Saying he felt he had made his pastry chef father in France proud, Lancaster's chef Cedric Barberet bested three other pastry professionals to win "Chopped Sweets" on the Food Network.
The episode of the pastry competition, on which Barberet won $10,000, aired Monday night.
Barberet, who operates Bistro Barberet & Bakery on East King Street with his wife, Estelle Barberet, triumphed after strawberry, vanilla and chocolate challenges on the "Chopped Sweets" Neapolitan-themed show.
Barberet was classically trained in his native France.
On Monday's episode, which was filmed in New York in November, Barberet had to incorporate unusual "mystery basket" ingredients into his pastry presentations.
“I hate to lose, because I’m such a perfectionist,” Barberet said early in the show. He didn't have to worry.
In the strawberry round, Barberet and three other chefs had to incorporate century eggs (a strong-smelling preserved egg), cilantro, strawberry crispy rice treats and strawberry liqueur into a dessert.
Barberet created a bright-looking dish, plated around the circular edge of a his serving dish. He created a strawberry gelée with cilantro-mascarpone cream with a rice treat crumble.
Judges Matt Adlard and Dan Langan and host-judge Scott Conant sent Barberet to the next round, calling his dish "an immaculate presentation."
Barberet seemed unflappable during the competition, barely turning around from his work as the judges pointed out that flames were rising above his strawberry liqueur on the stove.
In the vanilla round, Barberet and the other chefs had to incorporate a rotisserie chicken, vanilla bourbon cheesecake, vanilla chai latte mix and dried apricots into a dessert.
Barberet made a bourbon-apricot floating island — a classic French dessert — with chai latte-vanilla Anglaise, featuring poached meringues, sugar work, gold leaf and bits of crispy chicken skin on top.
Adland called the dish "sublime."
In the chocolate round, Barberet had to use a 24-layer chocolate cake, chocolate wine, frozen mixed berries and honey-mustard dressing in his flexible chocolate ganache with honey-mustard whipped cream and a chocolate cake-wine sauce.
The judges took the contestants' performance in all three rounds into consideration in declaring Barberet the "Chopped Sweets" champion.
The episode was the 13th of the first season of the show, which is a spin-off of the original "Chopped" competition that has aired 45 "seasons" since its 2009 premiere.
Worked in father's pastry shop
Barberet opened Bistro Barberet & Bakery, a restaurant and bakery, in 2015. The bakery is open Tuesday through Saturday for carryout (only) of bakery items and confections and fully cooked, ready-to-reheat dishes from the restaurant.
Barberet, a native of Villefranche-sur-Saone outside Lyon, France, began his career working in his father's pastry shop.
Before moving to Lancaster, he worked at such prestigious restaurants as Le Bec-Fin and Buddakan in Philadelphia. He was executive pastry chef at Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach, and made the wedding cake for the 2005 marriage of now-President Donald Trump and now-First Lady Melania Trump.
In 2016, Barberet was named one of the top 10 pastry chefs in America by Dessert Professional Magazine.
He became a member of the Académie Culinaire de France in 2011 and in 2017 was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Merite Agricole from the government of France for promoting French food, agriculture and culture through his work.
Bistro Barberet was among the Pennsylvania businesses featured in a recent Italian Vogue article.
Barberet isn’t the only person with Lancaster County ties to win the big prize on a Food Network show recently.
Laura Merkel of Ephrata’s Laura the Cookie Lady bakery won $10,000 on the “Christmas Cookie Challenge” that aired in December, and Chef Eliza Martin, a Pequea Valley High School graduate, won $10,000 on an episode of the cooking version of “Chopped” that aired in February.
In addition, Elizabethtown College alumna Stephanie Blannett won $10,000 on Netflix's "Nailed It!" — a comedic competition for inexperienced bakers.