Our last post focused on Chef Paul Padua and his winning of the Western Regional Pastry Chef of the Year Award. Chef Padua was kind enough to talk about his practice efforts and I’ve included them below.
To prepare for the competition, I practiced about 6-8 times with different desserts within a month’s time until I found the right one that I could work with and achieve my goals in an hour. There were times that I needed to practice twice in a day just to take advantage of the slower days. The hardest part in all my training was creating the dessert recipes and then changing them over again after each test and tasting and the long work weeks.
You’re only able to start practicing when business slows down each day and of course business always comes first. This if the first time I competed in live cooking and I needed to practice more and create great dessert recipes regardless of the criteria for the National Championship, as it will be much harder and competitive.
This award was wonderful and rewarding for me and all of Delaware North Companies. The judges at the competition tear your heart apart during the critique but that will just make you stronger and better to attain the next level. As I always tell my staff and former students, “always be patient, be creative and always keep the fundamentals, as they are the true foundation. Never forget to pass on to others what you have learned.”
I am proud to be working with a great staff and great executives with great management and leadership. Working under Chef Percy Whatley and Chef Roland Henin, who are both very supportive and great company is a great thing.