Riccardo Menicucci, executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, shone bright during his recent foray into reality cooking as a contestant on a Food Network baking competition, “Spring Baking Championship.”
As 1 of 10 competitors, Menicucci competed alongside some of the world’s best pastry chefs with a $25,000 grand prize on the line for the competition’s winner. Menicucci was oh so close to making it to the season 5 finale, but ended up placing in the top 4 as the season wrapped up in the first week of May.
Contestants were challenged to create extravagant desserts like spring animal- themed doughnuts, watercolor cakes featuring iconic spring fruits, blue ribbon-worthy rhubarb pies, and a marshmallow desserts in honor of Easter.
The spring theme and the focus on fruity, floral, and fresh flavors neatly compliment his skill set and allowed him to make a highly successful tv debut.
While Menicucci is now plying his trade locally at the Four Seasons Wailea, he is originally from Florence, Italy. Prior to moving to Maui in November, Menicucci was perfecting his craft at a high-end Italian restaurant, Acquerello, in San Francisco.
One of Menicucci’s recent projects was creating a dessert specifically for Ferraro Bar e Ristorante. He was challenged to creating an Italian-style dessert using tropical flavors. In the end, Menicucci created a coconut milk panna cotta with pineapple foam, roasted pineapple and macadamia nuts. Wow!
See Chef Riccardo in Action!
If you are interested in experiencing Menicucci’s creations for yourself, then you can check out the Maui Film Festival’s signature event, Taste of Chocolate! Chef Riccardo is busy reimagining the event and putting a fun, modern and Italian twist on all things chocolate. This event is a great way to taste a sampling of his work and meet Riccardo in person.
- Tickets are available at MauiFilmFestival.com.
- When: Thursday, June 13 at 10:00pm
- Where: Four Seasons at Wailea Oceanfront Lawn
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