Chicagoans Win "Food Network Challenge"

Sarah's Pastries & Candies takes home top prize

By Marcus Riley
|  Monday, Aug 22, 2011  |  Updated 3:15 PM CDT
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Sarah Levy and Sunny Lee pose with their prize-winning cake.

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A Chicago pastry chef won big Sunday night on "Food Network Challenge."

Sarah Levy at the Gold Coast's Sarah's Pastries & Candies beat out three other contestants to take home the $10,000 prize.

The show pits chefs against each other in a variety of food battles. Sunday's competition was to create an extreme dinosaur cake, which compelled Levy and her team to create a "Fantastic Stegarasic" -- a 3-feet tall cake complete with a moving head and tail and a habitat with dry ice for extra effect.

"My partner, Sunny Lee, did an amazing job making it come to life and making it real," Levy says."The actual cake had a lot of detail along with the background, but our advantage was that we practiced hard before we got there, making the cake twice in Chicago beforehand."

The team had eight hours to make the cake on the show, but during their practice sessions, timed themselves over seven hours, allowing time to add details, like crushed Oreos to resemble dirt.

Levy says there won't be much left over from the prize money after she covers costs and pays her team, but the win should provide an even bigger reward.

"Hopefully it will add to our credibility and let people know we're always up for a good challenge," Levy says."We're hoping that being on a national show brings us new exposure, and fans of the show who come into town will come and visit us."

Levy plans to offer smaller dinosaur cake and cookie versions at her store.

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