Bakers Journal

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High level of talent at World Pastry Team Championships


July 25, 2012
By Bakers Journal

July 25, 2012, Chicago – After two days of competition at
the World Pastry Team Championships in Las Vegas, Team Japan was named
first place overall winners and Team USA won best dégustation and second
place overall in the
challenge, inspired by astrology and horoscopes.

July 25, 2012, Chicago – After two days of competition at
the World Pastry Team Championships in Las Vegas, Team Japan was named first place overall winners and Team USA won best dégustation and second place overall in the
challenge, inspired by astrology and horoscopes. The all-American team
of National Pastry Champions consisted of Chef Donald
Wressell, team captain, and Chefs Scott Green, Joshua Johnson and,
alternate, Della Gossett of the The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College at City
Colleges of Chicago. The achievement for Team USA comes after two years of preparation, including the
qualifying National Pastry Team Championship in 2011.

Team Netherlands placed third and other competitors heralded from China, Mexico, and South Korea, where
they had to undergo intense training and competition in order to be
selected to represent their country’s best in pastry. The selection
process for the World Pastry Championship began in 2010 when the event
organizers culled pastry professionals from around the globe with
impressive pedigrees and experience in competition. Much like the
Olympics, each country held a qualifying round of National Pastry Team
Championships to ensure that their best pastry chefs would be sent to
compete on the international level.

With the high level of competitors, the panel
of renowned pastry chef judges evened the playing field by evaluating
the overall performance of the individual teams based 40 per cent on
degustation, 30 per cent on work ethic and hygiene, and 30 per cent on artistry and
technical merit. Each team had to produce one chocolate showpiece, one
sugar showpiece, fourteen identical plated desserts, three identical
entremets, three identical entremets glace, three different types of
petits gâteaux, three different types of chocolate bonbons, and one
sugar and chocolate amenity presentation piece on which to display the
bonbons, all inspired by astrology and horoscopes.

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Taking their
cue from the Chinese Zodiac, Team USA chose the sign of the Rooster,
symbolizing confidence and motivation, as inspiration for their
chocolate and sugar showpieces. Using blown sugar claws, wattles, and
comb; cast-sugar body; and pastillage feathers airbrushed black, white,
and gold, Green portrayed a rooster spoiling for a fight. Johnson’s chocolate showpiece flapped its wings, flaunting
motley feathers which had been expertly cut, shaped, and arrayed. Each
showpiece weighed between 30 and 40 pounds and had to be moved
from their workstations to a display table before the final judging took
place.

More than one dozen
judges contemplated and tasted the work as the competitors presented
each completed product. Throughout the two-day competition, which took
place over thirteen total hours, spectators from all around the world
were cheering on their country’s representatives. The audience, made up
mostly of pastry professionals and students, were treated to an
excellent show in which they were able to witness the latest in pastry
techniques and aesthetics.

“It was a really positive experience
to be able to see all the competitors working on that high level,” Chef
Johnson of Team USA said. “Competitions push concepts,
trends, and individuals and that moves the pastry industry forward.  It
also inspires young professionals to reach for that level and to
challenge themselves no matter where they are.”