Donut Showdown

Known as the mastermind behind the mouthwatering desserts at Park 75 restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, Pastry Chef Charles Barrett will compete on the Cooking Channel’s hit culinary competition show, Donut Showdown, airing on Friday, September 12 at 10 p.m. EST.  

With over a decade of culinary experience and a personal passion for donuts, Chef Barrett was an ideal candidate for the Canadian hit show. “I love the creativity that you get to express when creating donuts.  The extent of combinations of flavors that you can experiment with is beyond imaginable,” says Chef Barrett.  “The art of donut is very unique to other desserts; its fun and witty and the kind of dessert that’s enjoyable any time of the day.”

The show, which began airing in 2013, consists of 26 half-hour shows in the second season.  Each episode, three donut enthusiasts head off to a double-round elimination challenge, ultimately crowning one chef victorious.  During the initial round, all three chefs must create a donut including a surprise ingredient picked by the celebrity judges.  During the second and final round, the two remaining chefs must bake a large batch of donuts based on a theme picked by the judges.  The winner walks away with $10,000.

A tedious challenge, Chef Barrett was not left to fend for himself during the episode.  Assistant Pastry Chef Chris Munguia, who has his back in the kitchen at the Four Seasons, competed alongside him. Chef Munguia who helped inspire the donut movement at Four Seasons long before the duo competed on Donut Showdown, gets his inspiration for his donut creations from other food.  Among his creations are unique spins on other culinary classics, such as Key Lime Pie, from which he created a donut with an actual mini pie baked inside of it.  He also loves mixing the flavor combinations of sweet and citrus, once creating a donut topped with 24 karat gold foil and lime zest. “It’s just fun to eat gold,” Munguia jokes.

“Together, Charles and I have a very strong partner bond.  Put any task in front of us, and we will come out with something beautiful and delicious every time,” says Chef Munguia.  “Even when put in a position where we are under pressure, the teamwork that we have developed from working together on a daily basis keeps us level-headed and creative.”

Four Seasons’ Food and Beverage Director, Koji Akaboshi, is very proud of both chefs and everything the entire pastry department has created—from desserts to wedding cakes.   "It’s been hard not knowing how they faired in this competition, and I’m looking forward to sitting on the edge of my chair on Sept. 12."