Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate is the proud sponsor of the 2000 James Beard Pastry Chef of the Year Award, now renamed the Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate Outstanding Pastry Chef Award. To be eligible, contestants must be a practicing chef or baker, preparing desserts, pastries, or breads over the past five years, and serving as a national standard of excellence.

We would like to congratulate the winner and all of the nominees for a job well done. The Nominees for 2000 are:

The winner is: Pastry Chef Claudia Fleming, Gramercy Tavern

Pastry Chef Karen Barker is a 1981 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America where she met her husband Ben Barker, who she has been cooking with ever since. Operating as a team, they headed up the kitchens of La Residence and The Fearrington House before opening the Magnolia Grill in 1986. Situated in Durham, NC, the Grill is located in a converted grocery store. The menu is seasonally driven and reflects regional and international influences. Their motto is "Not Afraid of Flavor." Karen has participated in many guest chef events such as Mauna Lani Bay's "Cuisines of the Sun," the Greenbrier's La Varenne Cooking Series, S.O.S.'s "Salute to Southern Chefs," Sundance's "Great Regional Chef series," and Epcot's Food and Wine Festival. She has contributed recipes and articles to numerous publicatons, including Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, Chocolatier, and Ladies Home Journal.

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