New Waterloo corporate executive pastry chef Amanda Rockman, the Top Chef: Just Desserts alum behind those perfect pastries at coffee shop Manana, is competing against celebrity chef Bobby Flay on his Food Network television show. The season 14, episode 13 of Beat Bobby Flay, “Peeling Away,” will air on Thursday, January 25 at 9 p.m. Tune in to find out how Rockman fares.
The show pits two chefs against each other, in this case, the James Beard Awards semifinalist Rockman versus Vicki Wells, who is a former Flay chef and currently the executive pastry chef of both New York’s Hunt & Fish Club and New Jersey’s L’Arte della Pasticceria. That winner will compete against Flay himself for the second segment. It’s safe to presume the competitions will revolve around desserts.
Beat Bobby Flay involves judges and celebrity appearances. This particular episode features Chopped’s Ted Allen and actress Busy Phillips with judges Raiza Costa (pastry chef and filmmaker), Nils Norén (founder of Absolute Culinary and former vice president of Marcus Samuelsson Group’s restaurant operations,) and Scott Levine (chef/owner of Underwest Donuts).
Rockman grew up in Katy, Texas and studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Back in Austin, she worked as the executive pastry chef of Fino and Asti. Then she went to Chicago, where she worked in various restaurants including Nico Osteria and now-shuttered two-Michelin-starred L20.
Rockman moved back to Austin in 2015 to run the pastry program at the South Congress Hotel. She was promoted to the New Waterloo position late last year. In Rockman’s current role as executive pastry chef, she also oversees the desserts and pastries of the South Congress Hotel, Central Standard, Stephen F. Frostin’ ice cream truck, Le Politique, forthcoming Il Brutto, and others.