27 Jan. 2017
The Pastry World Cup, the most international and prestigious awards show of sweets, proved once more the exceptional interest and importance of pastry in today’s world.
Every continent had both its artists of sweets and its gourmets. Twenty-two teams, selected through fifty national and four continental competitions throughout the world, battled it out on January 22nd and 23rd at the Sirha in Lyon (France) for the 15th edition of the most athletic of gourmet competitions. Founding President (1989) Gabriel Paillasson was at the helm of this competition with Philippe Rigollot, the new president of the Organization International Committee.
A true marathon of sweets
The purpose of this marathon? Each team, made of 3 pastry chefs, each competing in a “field” (sugar, chocolate and ice) had to make in 10 hours an artistic piece made out of sugar with a flower in pulled sugar, another in chocolate – hollow, therefore far more fragile than a sculpture – and one hybrid ice sculpture; all that in front of an excited and happy crowd. And let’s not forget the realization of 3 chocolate entremets, 3 frozen fruit entremets and 15 single-plate desserts!
So, no downtime for the athletes of sweets. Armed with hair driers, blowtorches, chocolate scissors… the pastry chefs worked the volumes as well as the matters, drawing as well as assembly. Working their compositions like painters, sculptors or cabinetmakers, they found a way to play with textures, shapes and colors while never losing sight of taste. A very accomplished discipline in these Olympic Games of Sweets, all happening in an electric setting, worthy of any stadium, whistles, banners and flags included!
And the world champions are…
After 69 tastings! The jury, which included Norihiko Terai, declared France the winner of the 2017 Pastry World Cup.
More specifically the pastry chefs Etienne Leroy (pastry under-chef at the Cap-Eden Roc and Charles Proust, 2014 3rd place winner of the Relais Desserts Awards), Bastien Girard (chef and development head for Potel & Chabot and 2nd prize winner of the 2013 Pascal Caffet Trophy) and Jean-Thomas Schneider (consulting pastry chef and 2012 world vice-champion of ice-cream). The trio worked under the authority of Marc Rivière (2009 pastry world champion and pastry chef at Potel & Chabot).
In 2013, France had already won the Pastry World Cup then led by Frédéric Cassel, President of Relais Desserts.
The Japanese team led by Norihiko Terai, Japanese Relais Desserts pastry chef, and teammates Takahiro Komai, Yoshiaki Uezaki and Takao Yamamoto won second place.
Finally, the Swiss team with Cédric Pilloud, Jorge Cardoso, Jean-Baptiste Jolliet and Patrick Bovon as team leader, took third place.
Front page, the French team, the new pastry world champions. From left to right : Bastien Girard, Étienne Leroy, Jean-Thomas Schneider and Marc Rivière.
Photos © Sirha 2017