Spain has won the 2011 World Pastry Cup, the prestigious biennial competition known as La Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie.
Taking place for the 12th time, the contest took place in Lyon on 23 and 24 January and saw 19 countries from around the world compete for the title, each comprising a pastry chef, a chocolate specialist and an ice cream maker.
As the winner of the gold medal, the Spanish team has won EUR12,000, with Italy and Belgium picking up the silver and bronze medals respectively.
Team UK finished in ninth position and was also awarded a special prize for the best promotional campaign. The team comprised Javier Mercado and Chris Loder, pastry lecturers at Westminster Kingsway College, and Johannes Bonin, pastry chef at the Connaught Hotel, which was last week promoted to two Michelin stars. They were supported by UK president and judge Benoit Blin, executive pastry chef at Raymond Blanc's two-Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons in Oxfordshire.
It was the first time that a UK team had taken part in the World Pastry Cup since 2003 and only the third time the country had been represented since the competition's inception in 1989.
"We started three months ago with a blank sheet of paper so that was not a lot of time to prepare. To finish in the top ten is a great achievemet," said Blin.
Each team had 10 hours to prepare and present a buffet including three chocolate desserts; three frozen fruit desserts; an ice sculpture; a chocolate sculpture; a sculpture made from drawn sugar and a dessert on a plate.
Simon Hulstone, head chef at the Michelin-starred Elephant in Torquay, Devon, is representing the UK at the Bocuse d'Or competition, which starts in Lyon today. Hulstone, who is up against 23 countries from around the world, will be competing tomorrow.
Industry professionals in the UK will be able to watch the Bocuse d'Or live at Hospitality 2011, which will be screening the event. For more details see the show's website http://www.hospitalityshow.co.uk/.
Pictured: Team UK competing at the 2011 World Cup. Visit our Table Talk forum for a full gallery of images from the competition.
By Kerstin Kuhn
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