How did you prepare for the competition?
France Team: We trained for more than a year. After the French Selection, and the creation of the team, we established the theme.
Then, we made some research, drawings, and trial tests on our own, while sharing our ideas by phone, email or during our meeting.
We made lots of tests, as much on the sculptures as on the tasting.
At the end of October, we participated in our first mock contest in Paris, and from everything happened very fast, we had so much things to do, undo or redo.
We spent the last two months together in Paris, training every day, all day in the same laboratory.
Can you explain why did you choose the Rock’n & Roll Theme?
France Team: We choose the Rock’n Roll theme, it appeared to all 3 of us for several reasons and it enabled us to express ourselves on the different materials that we had to work on and for many others such as:
- Because it is timeless and intergenerational: the Rock’n roll was born during the 40’s 50’s, but it is still actual like pastry, it is an ancient art which is in perpetual movement. Every new artist brings renewal.
- Rock’n Roll reminds us of our childhood, when our parents listened to the Beatles or the rolling stone.
- The power of this theme was very important in our final decision. Rock’n Roll has important codes such as colors or shapes, so it was very inspirational for us on an artistic point of view.
It allowed us to present a strong, very powerful buffet, and it was exactly what we wanted to do.
What was the most difficult part for you during the contest?
France Team: On the day of the contest lots of problems occur: the environment, the pressure of the jury, and the public, just like in an arena. The material is different, the space is smaller, it is really hot, and there were problems with the blast chiller.
All those little problems can be very stressful.
They make us realize how important and useful it was to train for so many hours, days and months.
Each repeated technical gestures, trails, and comments from the coaches allowed us to react fast and to face those problems.
Which trial has been the most difficult?
Bastien: For me, it was the chocolate block that I had to sculpt. This year, sculpting a chocolate block was mandatory and we couldn’t use it as the scultpture’s base. As I am not a carver, it was a big challenge to sculpt directly on the block within a limited time.
Before obtaining the perfect chocolate sculpture, I had to train on no more than 40 chocolate blocks.
Jean-Thomas: I was in charge of the frozen fruit entremets and the ice sculpture: a rocker holding a microphone and leaning on speakers.
The principal difficulties were the ambient heat and the fact that the ice was melting.
I had to be very quick, precise and to sculpt all the little details at the end.
Etienne: The time was the most difficult thing to control. I had some trouble to do my chocolate entremets due to problems with the blast chiller. And I had to catch up with the time I had lost.
This was the 15th edition of the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie. What is your vision about the contest? What did it bring to the pastry world since its creation?
France Team: The Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie is a perpetual fight between different teams until there is one winner. For 10 hours each candidate gave their best and it is a chance to represent our country on an international scene.
However, the most important part is the gathering side of the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie: Gathering professionals from all over the world is very remarkable; 23 countries were selected for the finals.
Each edition of the contest pushes forward the pastry and its evolution: Many new techniques were discovered during the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie.
Participating in this contest is also important springboard for young pastry chefs.
You won the gold medal, what does this mean for you?
Bastien: Participating in the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie was a dream, and then winning this contest was even more intense. Actually, on the moment, it was difficult for me to realize that we had won, and even today it’s hard for me to believe we achieved this first place.
Jean-Thomas: It went by so fast! A lot of emotions and a lot of joy that we shared with our friends and family.
Etienne: It is difficult to describe. At the end of the contest, we were relieved but also stressed because the other team’s work was of high quality.
During the results, an immense joy which grew even bigger when we saw that our relatives were happy for us. It was a crazy moment to live!
Now you are world champions, what are your plans for the future?
Bastien: To win the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie is not the end, it’s only the beginning.
First I will stay with my family to share this moment and then I will think of new professional challenges.
Jean-Thomas: In the short term, I want to do others contest: At the moment I am preparing the Ice world contest in Italy in January 2018, and then the Ice MOF. I will continue with the professional training and the demonstration and I will continue to work at the “Maison Louis François”.
Etienne: I will continue on the same dynamics that this past few years. I constantly want to push forward, and I am constantly questioning myself. There are lots of project around us. The Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie opens many doors to many opportunities. Now I have to choose the good ones. But at the moment, I am focusing on professional training, demonstrations in France and abroad.
In conclusion, can you sum up your adventure at Sirha in three words?
Bastien: Extraordinary, intense, and unforgettable
Jean-Thomas: Powerful, human, magical
Etienne: It was a very particular Sirha this year. I didn’t have the time to visit all the halls, but it was for sure my most memorable Sirha.