Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first ~ Ernestine UlmerTwo weeks ago I finally got my hand on this lens I’ve been eyeing on for almost a year: Sigma for Canon 30mm f/1.4 (yay!). As I walked out of the store, I thought “Now, when would I have the chance to use it?” And suddenly my BB light blinked, I got a BBM from @vera_makki inviting me to be a mystery judge for Fonterra Pastry Chef Challenge at Intercon Hotel. “You will be judging 10 cakes from the top 10 finalists – chefs from 5 star hotels across Indonesia. Bring your camera!” Tasting 10 cakes made by 10 of the best pastry chef teams, and a chance to try out my new lens? Now surely that was something I wouldn’t miss! I arrived at Intercon around 30 minutes before the allocated prep time finished, so the chefs were just giving final touches to their cake. All of them were given 8 hours to prep from scratch. Was excited to look around at the 10 stations where the chefs were working, to see how they meticulously finished the details. I guess that’s why it’s important to have this kind of events, so Indonesian chefs can further elevate their skills so they can compete with expat chefs, both here and in International events.
Some of the chefs doing final preparation before presenting their cakes to the judgesThe chefs were judged based on taste, appearance, creativity, ingredients, and ways of working in their stations. The judges consisted of two panels: the professionals, and the consumers aka dessert lovers. Guess which one I was ;P The professional judges (Manfred Cohen – Senior Chef Fonterra for Asia & Middle East, Steven Mueler – F&B Director Hotel Nikko Bali, and Steven Diaz – Executive Pastry Chef Ranch Market) will be judging on all aspects, while the consumer panel (Mbak Retno – dessert lover, Ian – NZ Embassy, and yours truly) will be judging solely on the taste. And so comes the 10 cakes for us to judge! Cant help feeling a wee bit like Gordon Ramsay as I was tasting the cakes and writing down the scores for each ;P
Clockwise from top left: Samosir Cheesecake (Grand Swiss Hotel Medan), Banana Passion Cheese Mousse (Four Seasons Jakarta), Raffles (Sultan Hotel Jakarta), Pecan Caramel Cheesecake (Hard Rock Hotel Bali), Rainbow Chill Cheesecake (Intercontinental Mid Plaza Hotel Jakarta)
Clockwise from top left: Literati (Ayana Resort and Spa Bali), Avocado Raspberry Chocolate Cake (The Park Lane Hotel Jakarta), Ginger Caramel Cheesecake (Kristal Hotel Jakarta), Prince Chocolate Cake (Sheraton Hotel Bandung), Rainbow Surprise (Borobudur Hotel Jakarta)All of them looks so yummy, riiight? Had quite a hard time picking favorites, but finally I decided that my faves are these three below. Love the taste and also the presentation. Call me shallow but I think a good presentation makes the experience more wholesome, and plain plates lessen the excitement to try.
My top three fave cakesAnd who won? These three below. One out of three ain’t bad right? Especially since that one was named 1st Place ;P
The Winners. Clockwise from left: 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd placeThank you Vera & Fonterra for the sweet afternoon! Loved every minute of the experience! Maju terus Pastry Chefs Indonesia! PS: In case you’re wondering, Fonterra is the manufacturer of Anchor products, e.g. Anchor Butter, Anchor Cream Cheese, Anchor Whipped Cream, Anchor Mozzarella Cheese, etc.