The Emmy award-winning Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition releases the second episode of Season Two: National Chefs. The episode, named “Gelato Challenge,” follows the four pastry chef finalists into the kitchen as they blend, mix, aerate, chop, combine and create colorful and inventive gelato desserts. This episode can be viewed at

Chef Melissa Coppel of Jean-Marie Auboine Chocolatier in Las Vegas; Chef Chris Ford of Wit & Wisdom in Baltimore; Chef Thomas Raquel of Acadia Restaurant in Chicago; and Chef Philip Speer of Uchi Restaurant in Austin must use the ingredients that they selected in episode one during this gelato challenge. The ingredients include products from the following:

  • Nielsen-Massey Vanillas produces the world’s finest vanilla and pure flavor products.
  • Capfruit Puree specializes in the transformation of fruit, offering a wide range of top-quality products.
  • PreGel AMERICA is the largest manufacturer and distributor of ingredients for gelato, sorbetto, frozen yogurt, semifreddo, pastries and more. 
  • in2foods is the exclusive U.S. importer of Europe’s premium chocolate brands including Dobla, Chocovic and Pruvé.

“To produce a creative and equally tasty dish, the finalists needed to think outside of the box and use each ingredient to its full potential,” said Executive Pastry Chef Jimmy MacMillan, founder of the Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition. “Chefs Melissa Coppel and Philip Speer go above and beyond by unleashing liquid nitrogen into the kitchen.”

In this single day event, the chefs made and presented their gelato creations as well as eight servings of an original, creative, plated dessert to judges Della Gossett from The French Pastry School, Dana Cree of Blackbird restaurant and Curtis Duffy of Grace restaurant. In this episode, the judges taste each gelato dessert and discuss the chef’s use of ingredients and their creativity with the challenge.