The 20 countries competing in next year's World Pastry Cup have been revealed, with a team representing the UK taking part for the first time in eight years.
The prestigious biennial competition, which is known as La Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, will take place in Lyon on 23 and 24 January. It will see 20 countries from around the world compete for the title, each comprising a pastry chef, a chocolate specialist and an ice-cream maker.
Each team will have 10 hours to prepare and present a buffet which must include: 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.
Benoit Blin, executive pastry chef at Raymond Blanc's two-Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire, has been selected as the president of the British team.
It is the first time that a UK team has taken part in the World Pastry Cup since 2003 and only the third time the country has been represented since its inception in 1989.
"The 2011 Pastry World Cup in Lyon is an exciting and huge opportunity for the UK hospitality industry to demonstrate that the UK pastry and dessert skill is a force to be reckoned with," Blin said.
"The UK pastry team must and will inspire a new generation of young chefs in the country, so let's give them all our support during their preparations."
The 20 countries competing in the World Pastry Cup 2011 are:
By Kerstin Kühn
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