THE LOOP — Talk about a sweet deal.
The grand prize winner of Friday's inaugural Mayor's Cup Youth Pastry Competition, Mia Engelmann, a student at Whitney Young, received a full scholarship to the French Pastry School, valued at nearly $24,000.
Engelmann was one of a dozen finalists participating in Friday's contest, the culmination of a process that began in April when Chicago students age 14-19 were invited to submit an original cupcake recipe and an essay on "What Inspires You to Bake."
Professional chefs mentored the students in the weeks leading up to the competition, which was held at the French Pastry School.
"It empowers the youth of our great city and feeds their passion for the culinary industry," said Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of the French Pastry School.
Judges, including master sommelier and former "Check Please!" host Alpana Singh and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, evaluated the students' creations not only for taste but also assessed technique and creativity.
Engelmann made a Chicago-themed cake with features from the Crown Fountain at Millennium Park and bike lanes. She received a full-ride to the 24-week certificate program at the pastry school, which is run by City Colleges of Chicago.
All of the finalists received a free credit to attend pastry boot camp at the school, as well as $500 worth of baking tools and equipment.
In addition to Engelmann, the finalists were:
• Annexie-Destiny Aponte, Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy
• Saige Cox, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences
• Jimmy Figueroa, Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy
• Keyonney Johnson, George Washington Carver Military Academy
• Jacara McClinton, Dunbar Vocational High School Career Academy
• Brenda Palacios, Curie Metropolitan High School
• Jocelyn Salgado, Curie Metropolitan High School
• Andrea Tellez, ASPIRA Business and Finance High School
• Berenice Torres, Curie Metropolitan High School
• Dioselin Trejo, Benito Juarez Community Academy
• Stephen Yu, Lane Technical College Preparatory High School
Scenes from the competition, courtesy of Twitter