August 24th to August 26th
As Atlanta becomes recognized and perceived as a foodie city, it’s only appropriate that the best food festivals and competitions bring people from around the country and the world to the city. During the last week of August, the largest pastry competition in the country, Pastry Live, happened in downtown Atlanta. Pastry Live was created by chefs for chefs as a way to bring the industries best chefs together to compete. The annual event has grown significantly that this year (2014) the competition was moved to 200 Peachtree St, one of the largest special events venues in the heart of the city. Each day had a different schedule of competitions for culinary students and professionals. Various awards, such as Chocolatier of the Year, Art of Cake, and Best Sugar Showpiece, were evaluated and scored by a panel of experienced judges. The audience also got a chance to participate in the voting during the People’s Choice category. For those with a sweet tooth, Pastry Live is like stepping into Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory for 3 days and going into sugar shock. The venue constantly had a flow of attendees throughout the competition that experienced fine desserts, chocolates, cakes, and more.
For the foodie enthusiast and interested culinary student, Pastry Live had several seminars taught by corporate sponsored chefs that shared their knowledge and expertise with the group. The most engaging breakout session was the Industry Roundtable, where various celebrity pastry chefs discussed real topics among the industry. They gave great insight on the evolution of culinary arts and pastry as well as the nuances of how media and TV have changed the industry in both good and bad ways.
Pastry Live is truly a show stopping event! No matter the age or background, everyone loves a sweet treat and can appreciate the art of pastry through this event. Participants travel far and wide to make the competition an international affair. The ‘who’s who’ of pastry come together and teach others how to continue to perfect their craft and showcase the finer side of food.
Until next year… here’s a toast to all things sweet!