World Finals :
Pol Deschepper wins, Galla is 2nd, Izumi 3rd
Spectacular and delicious chocolate creations from all corners of the world.
The World Chocolate Masters kept its promise to have its climax with a spectacular final, held in Paris on 21-22 October 2005. Seventeen finalists were selected as the best chocolatier or patissier of their country at the national heats that Barry Callebaut organised over the past 2 years. Now, all of them were invited to Paris to compete for the highest honour of becoming the first “World Chocolate Master” and for their part of the prize package of over € 75.000.
The finals of this contest took place at 2 locations in Paris. On Friday 21st October, the contestants set up their homemade chocolate artworks at Salon du Chocolat at Porte de Versailles, where 120.000 chocolate lovers passed by to have a look at these showpieces. All 17 showpieces were set up as an art gallery on the Barry Callebaut booth, with a sensational cocktail bar in the middle. The contestants and jury members of the World Chocolate Masters were invited to admire another type of chocolate art there, namely the famous chocolate fashion show that was presented on the central stage of Salon du Chocolat.
Some of the contestants showed real artistic talents in their showpieces. With the competition theme being “Surrealism” there were no limits to their imagination. The winning showpiece, made by Pol Deschepper (Belgium), was called “Surcanu” and represents the two most important elements in Deschepper’s life: his wife and his horse. Other remarkable pieces were Italian Fabrizio Galla’s “Megame”, a surreal representation of checks elements; the American participant Jean-Marie Auboine’s “Eclosion”, a surreal woman’s bust on an Aztec calendar; Australian Tim Clark’s “Fighting for life”, a very refined and light composition with a fish biting a stallion and a butterfly transforming from the fish’s tail. Hassan Hassan from Lebanon created “The palette of space”, which he described as the delirium of an insomniac artist, whose spirit sails amongst the stars. Markus Podzimek, the Austrian representative, created an elegant woman as the symbol of Europe; the Spanish contestant Ariel Mendizabal Rey also sculpted a female bust sitting gracefully on top of the globe in his work called “Dreams”.
On Saturday 22 October, all 17 contestants created 2 types of pralines, a pastry, a gastronomic dessert and a small showpiece. Within 10 hours, they prepared all of these masterpieces at the famous Ecole Lenôtre in Plaisir, just outside Paris. The jury was composed internationally, with one jury member per participating country, and Pascal Brunstein and Gunther Van Essche as the 2 presidents to coordinate.
At 19h00 the founder of the Lenôtre group, Mr Gaston Lenôtre, came to congratulate the 17 finalists and to welcome the jury members. He and Benoît Villers, Gourmet Business Unit President of Barry Callebaut thanked the collaborators of Barry Callebaut who organised the event and the people of Ecole Lenôtre who helped, before the results were announced by the 2 presidents.
Kouichi Izumi from Japan created the winning dessert, called “Eclosion” and representing the birth from the egg. The main flavours are Cacao Barry white Blanc Satin chocolate and dark Extra Bitter Guayaquil, combined with tropical fruits. Olivier Vidal from France presented “Tourmenté”, with a Piémont hazelnut praline with fragments of caramelised cocoa beans, dark chocolate ice cream and pina colada ice cream and 2 coulis, 1 made of dark chocolate and 1 of mango. Hein Geers from The Netherlands made “Dali’s Emotion”, a refreshing panna cotta of kumquats, combined with bitter-sweet Callebaut Sao Thomé chocolate mousse, combined with a basil dressing and a raspberry and red wine granité. Ariel Mendizabal Rey made his “Surrealist Manifesto” dessert, a journey through all types of flavours, from everyday flavours like chestnut and peach over the most exotic and diverse ones like ginger and orange blossom.
The winning pastry was “Sucarda”, made by Pol Deschepper. This chocolate pastry was composed of a disc of chocolate biscuit, crunchy chunks, chocolate mousse, a disc of lime cream and a cardamom chocolate mousse cream. Olivier Vidal presented “Abyss”, a composition with dark chocolate mousse, biscuit and ganache and a hazelnut praline mousseline sauce with hazelnut streusel. Tony Hoyle from United Kingdom made “Mapraow”, with a caramel and Callebaut Papua milk chocolate mousse, passion fruit curd and the flavour of Thai curry, on a crunchy base of “pain d’épice”. The Canadian finalist Christophe Morel created “Depths”, a soft chocolate biscuit on a crunchy pecan nut streusel, with cubes of vanilla pear confit, lemony balsamic vinegar cream and Callebaut Saint Domingue chocolate mousse. Angelika Schwalber from Germany made “Tanzanie”, a composition of an aranchi-‘Tanzanie-biscuit’, a Callebaut ‘Papouasie-ganache, sallow thorn and orange mousse, chocolatemousse and finished with chocolate glaze.
Vidal also created the winning hand enrobed praline. His “Infinite” combined a layer of hazelnut praline with dashes of caramelised hazelnuts and a layer of lemon ganache, all enrobed in dark chocolate.
Galla’s moulded praline “Damona” was the winner in its category. It had a double structure, crispy and creamy with a dark chocolate cover of Cacao Barry Guayaquil, with Cacao Barry dark Cuba chocolate, Sicilian oranges and hazelnut as the main flavours. Other remarkable pralines were “Inertia” by Christope Renou from Switzerland, in the shape of a stone and with the subtle flavour of Madagascan coconut tea, mixed with mandarin fragrance. Podzimek’s “Grand Marnier Crunch Praline” contained truffle mass, candied oranges, sesame and crunchy pieces, moulded in dark chocolate.
Pol Deschepper made the winning small showpiece. “Surfluru” represented a refined horse, made of dark, milk and white Callebaut chocolate. Morel’s piece was called “What’s the chicken doing?” and referred to the old question of what was first, the chicken or the egg. In Morel’s piece the chicken ran away and left behind the egg ! Yamamoto’s piece “Wind” was a fragile chocolate weathercock, catching the wind. Pawel Malecki from Poland made a “Cocoa tree of time”, based on the idea that cocoa pods want to be on every planet, where they can share their happiness and delight. Brian Broeckner from Denmark made “Time”, a small version of his large chocolate showpiece, in which a fat man is sitting on a surreal clock.
The 16 jury members and their 2 presidents were very much impressed by the level of work that the contestants presented for the World Chocolate Masters. They judged each criteria carefully and thus pronounced Pol Deschepper as the winner of the 2005 edition of the World Chocolate Masters.
This contest is the result of the 2 former chocolate contests that Barry Callebaut organised for its artisan workers, the “Grand Prix International de la Chocolaterie” by Cacao Barry and the “International Belgian Chocolate Award” by Callebaut. The next edition will be organised in 2007.