Notable pastry expert adds intricate dessert to showcase’s 5-course meal


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s almost that time of year again when thousands flock to the southeastern North Carolina coast and celebrate the Azalea Festival. Notable chefs from around the region were in the Port City to kick things off.

The “Chef’s Showcase” joined the Azalea Festival activities back on 2018 and is known for it’s seated, 5-course meal with fine wine pairings.

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The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Associations pick for 2019 Pastry Chef of the year brought her dessert expertise from Charlotte.

Jamie Turner says she added a unique twist to the pickled technique for this year’s dessert.

“I use the technique they use to make pickles, so when you turn cucumbers in to pickles you use vinegar, salt and water,” Turner said. “So, I put a sweet approach on it. I use apple cider vinegar, apple cider, sugar and pickle the pink lady apples.”

Turner says she’s cooked for the James Beard House in New York and has toured the east coast with stops in Baltimore, Maryland, Charleston, South Carolina and Washington, D.C.

But, Turner says this is her first time at the showcase.

“The dessert we’ll be having today is a ginger panna cotta with a hibiscus mirror,” Turner said. “There will also be pickled apples on the plate, a ginger shortbread, white chocolate crumble and edible flowers.”

If you missed out on Turner’s dish at the showcase, she currently brings her treats to the fine dining at The Asbury at The Dunhill Hotel in Charlotte. She says it is the only historic hotel in the city.