FOODIES WEST.COM         
PASTRY CHEF CHRIS CWIERZ
I always say pastry people are touchy-feely people. We have to
touch the product. We need to feel that connection
with it so we can understand how to manipulate it
February 2016 Issue / Volume 4; No. 3        into doing something that may be not the norm.












 





 








 
 
 
 

      
Michelin-rated Chef
Andrew Cain

      
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Chef Amy Binkley's
PHX Community Garden

     
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Marina del Rey, CA

      
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Pastry Chef Chris Cwierz | Sheraton Phoenix Grand | Phoenix, Arizona
Pastry Chef Chris Cwierz loves the adrenaline rush of competition. The kitchen, apparently, does not supply enough? “There’s something to be said about both of them,” Cwierz laughed. “They’re quite different.” Whatever the difference, Cwierz has learned to master both. The recent pastry sous chef at Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas is currently on a high-profile winning streak. Must mean he’s got nerves of steel and laser focus, right? “No,” Cwierz said. “I’ve gotten better, I have to say, certainly.” He shared a momentary meltdown he navigated in 2012. It happened when Cwierz went to Erfurt, Germany as part of the U.S. team in the International Culinary Olympics. “When I got there,” Cwierz described the experience, “I was very confident. My team, we competed as a team and individually. So we get there and my adrenaline started going and my nerves and all that. I thought, Oh my gosh. I’ve got so much to do. It was crazy, internally. I tried to not let anyone else see that. Then you just find, in your mental state, Okay, I got this. I know what I need to do. I just need to follow what I’ve practiced. I just have to execute. That’s what it’s all about. Don’t let these people impact what you’re doing. You know what to do. Do it.” And do it he did. The team competed against 62 countries, won the bronze, and stand at 20th place overall. The next year, 2013, the Arizona Chapter of the American Culinary Federation named Cwierz Pastry Chef of The Year. Cwierz got involved in ACF when he started teaching wedding cake classes at The Art Institute of Phoenix. Cwierz kept the momentum going by winning the ACF’s Western Regional Pastry Chef of the Year award in 2014. In 2015, Cwierz’s creation made from 1,000 petit fours won him the Grand Prize at New Orleans Wine & Food Experience’s Big Gateaux Show. Cwierz, who described the event as “challenging,” competed against three other pastry chefs to win the $5,000 prize. “I’m actually doing another competition in May in New Orleans,” Cwierz said, and then laughed when he added, “I know, I can’t get enough. I’m a glutton for punishment.” Fact is, Cwierz can’t wait to win. That’s why he competes. Even if he loses he wins. Cwierz explains: