Chefs Elizabeth Falkner (Citizen Cake and Orson, SF) and Johnny Iuzzini (Jean Georges, NYC) might be smiling in the above photograph, but have no doubt: This was another battle in the long-running East Coast-West Coast Rivalry, this time played out in the perilous trenches that is cupcake warfare. The scene: a cupcake-off at the Astor Center in Manhattan. Blood would be spilled. Appetites would be ruined. Fingers would be made sticky.
Representing the West Coast was Falkner with a Chocolate Pub Cake with molasses fluff filling, fudge frosting, and (of course!) Meyer lemon-spice peanuts as a garnish. Representing the East Coast was Iuzzini with a Pop-A-Rocksy Rose featuring "chocolate-beet cake with raspberries, chocolate buttercream, and hibiscus-flavored Pop Rocks in the middle" with a garnish of crystallized rose petal. Wait, what? That's not very East Coast at all. It's so... very dainty.
Anyway, whose cupcakes would judges Grant Di Mille and Samira Mahboubian of Street Sweets and John Scharffenberger choose victorious in the Great Bi-Coastal Cupcake Conflict of 2010? Top Chef Just Desserts judge Johnny Iuzzini. East Coast wins! For now.
· Elizabeth Faulkner vs. Johnny Iuzzini Cupcake Battle [Serious Eats]
· All Johnny Iuzzini Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Elizabeth Falkner Coverage on Eater [-E-]