Bakers Journal

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Iron Pastry Chef?


September 14, 2009
By Brian Hartz




Sept. 14, 2009 – At the Sept. 9 meeting of the Canadian
Pastry Chefs Guild, a fairly routine question about boosting attendance at the
guild’s meetings set off a lively discussion about competitive cooking. Shows
such as “Iron Chef” are all the rage as the Food Network continues to grow in
popularity, and the format is well suited for public display as evidenced by
the competition held at the Hot & Spicy Food Festival in Toronto the
weekend of Sept. 5-6.

Tell us what you think about competitive cooking events and
how industry associations could harness their popularity by e-mailing editor@bakersjournal.com.



Sept. 14, 2009 – At the Sept. 9 meeting of the Canadian
Pastry Chefs Guild, a fairly routine question about boosting attendance at the
guild’s meetings set off a lively discussion about competitive cooking. Shows
such as “Iron Chef” are all the rage as the Food Network continues to grow in
popularity, and the format is well suited for public display as evidenced by
the competition held at the Hot & Spicy Food Festival in Toronto the
weekend of Sept. 5-6.



I attended one of the preliminary rounds of the Hot &
Spicy “Iron Chef” contest, which was sponsored and officially sanctioned by the
Food Network, and came away highly impressed by the overall excellence of the
event. The theatre at the Harbourfront Centre was packed with spectators to the
point where it was standing room only, while the technical aspects and staging
were top-notch and hosting and judging entertaining, informative and
insightful.

The event got me thinking about how the baking and pastry
industry could take better advantage of this cultural phenomenon. Sure, we have
the Bakery World Cup, but shouldn’t there be more competitions to spark
interest in baking and pastry as a career – and subsequently drive up
membership and attendance for our industry associations.

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Tell us what you think about competitive cooking events and
how industry associations could harness their popularity by e-mailing editor@bakersjournal.com.


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