Saturday, November 3, 2007
Chef Dunia Borga wins “Amazing Chocolate Tree Competition” at Dallas Arboretum
Professional and student pastry chefs carved adorable little trees out of chocolate.
DALLAS One professional chef and three students were pronounced winners of "The Amazing Chocolate Tree Competition" at the Dallas Arboretum on Friday.
Winning in the student category were Cristina Zambrano, Kat Kilpatrick, and Ernie Mendoza, three students at Art Institute of Dallas. Their sophisticated chocolate creation depicted a tree in two seasonal settings, fall and winter.
The contest, held at the Dallas Arboretum to highlight its unique "Amazing Chocolate Tree" exhibit focusing on how chocolate is grown and manufactured, drew seven entries, which will remain on display in the Sewell Board Room daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through November 25.
The prize was a weekend for two at the Gaylord Texan Resort, plus VIP passes with complimentary parking to the Dallas Arboretum during The Amazing Chocolate Tree exhibit; all participants received 2 discount tickets to the Dallas Arboretum.
Judges included Cathy Barber, Taste/Features editor at the Dallas Morning News; Nancy Nichols, dining/travel editor at D magazine; and Ramona Hinten, pastry chef at Old Hickory Steakhouse; also me and a staffer from the Arboretum.
Entries had to be no higher than 24 inches and composed of 100% edible ingredients, mainly chocolate; they were graded on degree of difficulty, artistic achievement, work involved, and originality.
Borga explained that the branch itself was made from chocolate rice Krispies, and that she'd gone rummaging outside to find a real branch to serve as a model. When she found out she won, she clapped and jumped up and down, confessing that, despite the many accolades she's received for her desserts, she's never actually won a competition.
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