Ridgeland Vanilla Rice Sable Cesar Barachina Sweetest Chefs of the South

On Monday, September 11, Sweetest Chefs of the South defended its reputation as the South’s most indulgent event of the year! At the gorgeous Lake House in Ridgeland, Mississippi, we had an evening filled not just with an overwhelming amount of sweet pastries but also a deck full of savory foods, dessert cooking demonstrations, sweet fall fashion, a gorgeous cigar porch, picture perfect weather and lots of smiles from a full house of happy foodies.


Each Southern pastry chef brought a special, unique flavor that showcased their talents. Here’s a look at the dessert line-up from the South’s top pastry chefs:

  • Cesar Barachina (Pearl River Resort, Philadelphia, MS ) – “Mississippi” Chocolate Cola Fudge, Roasted Cajun Peanuts and “Ridgeland” Vanilla Rice Sable, Cathead Vodka Cremeux, Mango Gel

  • Nealy Frentz (LOLA Restaurant, Covington, LA) – Bacon, Dark Chocolate & Bourbon Pecan Pie

  • Josh Lear (The Noble South, Mobile, AL) – Sweet Tea Cake, Dried Apple Crumble, Lemongrass Ice Cream, Sweet Tea Caramel

  • Alejandra Mamud (La Brioche Patisserie, Jackson, MS) – “S’more Macaron” Dark Chocolate Ganache with a Marshmallow Center and a Handcrafted Chocolate Decoration

  • Mitchell Moore (Campbell’s Bakery, Jackson, MS) – Petit Fours

  • Tiffany Riches (Baked in Nashville, Nashville, TN) – Yazoo Salty Caramel French Macaron

  • Mary Jennifer Russell (Sugaree’s Bakery, New Albany, MS) – Muscadine Rosemary Galettes

  • Maggie Scales (Herbsaint, New Orleans, LA) – Apple Upside Down Cake with Passionfruit Caramel

  • Chris Walker (Seafood R’evolution, Ridgeland, MS) – Chocolate Avocado Mousse

And now… for the moment we have all been waiting for…

People’s Choice Winners

While all in fun and just for bragging rights, attendees seemed to take the job seriously when it came to picking the chef who they thought had the dessert with the Best Flavor or was the Most Creative or had the Best Presentation. Here’s who they picked!

People’s Choice Best Flavor Winners
First place: Mitchell Moore
Second place: Nealy Frentz

People’s Choice Most Creative Dessert Winners
First place: Cesar Barachina
Second place: Josh Lear

People’s Choice for Best Presentation
First place: Alejandra Mamud
Second place: TIE between Cesar Barachina and Maggie Scales


We would like to offer a sincere THANK YOU to everyone who came and participated, the amazing pastry chefs, Passport to Ridgeland restaurants, bloggers Ally Phillips and Kita Roberts and all of our amazing experience partners including Arco Avenue, Beaumad & Associates, Blue Delta Jeans, Eat Jackson, Magnolia Barrel House, Mississippi Cold Drip, Southern Beverage Company, The Country Squire, The Lake House, The Mississippi List and our amazing line-up of event volunteers and the Eat Y’all team that made it all happen! Most of all, we appreciate the support of our presenting partner, Visit Ridgeland.