Top Moments and Treats from Dessert Games

Guy Fieri is letting his buddy Duff Goldman temporarily turn Flavortown Market into Sweet City and invite some of America's best pastry chefs to compete in his diabolical Dessert Games. Here are some top moments. 

Photo By: David Moir

Photo By: David Moir

Photo By: David Moir

Photo By: David Moir

Photo By: David Moir

Photo By: David Moir

Photo By: David Moir

Photo By: David Moir

Photo By: David Moir

Photo By: David Moir

Diner-Style Dessert Imposters

In Round 1, the contestants are tasked with making their desserts look like a classic burger and fries in an homage to Triple D. “People are fascinated by food that looks like one thing and tastes like something else,“ Duff says.  

It's a Tough Job

Damaris Phillips, Damiano Carrara, and Chef Michael Voltaggio are on hand to judge Episode 2 of Dessert Games. 

A Sweet Burger and Chips

Contestant Thiago Silva's background in food science has prepared him for the first game. His dessert imposter is an impressive stand-in for a burger and fries. He sandwiched instant chocolate creme brulée with a vanilla cake bun and topped it with passion fruit cheese and served pistachio chips on the side. 

Bun Problems

While contestant Rory Krause's Chocolate Brownie Burger with Macaron Bun & Churro Fries looked impressive, he undercooked his macaron. 

Mock Onion Rings

Contestant Tarsha Joyner created an impressive vanilla whoopie pie bun with a chocolate buttercream patty, but her her mock onion rings made with apples were a brilliant touch. 

Juicy Lucy

Contestant Katy Gerdes take on a Juicy Lucy, a Minnesota stuffed burger, served with banana fries looked amazing, but the peanut butter inside the burger doesn’t work and she is sent home.

Crashing the Bake Sale

Judge Damaris Phillips looks on while Guy and Duff take a bite of angel food cake during the bake sale challenge. 

A Teachable Moment

Duff teaches Contestant Tarsha Joyner how to freeze her cake pop with liquid nitrogen for the bake sale challenge. 

Cake Times Three

Tarsha's adorable dessert trio earns her a spot in the final round. 

Duff’s Dream Job

Thiago Silva is the Director of Chocolate at a food lab where he "gets to play with chocolate all day and get paid for it," he said. “I want that job,” Duff remarked enviously. Here, Thiago blows sugar bubbles while preparing his tiramisu in the bake sale challenge. Thiago's food-lab skills earn him the win and $10,000.

Episode 1

The first challengers were Executive Pastry Chef Jessica Scott, Andra Chisholm, head baker at Daytona State College, Executive Pastry Chef Alon Gontowski and Paul Conti, a pastry chef turned general manager who started baking on a naval submarine.

Dessert Dollars

In the first round, the contestants are tasked with creating an extravagant deep-deep fried dessert. Duff hands each of the bakers a box with $40. Upon opening the boxes, they each discover only $19. Hidden camera footage reveals that Guy has taken the rest of the money to up the challenge. Let the games begin!

Gone Bananas

The bakers have 45 minutes and a paltry $19 to create their eye-catching sweet treats. All four gravitate toward the affordable bananas. Once Paul notices this, he decides to make pecan pie empanadas to set himself apart from the banana-making pack. 

The Judges

Damaris Phillips, Nancy Fuller and blogger Emily Schuman were the lucky judges for the very first Dessert Games.  “I am very excited. Also, very glad that I love bananas,” said Emily, as the variations on the fruit come together before her. Andra’s deep-fried Bananas Foster delights the judges. Damaris said she nailed it. “I thought I was at the fair,” said Nancy, enjoying the funnel cake-like batter. Jessica’s sweet banana taquitos were also a hit. “There was something soul-satisfying about the crunch,” Damaris remarked. Paul’s pecan pie empanadas also impressed the judges. However, Alon lost the battle of the bananas by using unripe fruit which made his topping hard and gummy.

Late-Night Guilty Pleasure

Round 2 started off with a simple premise: Make a late-night guilty pleasure. Duff's twist was they must shop, bake and plate in 20 minutes in a came called Dessert Rush. Andra created a cake and ice cream plate with a microwaved passionfruit cake and an avocado-mango ice cream. Jessica used the microwave as well, creating a chocolate chip cake filled with a hazelnut ganache and a stout sabayon. Paul used more of the premade ingredients for his chocolate chip trifle drizzled with salted-caramel walnuts and crowned with a crisp, chocolate-covered potato chip. “This what I want after late night. This is a party in a bowl,” Nancy said of Paul’s dish. Although Paul used packaged cookie dough his flavors were on point. Audra’s beautiful creation was deemed not sinful enough to qualify as a guilty pleasure and she was sent home. 

Gumballer

For Round 3, the final two were tasked with building a tricked-out ice cream sandwich with a secret ingredient. Guy called in from the tropics to announce the game that Duff named Gumballer. A huge gumball machine rolled out pork rinds as the ingredient the bakers had to incorporate into their final dessert. 

From-Scratch vs. Store-Bought

As the final battle unfolded, the judges noticed that Jessica was making all her items from-scratch while Paul was assembling his from premade shelf items. Paul put together a towering creation of frozen waffles, pork rinds, peanut butter cups and chocolate.  Jessica mixed her own buttermilk waffle batter and churned pork rind ice cream. In the end, although Nancy couldn't stop eating Paul’s decadent triple-decker sandwich, Jessica’s clean flavors shone through. Her homemade creation earned her the first win on Dessert Games and $10,000.