Joined Nov 27, 2001
Does anyone here have any pointers/experience with pastry competitions? I have been in a couple, won an award, but am still confused about what they are looking for. Does it vary by judge, is there something standard they are looking for? Is one discipline valued higher than another? Anyone?
Joined Mar 6, 2001
Have you gotten the last issue of Pastry Art and Design? The whole issue is devoted to several world cup competing teams. They ask each of them the same questions and show their work. I'm making one of the desserts from that issue for Sat. nights buffet (so far, I wouldn't rate it as world class, it's a bit heavy handed with it's flavoring).

Also as I understand The French Pastry School In Chicago actually teaches a class on preparing for competitions.

BUT, I'm not sure if you mean the same kind of competitions or do you mean shows like the Oklahoma cake show??
Joined Nov 27, 2001
Thanks Wendy- I did not see that magazine- I will have to go get it. The competition that I enter is a pastry competition, not a sugar art competition. It has two categories, cakes and tortes, and plated deserts. You can win several awards in each category- most artistic, most delicious, fan favorite, and most thematic (there is a theme every year)and then the grand prize is most artistically delicous.

Thanks for the info on the class, too, but my it's not high enough on my priority list to go out of town.


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Depends on what the criteria is of course. For most competitions, the basic stuff remains the same.

Don't use non-functional garnish (NFG)

Make sure you use the ingredients in the submitted recipe, and ONLY those ingredients.

Mise en place

Sanitation, station cleanliness, floor cleanliness

Judges like strong lines and clean presentations. No fingerprints on your mirrors and no smudges on your plates. This means, among other things, plate it once and once only.

Don't mess with the rim of the plate

Portion control. A half pie is not one serving! :D

Stuff like that.


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