Kristen's winning goat-milk custard with macerated tayberries was roundly praised by the Top Chef judges, with Gail Simmons elaborating on her Bravo blog: "It had texture, it had richness, you could taste each individual flavor so clearly, and the tayberries brought everything together. It was a perfect use of her fruit."
But should you want to recreate Kristen's dessert at home, you're on your own: The Art Institute culinary students who weekly provide us with a recipe inspired by the first-place plate are on holiday break. They'll be back in a few weeks, but -- in the meantime -- prospective professionals have a chance to join their ranks.
According to spokeswoman Amy Rocha, "the holiday season's the perfect time for Seattle's aspiring chefs to capture original recipes and enter them," in a pair of scholarship competitions. The Art Institute's accepting entries from high school seniors and high school graduates through Jan. 24; finalists chosen on the strength of their recipes, essays and transcripts will be invited to participate in a cook-off competition.
While the winning teenager will receive a $4000 scholarship toward culinary education, and the winning grad will receive a $1500 scholarship, Rocha points out all finalists are invited to participate in a pre-competition coaching session. Finalists also receive individualized feedback from instructors, which can be hard to come by in the early stages of career exploration.
For more on the competition, visit the rules page here. And for more Top Chef recipes, stay tuned.