The 21st Annual Chocolate Fantasy Judges
Head Judge: Paul Edward
For as long as he can remember, Chef Paul Edward was involved with chocolate and pastry. He started out working in family run pastry shops then moved into the hotel industry, including San Francisco's Westin St. Francis, Four Seasons Clift Hotel, and Sheraton Palace, Atlanta's Ritz Carlton Buckhead, and Beverly Hills' L Bel Age hotel and Peninsula Beverly Hills.
Paul was trained at various institutions in Europe and Asia and he has been invited guest faculty at many culinary facilities in the United States. Currently, Paul runs research and development at Chef Rubber, a manufacturer and distributor of specialty items for World Pastry Champions, Artisan Chefs and Confectioners and consults on many new innovative products for companies throughout the world.
Charity Pykles-George is a Pastry Chef and Cake Artist in San Diego, CA. She specializes in chocolate and sugar art particularly with regards to wedding, specialty and extreme cakes. She has also specialized in baking and cooking for those with food allergies and sensitivities. Charity owns d'Zrt Cake Studio in La Mesa, CA.
Charity is also on the Board of Directors for Icing Smiles. Icing Smiles is a non profit organization that provides custom celebration cakes and other treats to families impacted by critical illness of a child.
Charity is a native of Southern California and was raised in San Diego. She wrecked 2 Easy Bake Ovens as a child so her mother decided to teach her to cook on the "big oven". By age 12 she had "tapped out" her mother and grandmother's cooking knowledge so she resorted to reading cookbooks (which you can still find her doing if she gets 2 seconds of spare time). During her senior year of High School she went to work for a local cake shop where she cut, filled, iced, delivered and occasionally got to decorate cakes.
She attended Brigham Young University for her freshman year of college, and then attended Le Cordon Bleu in London & Paris and Le Ritz Esscoffier in Paris but did not finish her degree there. After returning to the States she gained experience in the "corporate world" in graphic design, marketing, advertising, radio, film & TV.
Charity continued throughout her career to teach baking, pastry and culinary skills in the private sector and created cakes for friends and family. She created "cooking clubs" in each city she lived in, most of which are still holding meetings monthly. After a 15 year "culinary school hiatus", during which she married, had 3 children, divorced and moved back to San Diego, Charity went back to school to finish her Culinary degree in Baking and Pastry Arts.
For the last 6 years she has worked exclusively with cakes and has been a contestant on TLC's Ultimate Cake Off twice in season 2; winning the taste competition, and was most recently featured on TLC's Fabulous Cakes and the Niecy Nash Wedding Bash. In the Fall of 2012 she appeared on Cake Wars on Food Network and Halloween Wars, also on Food Network. She has been a judge at numerous cake shows/contests and teaches sugar arts across the country.
Alicia Boada's passion for chocolate has led her to her most recent role as Barry Callebaut's West Coast Technical Consultant for the Chocolate Academy. Her formal training began in 1992 in Chicago where she attended the Culinary School of Kendall College. Since then, Boada has moved around the world to apprentice under Master Pastry Chefs and Master Confectioners. Upon returning to settle in the United States, she built a hugely successful retail bakery in Chicago. Word of Boada's spectacular cakes grew. Victoria Magazine featured one of her cakes on its cover and nominated her for Female Entrepreneur of the Year. After moving to Los Angeles in 2002, Boada worked as an educator with Le Cordon Bleu North America where thousands of students benefited from her enthusiasm and learned from her skills in pastry and design. As one of 4 Chocolate Academy techs, Boada assists Barry Callebaut's customers with a vast range of chocolate needs and staying on the leading edge of what's happening in Barry Callebaut's pastry and chocolate world.
More from Barry Callebaut...
"The world's leading manufacturer of high-end cocoa and chocolate products"
With Barry Callebaut, you're talking about a history of over 150 years in the world of cocoa and chocolate. With our first steps into the processing and production of high quality chocolates, we laid the foundations for our their current know-how. Over the years this has grown into a world of knowledge about cocoa and chocolate. And that places us in good stead to keep on being able to deliver perfect products to our customers every day. To meet the growing demand for information more easily, Barry Callebaut has concentrated all of our knowledge into research and training centers: the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academies.
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