Now that its People's Best New Chef contest has wrapped, Food & Wine magazine has announced the 50 nominees for the dessert portion of the nationwide competition. Three locals made the cut this year for the People's Best New Pastry Chef, including sweet specialists at Poste Moderne Brasserie, Palena and 2941.
Aggie Chin of Palena, Caitlin Dysart of 2941 and Ryan Westover from Poste are all finalists in the East region. They'll be competing against not only the 14 other pastry chefs in the East, but also the 47 others across the country for the title of the People's Best New Pastry Chef. You can vote here until 5 p.m. EDT on April 8.
To celebrate their nominations, at least two of the local pastry chefs have created special sweets. From today through April 8 at 2941, Dysart is offering a sampler plate of three signature desserts for dinner service only: citrus vacherin, pineapple-rosemary eclair and a chocolate hazelnut bar. The price for Caitlin's Tasting Trio is $10 per plate. What's more, for diners who inquire after their meals, Dysart will give them a free "I Voted" sugar cookie.
Westover is pulling out all the stops for his nomination. He's created a special five-course tasting menu featuring his "Southern-inspired" desserts. The $20 menu will run from today through April 8 at Poste. It will include:
• Sweet tea: Sweet-tea cremeux, graham cracker, honey comb, lemon supreme
• Carrot cake: Carrot cake, Marcona almond-and-pistachio crumble, carrot sherbet
• Mimosa sorbet: Orange Lillet sorbet, orange pate de fruit
• PBJ: Peanut gianduja, grape jam gelee, bittersweet ganache
• Bookers’s Good Humor chocolate eclair truffles: Knob Creek Bourbon chocolate cremeux, Oreo, cocoa kataifi
There's no word yet whether Chin at Palena will offer any special desserts.
Finally, remember that the People's Best New Pastry Chef competition is just what it sounds like: a popularity contest. The ultimate winner will have mobilized the most fans to vote online. The nominees might want to start building coalitions now.
Congratulations and good luck to all the nominees.