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Top Chef: Just Desserts: Johnny Iuzzini In Cupcake-Off At Astor Center

October 19, 2010 09:00 AM by Lori Wilson

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As a judge on Top Chef: Just Desserts, Johnny Iuzzini critiques the contestants’ creations. Last week, it was his turn to be judged during a cupcake-off at the Astor Center in New York City.

As the pastry chef of the Jean-Georges restaurant group, Johnny Iuzzini went up against the pastry chef of San Francisco’s Citizen Cake, Elizabeth Falkner. Sponsored by chocolate maker Scharffen Berger, the first bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer in the U.S., both pastry chefs obviously used chocolate, but their finished products were far from similar.

According to Serious Eats: New York, pastry chef Elizabeth Falkner created a Chocolate Pub Cake, which included stout beer batter, molasses fluff filling, fudge frosting and a Meyer lemon spice peanut garnish. Meanwhile, Top Chef: Just Desserts‘ Johnny Iuzzini whipped up Pop-A-Rocksy Rose, which was a chocolate-beet cake with raspberries, chocolate butter cream and hibiscus flavored Pop Rocks. Iuzzini’s cupcake was then topped off with a raspberry, rose, beet butter cream with coconut and cream cheese foam and garnished with crystallized rose petals.

Johnny Iuzzini didn’t feel the pain of defeat like so many chefs have on Top Chef and Top Chef: Just Desserts, as the judges deemed his Pop-A-Rocksy Rose cupcake the winner.

The judges of the cupcake-off included Scharfeen Berger’s co-founder John Scharffenberger and Street Sweets co-owners Grant Di Mille and Samira Mahboubian. Based in New York, Street Sweets is a mobile bakery that uses a self sufficient power source to offer up fresh baked goods straight from their truck’s professional kitchen. In an effort to reduce their carbon footprint, Street Sweets uses all natural ingredients, organic milk, raw sugar and fair-trade coffee beans from a sustainable rain forest that are precision-roasted locally. The truck also uses bio-diesel fuel in order to reduce emissions.

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Photo credit: Bravo

Topics: Bravo Reality TV Shows, Top Chef: Just Desserts |

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