All three finalists were from New York: Alex Stupak of wd-50, utopian cake mogul Will Goldfarb of Room 4 Dessert, and the underdog, up-and-coming Bill Corbett of Anthos. “I didn’t even know I was up against those guys,” Corbett tells us. “When I saw them on the list, I was like, ‘Shit. There go my chances.’” Corbett prevailed, though, for his “Sesame on Sesame” dessert (sesame ice cream in a sesame shell, with whisky ice cream in the center, set atop a halvah crumble with a tahini ganache and black-sesame pasteli). Kelli Bernard of Amai Tea and Bake House won for Best Bakery Recipe, but the highlight for most of the participants, we’re told, was a pastry chef who wasn’t competing: Martin Howard of Brasserie 8, who, in his persona as the seven-foot Chocolatina, “Queen of the Dessert,” entertained the crowd in a musical interlude. Howard was the previous winner of the Best Dessert Menu award, but, as of now, there are no plans to have Ansel put on a drag performance next year. Of course, that could always change.
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