By Joe Reavis
Wylie will be represented this week in the American Culinary Federation competition when Pastry Chef Michele Brown lines up with three other competitors vying for the crown of Central Region Pastry Chef of the Year.
Brown, executive pastry chef at Brook Hollow Golf Club in Dallas, is the current Pastry Chef of the Year for Dallas and Texas, honors for which she was elected by her peers.
“I’m excited to be representing the state and Brook Hollow, and representing Wylie,” she said.
The region competition is Friday through Sunday at the Culinary Institute of St. Louis at Hickey College in St. Louis, Mo., as part of the ACF Central Regional Culinary Salon. The regional winner receives bragging rights, travel expenses and complimentary registration to the national competition at Cook. Craft. Create. Convention and Show set in July at Phoenix, Ariz.
In competition, the pastry chefs have a little more than an hour to produce four dessert plates that consist of a small, individual cake and sorbet on each plate. The time is broken down into 15 minutes for setup, an hour for preparation and 10 minutes to put the creation on plates. Brown pointed out that the cakes must include bananas, milk chocolate and an exotic fruit.
“I’ve been practicing for about two months, now,” she said.
Part of her practice is setting up speed racks that contain premeasured ingredients, bowls, molds and utensils needed for the creations. A stipulation is that none of the ingredients can be mixed before the contest starts.
“It’s almost like race car driving,” the chef said. “There is a little bit of artistry and some science. It’s almost like a ballet.”
Brown is not a newcomer to competition. She was the pastry chef for two gold medal winning teams at the Villeroy and Boch Culinary World Cup in 2014 at Luxembourg and a bronze medal winner at the 2012 IKA International Culinary Exhibition in Erfort, Germany.
In 2015, she served as a board member of Les Dames d’Escoffier of Dallas, is past secretary and board member of the Dallas Chapter of Texas Chefs Association and was named chapter Pastry Chef of the Year in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
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