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Marek Sobkowiak wins contest in Warsaw on 17th March, Pawel Malecki goes to the finals!

Six Polish chocolate craftsmen had accepted the challenge to compete for the Polish Chocolate Master tilte and the Polish Chocolate Creativity Award during the Eurogastro fair in Warsaw. Marek Sobkowiak from Poznan won the title of "Polish Chocolate Master 2005". Due to personal reasons, however, Marek Sobkowiak will not be able to move on to the finals and he passes on the ticket to the 2nd in the ranking, Pawel Malecki!

Miroslaw Kos took home the "Polish Chocolate Creativity Award 2005".

Before the contest, all contestants prepared their showpieces, pralines and entremets that they would present on the contest at the Confectionery workshop of the Polish Confectioners Associaton is Warsaw, under the supervision of Mr Marcin Pazdzior, Barry Callebaut's technical advisor in Poland. This gave all of them equal opportunities to present what they have been able to make in these two days. Have a look at the contestant's CVs here!

On the actual day of the competition, 17th March 2005, they presented all of their creations to a jury of Polish and European judges and 3 observers.The president of the jury was Serge Alexandre, Callebaut Ambassador in Belgium and winner of the 2003 edition of Callebaut's "International Belgian Chocolate Award" (see history). He was assisted by Christina Giersch of the Pastry school in Dresden (Germany), Bozena Sikon - Pastry Chef of Jan III Sobieski Hotel in Warsaw, Foundor and Member of the Polish Creative Confectioners' Club, Marcin Pazdzior - Pastry Chef of the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Poland and Magdalena Mart - Editor-in-chief of Polish professional magazine "Przeglad Piekarski i Cukierniczy".

The observers were Wojciech Kandulski - Cacao Barry ambassador in Poland, owner of Pastry School "Profesional" in Poznan, Barbara Borowicz - Vice president and Sales and Marketing Director of Barbara Luijckx (Master Distributor for Polish market) and Michal Imianowski - Sales Manager Gourmet of Barry Callebaut Poland.

The contestants had to prepare in advance 1 commercial praline and 1 exceptionally creative praline. The cakes they brought from home had to be decorated in place and the showpieces needed to be assembled and finished during the contest. After that, at 13.00h, they alls received an identical set of Mystery ingredients, with which they had to develop an original praline within 2 hours. On top, all of their creations had to fit the competition theme of surrealism.

Even though the Polish contestants had been given only 2 days at the college to prepare all of their creations, it was a collection of remarkably impressive showpieces that were presented to the public at Eurogastro.

Each of the contestants also seemed to have some specialisation : Miroslaw Kos created a very appreciated commercial praline, but was also remarkably creative with the Mystery Box ingredients with which he created an originally shaped praline that pleased the jury both from a technical side, and for its taste.

Ryszard Wawrzyniak presented a very tasteful and creative praline, while Pawel Malecki's cake was a real highlight. Marek Sobkowiak earned the highest total score and won thus the title of Polish Chocolate Master.

However, it will finally be Pawel Malecki who will represent the Polish flag in Paris! As Sobkowiak had to resign from participating, due to personal reasons, the 2nd one in line in the final ranking of the Polish selection, was invited to replace him. Malecki took some time to study the rules and his own possibilities to prepare, and finally did accept the invitation. With a very busy summer ahead, we wish him the best of luck with the preparations!

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