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Shiller Victorious Again on "Cupcake Wars"
May 06, 2013
|St. Louis Community College's Casey Shiller, left, and Dana Holland, right, celebrate with Shiller's Forest Park colleague, Rob Hertel, after the duo of Shiller and Holland won Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" for a second time on May 5.|
Victory was sweet once again for Casey Shiller, baking and pastry arts coordinator at St. Louis Community College, who won the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” May 5 for the second time.
With such Florida flavors as Cuban Coffee (with toffee dulce de leche), Cruising Down Collins (pineapple, tangelo, coconut, rum), and Miami Spice (passion fruit and raspberry jam), along with a Cabernet Zinfandel-chocolate concoction for the wine assignment, he wowed the tough trio of judges, who thought his ambitious creations sizzled with the tastes of South Beach and were swanky in appearance.
For coming out on top in the four-team competition, Shiller and his Jilly’s Cupcake Bar & Cafe cohort Dana Holland showcased their delectable morsels at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, with such celebrities as Bobby Flay, Andrew Zimmern and Rachael Ray giving them a thumbs-up. The contest included a $10,000 prize.
Shiller, who joined the STLCC staff in 2005, also is the executive pastry chef at Jilly’s, which has two locations, in University City and Des Peres.
“We were thrilled to represent St. Louis on the national stage, and to showcase our exciting local food scene," Shiller said. "We knew that we were the best in St. Louis. To be told that we’re the best in the country is absolutely humbling."
The show’s broadcast will be repeated again at noon Saturday, May 11.
Shiller and Holland won in their first appearance June 2011, but lost in a battle of champions in January 2012. They were asked to return for this special regional showdown.
“As usual, the competition was incredibly nerve-wracking," he said. "The clock is brutal, and we have so much work to do in such a short period of time."
For the third and final challenge, they had to make 1,000 cupcakes in two hours.
Shiller was honored as the 2012 National Chef Educator of the Year by the American Culinary Federation and St. Louis Chef of the Year by the Chefs de Cuisine. He has taught at STLCC since 2005, and was named Co-Teacher of the Year in 2010. He received Missouri Community College Association’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011.
A native St. Louisan, Shiller’s culinary career includes stints at Trump’s casinos and hotels in Atlantic City and restaurants in Florida, Chicago and upstate New York. He earned a bachelor’s degree in pastry arts and baking from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, R.I.
More Shiller Media
A blog written by Byron Kerman for St. Louis and Sauce magazines, can be found by following this link.
A story by television columnist Gail Pennington of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch can be found by following this link.