The American Culinary Federation Northeast Region had their convention in Cincinnati last weekend—I saw a lot of chefs late last week walking around in their tall toques. Along with workshops and seminars, there were cooking competitions, held at the kitchens of the Midwest Culinary Institute. The ACF Northeast Regional Pastry Chef of the Year award went to Kat Kessler, the pastry chef at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza. She made a chocolate souffle cake in the competition. Now that she's described it to me, I'm hoping it goes on the menu at Orchids so I can try it. Nothing but semisweet chocolate, eggs and butter, puffed like a souffle--but not fallen or molten like so many popular cakes at the moment. No flour, no sugar.
She’ll compete in the national contest in Las Vegas in July.
Jessica Pope, a student at MCI, won the Northeast Region Chair’s $1,000 Scholarship, given to exemplary culinary students.