On the 28th January, Australia sent a team of chefs to France to compete in the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie, or Pastry World Cup – the holy grail of all Patisserie Chefs.
The Australian team, headed by Le Cordon Bleu Chef André Sandison, has been preparing for this event for over two years, training sometimes up to 12-14 hours a day to develop these one of a kind, dessert showpieces. In the competition, teams from twenty two countries will have ten hours to produce a range of desserts, including three frozen desserts, three chocolate desserts, twelve plated desserts representative of your country, as well as three showpiece artistic creations – one made of sugar, one made of chocolate and one sculpted of ice.
Needless to say that the Aussies will be feeling the pressure in the home of patisserie, but, according to André Sandison, it’s not the other teams you need to prepare for:
“Once you start creating your dessert, there is so much work that goes into each piece, you can only concentrate on your own work. And even though we have been constantly refining our skills in preparation, it’s really just about keeping a cool head on the day, to make sure our creations look and taste exactly as we want them to.”
The youngest member of the team, Justin Yu, one of André’s past students at Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, will compete in the chocolate section, something he specialised in even during his studies, winning local competitions against professional chefs. For Justin, the international stage will be intimidating, but he is thankful for the experience of the chefs coming with him:
“When there is so much pressure to perform at this level, it can be scary, but having these experienced chefs by my side, training me and giving me confidence in my skills and technique has made all the difference.”
The Pastry World Cup is being hosted in conjunction with SIRHA, France’s largest hospitality industry fair in Lyon, France, an attraction for hotel and restaurant trade worldwide. Since its creation in 1989, the competition has been mostly won by the mainstay classic European countries, such as France, Italy, Spain and Belgium, so the Australians face some stiff competition to prove themselves.
Results will be announced at the Gala dinner