Monday, September 22, 2008

CONCORD, N.C. – The nation’s finest pastry chefs and bakers competed and showcased their skills and awe-inspiring creations in the prestigious 2008 National Bread & Pastry Team Championship, September 21 & 22, 2008. At the end of the two-day competition, PreGel Corporate Chef Sadruddin Abdullah, and his partner, Johnson & Wales Instructor and Baker Harry Peemoeller, captured the winning title and $10,000 grand prize over nine other culinary teams. 


 “You can’t exactly place the level of experience gained here and the exact feelings of what it is to win,” said Abdullah. “But, to compete against a high level of national and global competitors, and prevail makes the experience much sweeter.”


Each team created fanciful sugar, chocolate and bread showpieces as well as pastries and baked goods around the theme of “music.” Chefs Abdullah and Peemoeller defined their winning strategy in two parts; 1. Get everything out on time, and 2. Win the degustation portion of the contest. Degustation, described as the taste and flavor, accounted for over 60 percent of the total score.


For the past four months, Chefs Abdullah and Peemoeller have been practicing at PreGel and Johnson & Wales before work, after work, on weekends and any time in between to concept and perfect the top-secret creations and complex components they presented in the competition. They had also enlisted one of the top pastry chefs in the country – Frederic Monti, executive pastry chef at The Greebriar Resort in White Sulfur Springs, W.Va. – to be their coach and run them through their paces twice a month.


For a Championship as competitive as this, timing was everything and the name of the game was engineering and design. Abdullah and Peemoeller both believed that having “a good first day would set the tone for the competition.” While Chef Abdullah saw other confectionary designs crumble in front of his eyes and fall short in expectation of taste, he and his teammate remained confident that their choice of products would not disappoint.


Winning the championship has allowed Chef Abdullah to become the only chef in the nation to have won two titles at the National Bread & Pastry Team Championships. In 2004, Chef Abdullah competed with Ciril Hitz, who at the time was a fellow Johnson & Wales instructor.


“PreGel couldn’t be more thrilled for Chefs Abdullah and Peemeoller. They are a dynamic pair, and we’re excited that they were able to display their immense talent and bring home a victory,” said Marco Casol, PreGel AMERICA president and CEO.        


About PreGel AMERICA

PreGel AMERICA is the U.S. division of PreGel S.p.A., a global ingredient company headquartered in Reggio Emilia, Italy. PreGel develops, manufactures and distributes all-natural ingredients, toppings and fillings of the highest quality from Italy, including flavors, powders and pastes used in gelato, frozen yogurt, sorbetto and other frozen desserts. Based in North Carolina since 2002, PreGel directly sells to restaurants, gelato cafes, coffee shops, frozen yogurt shops, bakeries, pizzerias, hotels, resorts, grocery stores and universities, as well as a few distributors in the United States. The company headquarters is in Concord, N.C., just northeast of Charlotte. For more information, visit