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Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Utah Chef Is National Pastry Chef of the Year
Adalberto Diaz Labrada, ACF's Pastry Chef of the Year
Adalberto Diaz Labrada, executive chef and instructor at Harmons City Creek store, showed off his culinary skills in the American Culinary Federation's national contest in Orlando in July. The chefs had 2 1/2 hours to prepare and serve both a hot and cold dessert, as well as a sugar-chocolate sculpture. He walked away with the Pastry Chef of the Year title and $5,000.
In the national competition, Diaz Labrada's winning desserts were inspired by the movie "Avatar." He made a chocolate jaconde (a thin cake) with coconut mousse, pineapple compote and mango gelée; and a habanero dark chocolate pot de cr?e with hazelnut florentine, orange brioche doughnut and orange blueberry sauce.
Diaz Labrada won the Western Regional competition earlier this year with warm pineapple upside-down date pudding cake with coconut mascarpone mousse and pineapple orange sorbet.
A native of Cuba, he graduated from the International School for Tourism Entertainment in Havana. He immigrated to the U.S. in 2000, and began working as a baker at Granato's. He was a culinary instructor at Utah Valley University in Orem before getting hired as a cooking instructor at Harmons' downtown City Creek store earlier this year.
Diaz Labrada is part of the team of employees that Bob and Randy Harmon praise for the company's longevity. At a time when huge corporations and big-box stores have taken over the grocery industry, the local independent company has managed to survive, and even thrive.
"We wouldn't be here 80 years later if we didn't have amazing, incredible people," said Bob Harmon, the company's vice president.