Orlando Santos was sent home following an elimination challenge which had Season Two's Top Chef: Just Desserts contestants creating desserts that looked like savory dishes. That leaves only three chefs still in the running to win $100,000. Here are three finalists of Top Chef Just Desserts Season Two.
1. Sally Camacho
Sally Camacho is the pastry chef of WP24 Restaurant & Lounge by Wolfgang Puck at Los Angeles Ritz Carlton. She studied at the California Culinary Academy before working at top restaurants like The Four Seasons and the James Beard Award-winning restaurant Bradley Ogden.
As member of the first all female pastry team, Camacho came in second at the 2007 National Pastry Team Championships. A year later, she was on the U.S. Pastry Team that won gold medals at the Culinary Olympics in Germany. In 2011, Camacho won the Valrhona C3 Competition in France, and will represent the Americas at the 2012 competition in Spain.
Camacho made it into the top three on Top Chef: Just Desserts Two by winning her first challenge--which just happened to be the last Elimination Challenge before the finale. Can she win again, when it matters most?
2. Matthew Petersen
Matthew Petersen is the executive pastry chef at CityZen and Sou'wester at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C.
He has a certificate in baking and pastry and previously worked at Daniel Boulud's New York eatery db Bistro Moderne, and served as executive pastry chef at Café Boulud in Palm Beach. Prior to that he was pastry chef at the Philadelphia restaurants LaCroix and Morimoto.
On Top Chef: Just Desserts Petersen won four elimination challenges, including on the episode that featured Beastie Boy's Ad-Rock where Petersen thrilled judges with a Cornbread & Mashed Potato Cheesecake with Whiskey Caramel & Gravy Foam. He'll be a tough competitor to beat.
3. Chris Hanmer
Chris Hanmer is the owner and founder of The School of Pastry Design. He received a culinary certificate from Orange Coast College in California, before going on to work at restaurants at Bellagio Hotel and multiple Ritz-Carlton hotels.
Hanmer became the youngest American to win the title of World Pastry Champion in 2004.
Hanmer has won three elimination challenges on Top Chef: Just Deserts Season Two. If he had made his own pastry for the Beef Wellington look-alike dessert, Hanmer probably would have won that challenge as well. Will he rely on his own work for the finale? Can he finish the season tied with Petersen for the number of wins?