Former OCC student wins Food Network challenge

COSTA MESA — A graduate of Orange Coast College's culinary arts program won first place this week in a contest in which four top chefs went up against one another to see who could create an all-chocolate vehicle that actually moved.

Award-winning Las Vegas pastry chef Chris Hanmer, a former resident of Costa Mesa, won $10,000 — not to mention a shot at fame on the TV screen.

You can check it out on the Food Network at 6 p.m. Saturday.

The contest, dubbed the Food Network Runaway Chocolate Challenge, will also air at 7 p.m. Sunday.

The chef and his design partner, Loppo Martinez, spent nearly a month preparing for the contest, they said.

"His work was stellar," said Bill Barber, an OCC culinary arts associate professor who had Hanmer as a student.

Hanmer managed to make an old-fashioned bicycle from chocolate and it strutted its stuff by rolling along a narrow beam propped up for the contest.

Tom Ragan

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