Bakers Journal

Who will be Canada’s chocolate master?

April 10, 2015
By Bakers Journal

April 10, 2015, Montreal — The World Chocolate Masters, the 6th edition of the premium international competition solely dedicated to the Art of chocolate, started in September 2014 with a series of national selections, that have been held around the world.

Contestants have competed against each other in national pre-selections for the chance to represent their country at the 2015 grand international final in Paris, Oct. 28-30, 2015. It is now Canada’s turn to elect its chocolate master!

On April 17, Christophe Bonzon, Michaël Cotard and Christophe Sportellini will compete to win the coveted title of World Chocolate Masters Canada at the Chocolate Academy training center in Montreal. The competitors will be evaluated by esteemed and renowned chocolate and pastry professionals:

President of the jury: Philippe Vancayseele, technical director, Chocolate Academy Montreal


Members of the jury:

  • Nicolas Dutertre, technical adviser, Chocolate Academy Montreal
  • Roland Del Monte, M.O.F., pastry chef, Sofitel Montreal
  • Jean-Marc Guillot, M.O. F., ice cream and sorbet master, Sorbets et Glaces Essences
  • Eric Gonzalez, chef, Mont-Tremblant Casino
  • Christophe Morel, chocolate master, CM Chocolatier
  • Nancy Samson, chocolate master, Nancy Samson Chocolaterie

As well as esteemed media jury members who will elect their “coup de coeur”:

  • Lesley Chesterman, gastronomy journalist, The Gazette
  • Philippe Mollé, gastronomy journalist, Le Devoir, Première Chaîne de Radio-Canada

The theme of the competition is INSPIRATION FROM NATURE: a challenging theme that demands the utmost from each contestant.

The theme “Inspiration from Nature” invites chocolate creators around the world to explain how natural products are shaped and transformed into a delightful story with cocoa and chocolate at the heart. Indeed, nature proves to be a strong source of sensorial inspiration. Whether it is the colours and flavours, the sounds of the ocean, the change of seasons, nature is all around us and affecting our moods. At the same time, we want more pure, authentic and high-quality ingredients. For us, food is more than just food. So this year, creating a dish will be more challenging than ever. The contestants will have to play with colours, shapes, scents, textures. It will take a long journey of trial and error to bring taste, contrast and looks in perfect balance – a balance that in rare cases turns out to become a timeless masterpiece. 

During this contest entirely dedicated to the creative use of chocolate and “Inspiration from Nature,” each contestant will have to make one chocolate showpiece and one moulded praline. All new this year, the “cake of the day” assignment will be prepared with daily fresh ingredients and the “chocolate to go” category will be another new task in which participants will create a whole concept of chocolate snack.

The three World Chocolate Masters candidates for the Canadian selection are:
Michaël Cotard, chef and owner of Cotard Chocolatier has participated in several competitions since the beginning of his career, including the Canadian qualifying round for the 2013 World Chocolate Masters, during which he won the award for best layered chocolate cake. He also finished second at the Canadian qualifying round in Toronto for the 2011 World Chocolate Masters.  

Christophe Bonzon is an award-winning pastry chef and chocolatier that brings a small taste of Switzerland to Canada with Chez Christophe Chocolaterie and Patisserie. He discovered chocolate at the age of ten when he was helping his mother make chocolate truffles as a gift for Christmas. Since then, the passion for sweet food has never left him.  

Christophe’s C.V. is studded with over a decade full of intense apprenticeships and coursework in the fine art of pastry and chocolate. He has studied under the wings of some of Europe’s most renowned grand masters. Following his training years, Christophe has held various positions, including pastry chef at Confiserie Schneider in Switzerland, followed by Choux Cafe in Western Australia. He also worked as an Executive Pastry Chef at one of the finest French Pastry Shops in Perth.

After working for renowned culinary houses in the south of France such asl’Hôtel du Cap Eden Roc in Antibes and the Castellaras, Christophe Sportellini opened his own pastry shop in Fayence. He’s been living with his family in Quebec since 2012. Currently, he’s head of production at the Maison Christian Faure in Old Montreal. His desserts were praised in the celebrated gastronomic magazine Thuriès in 2010. This is not the first competition Christophe has entered, given the fact that he won second price in the Duval Leroy competition for pastry of the year in 2006.

WHAT: World Chocolate Masters Canadian National Selection
WHEN: Friday, April 17. Guests are invited from 2 p.m., with chocolate cocktails awards ceremony at 5 p.m.
WHERE: Chocolate Academy Montreal, 4850 Molson Street, Montreal, QC H1Y 3J8

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