Eight pastry chefs from some of the UK's most prestigious kitchens have been chosen as entrants in the 2015 UK Pastry Open.
These include Dale DeSimone from the Grosvenor House hotel; World Chocolate Masters competitor Richie Heppell from the RAF Officers Mess; and Joakim Prat from new London patisserie Maitre Choux.
Taking place at the Restaurant Show in London's Olympia, the competition will award prizes in four categories, comprising: the overall winner with the highest total marks, the best chocolate display, the best sugar display, and the best tasting fruit/chocolate entremets.
The results will help to determine who is selected as part of the official UK Team, to be announced at a later date. The team will then go on to represent the UK at the Coupe Du Monde de La Patisserie in Lyon in 2017.
Judges include team president and chocolatier Martin Chiffers, chairman and executive pastry chef at Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons Benoit Blin, chef Brian Turner, chief executive of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Sara Jayne Stanes, current UK World Chocolate Master Ruth Hinks, executive pastry chef at the Langham London Cherish Finden, 2015 Pastry Team UK team captain Barry Johnson, and group executive development chef James Petrie.
Each candidate will be asked to work along one of two themes, either ‘Carnival and Fairground', or ‘Fairytale', and also prepare a sugar or chocolate display within six hours within specified dimensions.
Entrants will be permitted to bring certain elements with them, including pre-cooked sugar pastilles ready to be warmed on-site, melted but untampered chocolate, and all specialised equipment. They will also be judged on the cleanliness and organisation of work, skills, techniques used, innovation, neatness, and presentation display.
The future UK Team will automatically go through to the Lyon finals thanks to the 2015 UK Team, who came in sixth place in January this year. As one of the teams in the top eight, this meant that they UK qualified without needing to compete in the next European Coupe du Monde.
The 2015 team comprised Barry Johnson from Rococo Chocolates on chocolate, Javier Mercado from Le Cordon Bleu on sugar, and Andrew Blas from the Hotel Café Royal on ice.
The Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie takes place every two years as part of the Lyon exhibition Sirha, which also hosts the Bocuse D'Or contest at the same venue. Founded in 1989 by Gabriel Paillasson, the two-day Coupe comprises 21 teams, and aims to offer a Bocuse D'Or-style competition for pastry chefs.
The 2015 winner was Italy, who will therefore skip the 2017 competition.
Full list of candidates:
Dale DeSimone - Grosvenor House hotel
Richie Heppell - RAF Officers Mess
John Costello - Nestle
Chris Seddon - Coutts
Sugar candidates Joakim Prat - Maitre Choux
Florian Poirot - Florian Poirot
Full list of judges:
Sara Jayne Stanes
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