What does the Pastry World Cup represent for you?
Contributing to one of the most beautiful contests on the pastry scene represents a real professional achievement for me. In our kitchens we learn from our colleagues, but with contests we witness the rise of the very finest talents international pastry has to offer. Naturally, the participants have honed their skills and we can learn from this new know-how.
In the Americas 2022 selecting event you witnessed the high stakes this carries for the teams, what was most striking to you?
The work environment is very different from what we’re used to in France. The teams had to face many contingencies, technical issues in particular. The American continent has wonderful things to offer. The participants have learned from the different contests and have successfully earned their place on the podium alongside other countries more accustomed to the leaderboard. There’s a continuous progression, the desire to challenge, and this is something that is beautiful to witness.
Pastry and contest are allies when it comes to rigour. What do you expect from the teams?
I would like all the teams to push even further and see a team that really surprises us. Naturally I would like to see France win the event, but more importantly I would like to see things shaken up, upended. It is even more galvanizing for countries used to featuring on the podium to face new serious contenders. The Americans are back, so are the Canadians. After 15 years of absence, it’s great to see them again, especially after the pandemic. All the contest kitchens will be busy, the final promises to be great.
Pastry is evolving at a fast pace. What changes have you observed in your trade over the recent years?
Pastry always goes back to the fundamentals while introducing pure lines. We see less sophisticated shapes: back to the basics, shapes that are rawer, more clearcut, this is something that I have noted. The representation we have of pastry is that of traditional pastry but bringing this to life in a pure fashion with raw flavours is more popular today. It is not necessarily a quest for innovation, it is more about finding Proust’s madeleine. For the final, I would recommend that the teams explore more classical and simple flavours. They should tell a story through their creations. The challenge is to make people dream whilst adapting to everyone’s tastes: the more pastry is meaningful to the many the more popular it is.