Team building, enabling a positive environment, and encouraging creativity have always been a top priority to me as a mentor. That's why in 2013, a few weeks into my new position @gramercytavern
, we started an Annual Pie Contest, a fun holiday event that became a highlight of our busy holiday season in the years to come.
It's been fascinating to see the excitement on everyone's face as they first contemplate, then build their creations and ultimately present it to our distinguished panel of judges. Over the years, we welcomed many outstanding judges like @realbakingwithrose
(returning judge and team captain!), @carlaphall
, and our own @chefmikeanthony
Over the years, winners took home valuable prizes, generously donated from our wonderful friends like @valrhonausa
, and one prize everyone looked forward to is featuring winning pies on our dessert menu.
This holiday season, as millions of restaurant workers are facing unemployment and insecurities, it's hard to celebrate and be cheerful, but we must persist and be hopeful. What keeps me going is reflecting on lovely moments like past Pie Contests, all the creative and delicious pies, smiling faces of all participants and winners like @laurenltran
, Cassie Sciortino, and Junsoo Bea.
Last year @ninafriend
published an excellent article about the 2019 pie contest (link in bio), and @realbakingwithrose
and her assistant Woody have meticulously documented previous pie contests on their blog. A couple of years ago, @food52
was kind enough to publish recipes for a few winning pies on their website, so check it out.