Stephen Sullivan, the executive pastry chef of Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, competed in and won the 29th annual U.S. Pastry Competition this past weekend, March 4, during the 2018 International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York held in New York City.
Named Pastry Chef of the Year, Sullivan showcased eight of his signature desserts and a plated dessert, plus a custom-made chocolate horse-racing showpiece for this year’s The Great Race theme.
The theme challenged chefs to design and create pieces inspired by recognized forms of racing, such as boating, cycling, horse racing, motorsports, running and swimming.
“It’s a thrill to be named Pastry Chef of the Year,” said Sullivan. “I’m honored to have represented Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino and the Las Vegas community at this prestigious event.
“Being a pastry chef is unlike any other job in the world. It truly is an art form, and I have dedicated myself to pushing the boundaries of what is possible with desserts.”
With more than 20 years of experience, Sullivan realized his passion runs deep for the culinary arts while baking in the United States Marine Corps.
After leaving the armed forces, he plied his craft at some of the most renowned luxury hotels in the country, including California’s historic and iconic Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Fairmont San Francisco and St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point.
But this year’s The Great Race-themed competition — and the subsequent award for his horse-inspired winning piece — wasn’t Sullivan’s first rodeo.
He also received recognition for his intricate craftwork at the 2016 Las Vegas Food & Wine Festival, where he was awarded Pastry Chef of the Year. And, in 2010, he was selected a finalist at the U.S. Pastry Competition in New York City.
Always keeping his eye on the winner’s circle, Sullivan’s interest in constant growth has led him to continually advance his training at schools nationwide.
Some of these include Callebaut’s Chocolate Academy, Notter School of Pastry Arts, PreGel 5-star Chef Pastry Series, The World Pastry Forum Professional Program classes and master classes at Jean-Marie Auboine Chocolatier.