JWU Student Pastry Team Wins First Place at Paris Gourmet US Pastry Competition

Story by JWU Media Relations , on Mar 26, 2018 4:19 PM

Johnson and Wales students holding an award


Providence, RI – March 26, 2018 – A team of Johnson & Wales University (JWU) Baking & Pastry students rolled out with first place at the 2018 US Pastry Competition’s Junior Pastry Chef Challenge with their 24-inch tall motorcycle-themed showpiece titled “The Race of Gentlemen.”

The competition was part of one of America’s most prestigious pastry competitions, the 29th Annual US Pastry Chef of the Year Competition, held on March 4 in New York City and hosted by Paris Gourmet, a leading specialty food importer and distributor. This year’s theme was “The Great Race,” driving competitors to create a showpiece inspired by any form of recognized racing.


Michael Metcalf '19, (team leader and official competitor), junior, pursuing two degrees: a bachelor of science degree in Baking & Pastry Arts and a bachelor of science degree in Baking & Pastry Arts/Foodservice Management, from Weare, NH.

Leah Meyer '19, (team member), junior, pursuing a bachelor of science degree in Baking & Pastry Arts, from Warwick, MD.

Najaie Silva '19, (team member), junior, pursuing two degrees: a bachelor of science degree in Baking & Pastry Arts, and a bachelor of science degree in Food Service Entrepreneurship, from Attleboro, MA.

Hannah Rehmer '20, (team member), sophomore, bachelor of science in Food & Beverage Entrepreneurship, from Troy, NH.

Hannah Hall '20, (apprentice), freshman, pursuing a bachelor of science degree in Baking & Pastry Arts, from Farmington, UT.

JWU faculty members Lauren V. Haas, associate instructor, and Maura Metheny, instructor, both accomplished pastry chefs, coached and mentored the student team. Haas was named one of Dessert Professional magazine's Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America in 2016; Metheny received the same honor in 2014.

The showpiece, a tribute to New Jersey's antique motorcycle race of the same name, was made entirely of chocolate and airbrushed and painted with cocoa butter. Competitors had two hours to complete their entry which included five plated desserts and 10 petit fours. The team’s plated dessert was made of cherry, cassis, yogurt, chocolate, and almond and their petit fours were made of yuzu, milk chocolate, caramel and hazelnut.

The JWU team beat four teams from New York City College of Technology and Culinary Institute of New York at Monroe College.

About Johnson & Wales University
Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 14,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its four campuses in Providence, Rhode Island; North Miami, Florida; Denver, Colorado; and Charlotte, North Carolina. An innovative educational leader, the university offers degree programs in arts and sciences, business, culinary arts, design and engineering, education, health and wellness, hospitality, nutrition and physician assistant studies. Its unique model integrates arts and sciences and industry-focused education with work experience and leadership opportunities, inspiring students to achieve professional success and lifelong personal and intellectual growth. The university’s impact is global, with alumni from 124 countries pursuing careers worldwide. For more information, visit jwu.edu.

Media Contact: Miriam Weinstein, JWU director, communications & media relations, 401-598-1157, miriam.weinstein@jwu.edu.