Impressive TV ratings, bookstore best-sellers (more than 300,000 copies of “Pâtissier !” by Christophe Felder sold worldwide), numerous openings of pastry shops – generalist or specialised in one type of pastry – pastry lessons for beginners and connoisseurs, the popularity and enthusiasm for all things sweet remains unabated, representing a safe haven in these uncertain times. Today, it is within the reach of many to watch Christophe Michalak create his mouth-watering ‘My Dream Cake’ on Téva TV and head straight to one of his three shops in the French capital.
However, Gabriel Paillasson – who earned the ‘Meilleur Ouvrier de France’ distinction for Pastry in 1972 and for Ice-cream making in 1976 – did not wait for the trend or the needs to arise to have a vision. In the wake of the creation of the Bocuse d’Or in 1987 by his friend Paul Bocuse – the son of a weaver and an ironing lady – launched the ‘Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie’ in 1989, which was to become the reference contest in a much adulated trade.
A CONTEST AND A DESTINY
The Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie is a truly exceptional human adventure and has established itself as the most important contest of its kind in the world. It has revealed top level pastry chefs for whom the event contributed to boost their self-confidence and has served as a great springboard for their career. In 1993, Pierre Marcolini achieved second place on the podium with his teammates of the Belgian team, and won gold two years later. The same year in 1995, he opened his first pastry shop in Brussels. Today, he has more than 30 stores all over the world. In France he is also known as the enigmatic judge of French TV show ‘Who will be the next top pastry chef’. In 2003, Japanese pastry chef Norihito Terai won the silver medal, today he is the star of French pastry in Japan with his patisserie Aigre Douce in Tokyo. In 2003, France
COUPE DU MONDE OF STAMINA
Concerning the tests, the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie is a long obstacle course that requires as much perseverance as savoir-faire. After a series of qualifying rounds that spread over 2 years, following 50 national and 4 continental selection events, the final of the contest will take place on January 22nd and 23rd 2017 in Lyon and will bring together 22 teams composed of 3 specialists: sugar, chocolate and ice-cream. They have 10 hours in which to take up a steep challenge featuring a dream menu: 1 artistic creation made of chocolate, 3 chocolate cream desserts, 1 artistic creation made of sugar integrating a flower made of drawn sugar, 1 artistic piece made of sculpted water ice, 3 frozen fruit desserts and 15 desserts on a plate. The tests take place as part of the Sirha show – THE World Hospitality and Food Service event – at the heart of a large dedicated space covering 8,000 m2 divided into a stage, where the participants perform live, and the stands where the enthusiastic public cheers on. An atmosphere worthy of a Formula 1 race, as the founder of the contest likes to say, for a top level event that represents the ultimate show in pastry worldwide.
NEW TRIALS INTRODUCED IN 2017
The rules and regulations for the 2017 finale introduce a new requirement for the sugar specialists: the integration of a flower in their artistic creation – a rose, carnation or orchid. The participants will need to place extra emphasis on aesthetics for their creations, as this is an aspect that is justly much appreciated by the public.
As for the chocolate artists, their sculptures must now be created using hollow casting and no longer solid casting, which increases risks of breakage until the very last minute.
True to its commitment toward sustainable development, for its 2017 edition the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie has decided to significantly reduce the quantity of material allowed for the artistic chocolate creation, thus leaving a smaller margin for error. More importantly, this is an opportunity for the participants to show their eco-responsibility. A new prize will be introduced in this respect to reward the team that will have excelled at optimizing the use of raw materials and avoided wasting products.
PHILIPPE RIGOLLOT, PRESIDENT OF THE I.O.C.
For its 15th edition, the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie welcomes a new president for its International Organizing Committee (IOC), Philippe Rigollot, under the benevolent guidance of Gabriel Paillasson – President founder of the event and holder of the Meilleur ouvrier de France 2007 distinction for pastry. Philippe was also part of the team that won the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie in 2005, together with teammates Christophe Michalak and Frédéric Deville. In addition to his exceptional track record, he will contribute his original and modern approach to the industry of sweet creations, which fully justifies his appointment as the new president. After working for eight years for Lenôtre and two others with Frédéric Anton at Pré Catelan, Philippe Rigollot further honed his skills working alongside Anne-Sophie Pic between 2000 and 2010, before setting out on his own adventure and opening his patisserie in Annecy. Since 2010, he has been delighting locals with his signature Mr. Smith apple tarts… Granny Smith, or Passionnément (vanilla-passion fruit mousse), but also with seasonal creations such as the Choco Banana or Douceur Poire Caramel that you can taste at the shop and even on the terrace in the sunny season. Champion of a day, champion for ever!
L’équipe de France
Louis François, Marne la vallée
Potel et Chabot, Paris
Etienne Leroy- Captain
Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Cap d’Antibes
Jean-Thomas Schneider (ice-cream) – Pastry chef for Louis François, native of Vincennes (Val de Marne); Bastien Girard (chocolate) – Potel & Chabot, born in Tournon-sur-Rhône (Ardèche); and Étienne Leroy (sugar/pastry), pastry sous-chef at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, from Antibes (Alpes-Maritime),will represent France in the 2017 final. They will also have a replacement: Gaétan Fiord, pastry sous-chef at the Hotel Barrière Le Fouquet’s, in Paris. They earned their qualification for the final on November 7th 2015 in Lyon, as part of the ‘Salon du Chocolat’ show, and have been working relentlessly since then. They have the support of their Coach, Marc Rivière – winner in 2009 – because the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie is also a question of sharing knowledge and know-how.