Fruit Carving Gold Medalist

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Food Network Challenge carving winners.

Duey Joins James Parker for a Fruit-and-Vegetable Sculpture Competition. Rematch airing on the Food Network.

Ray Duey, CEC, owner, Chefgarnish.com, Woodbridge, Calif., joined James Parker, owner, Veggy Art, Chantilly, Va., in the Food Network Challenge, "The Rematch: Fantasy Fruit Sculpture," which aired May 18. Parker was named champion and Duey, who worked as his assistant on the challenge, won a gold medal.

The Food Network Challenge features four contestants as they battle it out for a gold medal and $10,000 cash prize. Competitors and their assistants have a few hours to prove their skill and present their final creation to a panel of judges. On the original show, "Fantasy Fruit Sculptures," which aired September 2, 2007, contestants raced to transform more than 100 pounds of fruit and vegetables into towering sculptures in Hawaii.

In the rematch, the same competitors returned with the challenge to create "tropical treasures," fruit-and-vegetable sculptures. Douglas St. Souver, a former student of Duey's, was the reigning champion. The show was filmed in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. on February 19.

Parker and Duey's winning sculpture, "Treasures Lost, Paradise Found," towered over six feet tall. The immaculate sculpture portrayed the bottom of the sea with a treasure chest and shipwrecked vessel on shore. Thai carved melons were stacked high and a sun sculpture sat on top. On the backside, a working waterfall cascaded down and there were tropical birds, a papaya snake and various tropical flowers, made of candy cane beets, rutabagas, turnips, chili peppers and rhubarb.

"Once the clock expired there was a temporary sigh of relief, but the real sense of finality was when they declared the winner," Duey says.

Duey, a certified executive chef and member of ACF California Capital Chefs Association, has spent the last two decades developing his skill and creating fruit-and-vegetable carvings for weddings, events, classes and seminars. In 2004, he opened Chef Ray Presents, where he teaches the specialized art form to a wide variety of professionals across the United States. Duey has received numerous awards in national and international competitions. In addition, he is also corporate executive chef at Buffet Euro, San Francisco, Calif. For more information visit, http://www.chefgarnish.com.

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