Food Network fans remember Jordan Pilarski, but Candy Land is a new confectionery challenge.
As Food Network fans marvel at the sugary fantasy of Candy Land, Jordan Pilarski knew that he was ready to embrace another culinary competition. While the accomplished pastry chef and sugar artist has had much success after his previous Food Network appearance, sometimes an opportunity cannot be passed over.
For many people, Candy Land has turned into their food television guilty pleasure. Although many people would love to forage a candy forest looking for sweet ingredients, that scenario is far from the real world. Sometimes those fantasy worlds can inspire amazing culinary creativity.
While Jordan might be a young pastry chef, he has had many accomplishments. At Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara, he has created a variety of desserts and sugar art. Although few home bakers could accomplish some of his delicate desserts, many people are impressed with that culinary creativity.
Recently, FoodSided spoke with Jordan Pilarski about this Candy Land experience, his tips for the home baker and what it is like to work as a pastry chef.
Food Network fans will remember that Jordan won the Holiday Baking Championship; Homecoming Special. Since that accomplishment, Jordan relocated to Santa Barbara, California and currently works as a Pastry Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara.
Since he has Food Network competition experience, we had to ask if he thought that experience gave him an edge. Jordan said, “My previous experience on Food Network was definitely an advantage because I had a better understanding the process. It prepared me for the cameras, time limits, twists, and turns, and most importantly, the competition as a whole.”
While he had the experience, Jordan has grown his skills since the last competition. Through his current pastry chef position, he said that is has been able “to refine my baking and pastry skills while working with other knowledgeable and accomplished pastry chefs.”
Although he has grown, there was a reason why he felt that it was time to return to the Food Network kitchens and competition. Jordan said, “Being a young and accomplished pastry professional, I always strive to be better, and in doing that I love taking on new opportunities to learn and grow. Every Food Network opportunity that I have been able to be a part of, has been a challenge in one way or another. Pushing myself to do something out of the box has made me into the person I am today. When Candy Land came around, I knew that this new concept would be a perfect way to showcase my sugar artistry and highlight my architectural mindset.”
As seen in Candy Land, these displays are a visual masterpiece. While the teams are always looking to push the envelope, each pastry chef uses their pastry skills in creative ways.
For Jordan, he said “working in the hotel industry my skill set has become very diverse, including sugar art, showpieces, buffet design, along with the plated desserts. While being a Food Network veteran I think that my background and success have also helped propel me into new and exciting techniques which I believe allowed me to be a good teammate.”
Even as viewers wish that the Food Network show would allow viewers to step into those fantasy confections, Jordan has a favorite land. For him, “Lollipop Woods! No brainer there, its colorful and Princess Lolly lives there, and she is pretty cute!”
As home bakers are intrigued with the Candy Land fantasy, there are many tips and tricks that the home baker can apply from the show. Jordan gave some poignant advice.
“For the home baker watching, there are a few tips that I believe would be beneficial for them to use while creating in their own kitchens. First, invest in a food scale to weigh ingredients and achieve consistent results. In addition, learn your baking equivalents. For Example, 1 cup is 8 ounces, and 1 tablespoon is 3 teaspoons. Lastly, take your TIME because baking takes TIME!”
Given that the holiday season is here, many home bakers are making time to whip up some tasty treats. Jordan has a great recommendation for the home baker. He mentioned, “I just recently posted a beautiful individual apple tart which would be perfect for the holiday season!”
Whether or not Jordan Pilarski and his team win Candy Land isn’t the most important part of this Food Network competition. Just like any good game, the experience is a win.
Candy Land airs on Food Network Sunday nights at 9 p.m.
Jordan Pilarski is a pastry chef at the The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara and his Instagram account, @chefjordan_pilarski, shares many of his scrumptious creations.
Have you enjoyed watching Candy Land? Which land is your favorite?