Nathaniel Reid, Norman Love Confections, Fort Meyers, Florida
Reid put forth picture-perfect sweets displayed like precious jewels. This caramel pecan sable breton had a glossy sugar polish on the outside and a silky caramel mousse on the inside.
Craig Harzewski, Naha, Chicago, IL
The best part of this dessert is the deceptively modest milk chocolate beignet (LEFT). Little orbs of milk chocolate ganache battered and deep-fried to order, the crisp confection was served with swirls of pinot noir jam and milk chocolate complexite.
Sandro Micheli, Daniel, NYC
Rich and heady, Micheli’s almond dacquoise offered a curious mix of textures—from its crunchy, salted caramel tuile to its plush milk chocolate parfait.
Marc Aumont, The Modern, NYC
The entire pastry team of The Modern showcased an eye-popping collection of desserts. These macarons filled with caramel mousse and café foam were the highlight, though we also enjoyed a passion fruit and pistachio chocolate with dacquoise, in addition to individually wrapped caramels and whimsical chocolate lollipops.
Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar, NYC
No one can turn down one (or three) of Tosi's densely packed cake truffles. On this night, she brought a trio of flavors: chocolate chip, pistachio, and pretzel. With just the right amount of sweet and salt, pistachio was the crowd favorite.
Angela Pinkerton, Eleven Madison Park, NYC
You can spot Pinkerton's style of dessert a million miles away. Deconstructed and divine, she presented lavender meringues stuffed with chocolate custard and served with dark cocoa sorbet, cookie crumble, orange zest, cocoa crispies, and crushed cocoa meringue.
Damien Herrgott, Bosie Tea Parlor, NYC
Herrgott brought all of Bosie Tea Parlor's best-sellers in miniature form. We tried delicate matcha éclairs, raspberry yuzu macarons, and these fabulous Darjeeling ganache and chantilly tarts.
Sally Camacho, WP24, Los Angeles, CA
This verrine-style plated dessert had a rainbow of components: mango-passionfruit jelly, pecan crumble, banana cremeux, milk chocolate, burnt caramel sauce, cashew nougatine, and lychee-passionfruit sorbet. Somehow it all managed to meld brilliantly, with no one flavor overpowering another.
Chris Hanmer, The School of Pastry Design, Las Vegas, NV
Hanmer presented the lightest dessert of the night, which made for an ideal end to the evening. If we had to pick a single favorite, his tapioca tucked into lime-coconut creme with a delicate pineapple confit, passion fruit, and mango cremeux would be it.
Jean-Marie Auboine, Jean-Marie Auboine Chocolatier, Las Vegas, NV
Auboine’s salted caramel and dark chocolate squares are a simple yet irresistible treat. We ate so many that we lost count somewhere after square number six. His fresh strawberry and lemon marshmallows are not to be missed.
Dessert Professional magazine hosted an elegant, sugar-filled fête in honor of its 19th Annual Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America Awards. Cherry-picked from states across the country, awarded pastry chefs arrived with a team of sous chefs to showcase their finest desserts. Notable New York pastry chefs, such as the stunning Fernanda Capobianco, of Vegan Divas, Ron Ben-Israel, Pichet Ong, and Johnny Iuzzuni, showed up to support fellow NYC pastry chefs receiving honors. From macarons to petit tarts to cake truffles to custard meringues, we devoured everything—with Champagne, of course.