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Priest almost wins ‘MasterChef Uruguay’ by serving John Paul II’s favorite dessert


masterchefuruguay | Instagram | Fair Use

Pablo Cesio - published on 12/20/21

And he first saw the recipe right here on Aleteia!

He almost won MasterChef in Uruguay!

Fr. Juan Andrés Verde made it to the final round of the famous cooking competition among a plethora of talented and inspired candidates. For the last round, on December 10, he ended the three-course meal challenge with an amazing missionary twist. He decided to make Pope John Paul II’s favorite cake for dessert — the “papal millefeuille,” the famous Papieska Kremowka.

“Dessert is my weak point,” Fr. Verde admitted, adding with a laugh, “But Pope John Paul II can save me!”

Later, he added that he’d like to prepare the dessert for Pope Francis someday.

Although he didn’t win the competition, Fr. Verde came out a winner, happy to have been able to transmit, through his passion for cooking, his faith in Christ.

He told Aleteia, “I wanted to try to convey a message with each course. With the first (“vitel toné,” a traditional Christmas dish in the region, Ed.), the importance of family, of Christmas with Jesus. Next, with the surf and turf polenta, I wanted to make something that could be present in any home.”

With the dessert, he wanted to pay homage to John Paul II, who “traveled the world on land and sea evangelizing. I think I was there a little bit for that, to evangelize. That’s why he inspired me. The reason for my presence in such a program was to try, in the Uruguayan way, to transmit Christ.

Indeed, his motivation for participating in the competition was to raise money to help the poor in the Santa Eugenia neighborhood of the Uruguayan capital city of Montevideo. Although he didn’t win the competition, he publicized his cause, and he says that a donor has come forward with the same amount of money he would’ve received as prize money had he won the competition. After the competition he received a hero’s welcome from people of the neighborhood, as can be seen in the photos he shared with Aleteia.


“I’m happy to have been able to fulfill the goals for the neighborhood, to have met such good people, and to be able to humbly leave a message of happiness, hope and faith. It’s possible! It’s always possible! With God’s help!” he said.

“I want to tell everyone: LIFE is worthwhile! May God bless you all abundantly! And WE WON’T STOP UNTIL WE REACH HEAVEN!” he exclaimed, ending with the motto he often repeated during the competition.

Believe it or not, Fr. Verde told Aleteia that he learned about the dessert in an article by Aleteia.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by MasterChef Uruguay (@masterchefuruguay)

Even before the cooking competition, the charismatic Fr. Verde was known in international media. Before entering the seminary, he played rugby for the Uruguayan national youth rugby team in world competitions in Ireland and Japan. His ordination in 2017 made the news, and he has tens of thousands of followers on social media.

If you want to try the papal millefeuille recipe yourself, you can find it right here on Aleteia!

FoodPope John Paul IIPriest
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