It took a while to trim the fat and get it down to three pastry chefs. And the winner… well, he is not your cookie cutter cook.
In last night’s finale, the final three pastry chefs competed.
They cooked and pastried their hearts out, and, after much tasting, talking and more tasting, the stone cold judges declared Yigit Pura, a 29-year-old Turkish-born chef from San Francisco, the king.
Along with Pura, the other two contestants, cute dad Morgan Wilson and constantly frowning Danielle Keene, were challenged to a four-course tasting menu. In a twist, they were paired up with former contestants (oh great).
Yigit, apparently a closet romantic, concocted the concept of dating in his dishes — naming his courses “Gimlet”, “Kisses in the Park”, “Passion” and “Love”.
And they all looked pretty darn tasty.
The first was a cucumber line sorbet with yogurt caviar, the second, a strawberry sorbet with lime ice cream topped with lemongrass and ginger, the third, a braised pineapple with coconut sponge cake and coconut lime soup. Topping it off was a hazelnut dacquese with milk chocolate, milk jam and salted caramel ice cream.
The judges were blown away at his innovative treats, calling them “brilliant.” Gail Simmons said she wanted to take a bath in his mousse and candy. Get in line, lady.
When he was announced the winner, he fell to his knees.
“This is the most spectacular feeling in the world, there’s no other words to describe it,” he said. “I can’t even begin to fathom how it’s going to change my career.”
And change it will. He got awarded $100,000, a spread in Food & Wine magazine, a 2011 Buick Regal and a showcase at the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival.