnamon buns.  Richard Gricius’s Cardamom Raisin Pinwheels took home the Second Prize, a KitchenAid Food Processor.  Bianca Huerta, the Third Place winner, re-interpreted her favorite chocolate candy as a cookie and called it “The Wrinkly Turtle.”  Chris Riesbeck won Fourth Place with what he called “Older Kids’ Raisin Cognac Ice Cream Cookie” – a cinnamon cookie topped with boozy ice cream and covered in cayenne-spiced chocolate.  Fifth Place was awarded to Tammy Lai and her Spiced Raisin-Cream Cheese Cookies.

Pastry Chicago’s next event will be their Ice Cream Social with Nielsen-Massey Vanillas along the Chicago Sheraton’s River Walk.  The social will take place on the evening of Friday, July 26th and will feature local ice cream vendors, music, and fun activities.  The next competition will be the Sixth Annual Pie Competition on September 7th at Chicago’s Green City Market.  Amateur and student contestants will get a chance to see a demonstration by World Pastry Champion, Chef Patrice Caillot of The French Pastry School, and submit their favorite pie recipes featuring Green City Market Produce for a chance to win great prizes.  For recipes from this month’s winners and more information on future Pastry Chicago events, please visit www.pastrychicago.org.