MEET THE HOST of Food Network Challenge: Last Cake Standing,

Keegan Gerhard, named one of the nation’s top 10 pastry chefs of 2002 and 2004 by both Chocolatier and Pastry Art & Design magazines, brings a wealth of experience and abundant competitive energy to his position as Executive Pastry Chef.

 

A one-time cyclist, Keegan originally pursued a career in culinary arts simply to have a mobile source of income that would allow him to train for the Olympics. But convenience soon gave way to passion, as Keegan found himself running the kitchen of a French bistro in San Diego.

 

Keegan set out to learn from the best, and worked as the assistant to the celebrated Master pastry chef, Jacquy Pfeiffer. Keegan describes this as more of an apprenticeship and awakening. Subsequent positions as Pastry Chef with Charlie Trotters Restaurant, the Waldorf Astoria and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company ensued, as did a position as Corporate Pastry Chef for Dean and DeLuca and Executive Pastry Chef of Four Seasons Chicago. Keegan was also a proud member of the opening team for Wynn Las Vegas.

 

In 2008, Keegan relocated to Denver, Colorado to open his own restaurant and dessert bar. “D-Bar Desserts is a destination dessert dining experience created to put people at ease,” Keegan says, “…a culinary sanctuary where this connection can take place.”  Since opening, D-Bar Desserts has been voted Best New Restaurant in Denver 2008 by 5280 Magazine.

 

When he’s not preparing seasonal product-driven delicacies in his restaurant, Keegan spends time organizing and serving as emcee for the National Pastry Team Championships, The World Pastry Team Championships and Food Network Challenge programs.

 

He has been featured numerous times on the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of America, as well as the Travel Channel and CNN. For the 2001 Pastry World Cup, he served as technical advisor to Team USA, which brought home a gold medal. Keegan is the recipient of the 2003 Distinguished Visiting Pastry Chef award from Johnson & Wales University, and has received the Jean Banchet Culinary Excellence Award. Keegan has had the honor of participating in 8 different James Beard Dinners. And his desserts have also been featured in several publications including Pastry Art & Design and Pastry Baking North America.

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