On Wednesday, 13 July 2022, Team U.S.A. captured the silver medal at the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie’s Americas Continental Selection in Santiago, Chile. Competing against six other countries, Team U.S.A.’s medal-winning creations were based on the theme “Casino.”
With this win, Team U.S.A. qualifies for a spot at the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie on January 20-21, 2023 in Lyon, France. The other two countries who qualified at the Americas Selection were Chile, who won the gold medal and Argentina, who took the bronze medal. They will join the winners from the European selection: the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Denmark, as well as France. The final three selections, the African Pastry Cup, the Asian Pastry Cup, and the Middle East Pastry Cup will take place this fall.
At the continental selection, each country consisted only of two team members, however, in France there will be three pastry chefs per team. Additionally, each team was permitted to choose its own theme, however, during the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, each team must create desserts and centerpieces around one central theme. This year it is Climate Change.
Moreover, at the continental selections, each team was required to produce three tasting and two artistic creations (one sugar and one chocolate centerpiece), as well as a buffet display integrating their creations around their chosen theme. The Lyon competition will involve additional elements that include four tasting tests, three centerpieces, and one buffet tying all the elements together. For some categories, they will also be required to create a mock dessert, which will be used for display purposes only.
According to the rules, the tests include:
Four tasting tests:
- Chocolate dessert to share (3 desserts for 8 people, 1 mock dessert)
- Frozen desserts with fruit purées (3 frozen desserts for 8 people, 1 mock dessert)
- Frozen Lollipops (26 lollies, 10 mock desserts)
- Restaurant dessert (10 restaurant desserts, no mock dessert)
Three art pieces:
- Chocolate sculpture (165cm high + chocolate block)
- Sugar sculpture (165cm high)
- Ice Sculpture (50cm max on block of L50cmxH50cmxD25cm)
- Composition of a buffet bringing together the above creations
Not only do the creations need to meet specific requirements like height restrictions, composition, and more but the chocolate and frozen desserts also have weight limits. The chocolate dessert portion must weigh between 80g – 120g and the frozen dessert must weigh between 100g – 150g per portion.
Virtually every item must be made during the competition, however, there are a few items that each country may bring including milk, flour, and eggs. They may be individually weighed, but not mixed or assembled. Various forms of sugar may also be brought in, as well as cooked and tinted sugar pieces, but they must be reworked during the competition. Pastillage may also be pre-made, cut out, and imprinted but it must be white in color and unassembled. Other authorized items that may be brought in by each team include any items not supplied be the organizers (e.g. food colouring, aromas, etc) and alcoholic products that are essential to their recipes.
There will be 20 countries competing, starting at 6:00 a.m., over the two-day period – 10 on day one and 10 on day two. They will be allotted 10 hours to complete all the tests.
Prizes will be awarded to the teams that place in the top three, as well as a number of special prizes awarded by members of the I.O.C. including an eco-responsible prize for the team who generated the least amount of waste and presented the best CSR approach in their promotional video.
First place will receive 21.000, a trophy, and four medals; second place: 12.000, a trophy, and four medals and third place: 6.000, a trophy, and four medals.
In order to qualify for the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, each contestant must be a resident of the country they are representing for at least five years and have a minimum of five years of professional experience working in a pastry shop, hotel, restaurant, or school.
Julie Eslinger is currently the pastry chef at The Country Club at Castle Pines in Colorado; Jordan Snider, executive pastry chef at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina; Mary Lewis, assistant pastry chef at A la Folie Bakery in Illinois, and team alternate, François Behuet, executive pastry chef at the Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles.
The team is coached by three former Team U.S.A. participants: Chef Gilles Renusson, President, Club Coupe du Monde U.S.A., and Chef Andy Chlebana, pastry chef/instructor at Joliet Junior College in Illinois, as well as Chef Christophe Feyt, Executive Pastry of Hilton Hotels & Resorts in Dallas, Texas.
Team U.S.A. is sponsored by Valrhona (Founding Sponsor), Nielsen Massey, CapFruit, Paris Gourmet, Midwest Imports, AUI Fine Foods, St. Michel, Chef Rubber, Irinox, Bit Baking, de Buyer, Robot Coupe, Tomric, The Ekus Group, and Steelite USA.
Feature Image: Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie/Facebook