After 13 hours of impassioned preparation and meticulous presentation, executive pastry chef Kaushik Chowdhury, of JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, led his team to win the 2009 National Pastry Team Championship, held July 6–7 at the resort.

Chowdhury (pictured above with one of the team's showpieces) along with team members Melynda Gilmore and Keith Taylor, the resort's pastry supervisors, won the $30,000 first-place cash award and advanced as Team USA in the 2010 World Championship. In addition to the grand prize, Team Chowdhury took the top award for Best Taste and Flavor.

"It was an honor just to be selected to compete," Chowdhury said in a recent press release. "Winning the national championship is an incredible triumph. Winning the national championship in our hometown right here at our own resort is icing on the cake."

The National Pastry Team Championship is held during odd numbered years. Professional pastry chefs living and working in the United States must submit credentials and achievements to be selected to compete. Eight teams of three participated in the 2009 event. Each team was required to make a sugar showpiece, a chocolate showpiece, and entremet (cake), an entremet glacè (frozen dessert), three types of chocolate bonbons, a plated dessert and a chef's specialty creation. The theme was "Time."

Chowdhury's Team USA will compete in the 2010 World Pastry Team Championship in July 2010 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.