Tuesday, February 10, 2009

World Pastry Cup results

Twenty-two nations came together to compete in the 11th Coupe du Monde de la P√Ętisserie, or the World Pastry Cup. This prestigious pastry competition took place Jan. 25 and 26 in Lyon, France.

Each country's team was composed of a pastry chef, a chocolate specialist and an ice cream specialist. Teams had 10 hours to prepare three chocolate desserts, three frozen fruit desserts, an ice sculpture, a chocolate sculpture and drawn-sugar sculpture.

First place went to Team France, second place to Team Italy and third place to Team Belgium.

While an unfortunate toppling over of Team USA's 3-foot-tall chocolate showpiece put them out of contention for the big win, team members beautifully executed other aspects of the competition. The team theme was "Native American," as pictured here in the Kokopelli design prominently featured on a uniquely marbled chocolate dessert.

Team USA captain David Ramirez (pictured below, second from left), executive pastry chef, Rosen Shingle Creek, Orlando, Fla., told CET, "The marble look came from a coffee-infused glaze. Ninety-five percent of the glaze mixture was combined with white chocolate, and 5 percent we added [Valrhona] Pure Caraibe. When we actually glazed the cake, we would start with mostly the white chocolate coffee-infused glaze and only add a bit of the dark glaze at the end for the marble effect."

In addition to Ramirez, Team USA's members were: Roy Pell (second from right), executive pastry chef, The Phoenician, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Remy Funfrock (far right), executive restaurant pastry chef, The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colo.; and alternate Jim Mullaney (not pictured), Artisans Group, Atlanta. The team president was En-Ming Hsu (far left), the former captain of the 2001 gold medal-winning Team USA and currently a pastry chef-instructor at the French Pastry School in Chicago.

Chez Boucher expands and opens
Culinary Arts Training Center

Chez Boucher Cooking School recently announced the opening of the New Hampshire Seacoast’s first Culinary Arts Training Center as a significant expansion of its regionally acclaimed French cooking school. Established for budding professionals and novices alike, the Center is complete with a company store, a film production studio kitchen and an authentic bistro in the heart of downtown Hampton, N.H.

One-third larger than its prior Hampton location, Chez Boucher now occupies a 3,200-square-foot, custom-equipped facility decorated in the warm, welcoming tones characteristic of the Old World. Executive chef-owner Ron Boucher’s master plan for a cooking school-turned-culinary-training center features several exciting enhancements.

The new, larger teaching kitchen doubles as a film production studio and is outfitted with cameras and monitors for taping and viewing of cooking techniques and demonstrations. Later this year, Boucher plans to launch a professional, online training program.

Chez Boucher also will have an on-site company store to sell items preferred by the school’s chef-instructors: customized chefs’ clothing, cookware, specialized cooking tools, electronics, bakeware, table top items and other supplies. A variety of spices, seasonings, homemade sauces, prepared meals and a selection of wine will also be available.

Also integrated into the practical element of the Professional Training Certificate Program is a 36–40 seat dining room featuring authentic bistro cuisine. Students will experience food preparation in real time, and the bistro will offer a four-course menu to the public every other Thursday and Friday evening. Chez Boucher will host small functions and dinner parties in this dining room as well. On- and off-site catering is available and will soon become part of the professional program.