This year’s Foodservice Australia held from the 2nd-4th of June in Melbourne brought together five of Australia’s top chocolatiers with the challenge to turn molten chocolate into a spectacular centerpiece in nine hours at the Chocolate Grand Prix. Representing Le Cordon Bleu in the final of this challenge was Angelo Roche, Chef and teacher at Le Cordon Bleu Sydney.
Angelo competed against four other leading pastry chefs Bec Carins (Savour Chocolate and Patisserie School), Elaine Young (Cacao Fine Chocolates), Ben Haslett (Jupiters Casino), and Kye Lim (Burch & Purchese) all who are chocolate specialists. With each selected by a panel to compete against the clock and each other in the competition.
An initiative of Callebaut, Cacao Barry, F. Mayer Imports and Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School, the competition is a brand new concept never before seen in Australia, where competitors spend nine gruelling hours transforming more than 50kg chocolate into a delicate showpiece over six feet high. This year’s theme “Origami “inspired some exceptional pieces.
The competition offered a big challenge to the chefs, because they were unable to do any preparation of elements of their showpiece before the start at 7am on June 2 at the FoodService show in Melbourne.
"That's the big difference, and something we’ve never had in Australia - having to produce everything from scratch with nothing pre-prepared," said competition designer Rebecca Tibballs. "It's a huge, really, really huge challenge. Most of the team will have been training for a year for this."
Prior to the final competition the chefs had been selected based on their previous competition experience and demonstrated skills, with selection in the final top five a huge honour for Chef Angelo Roche.
"This wasn't a competition for someone who hasn't competed before" claimed Tibballs.
“In recent years we have seen an increase in knowledge and appreciation of fine chocolate and pastries throughout Australia, through TV shows such as Masterchef and The Great Australian Bake Off,” says Tibballs. “With the recent success of Australian chefs in competitions all around the world, this will be a one-off opportunity to see first-hand the dedication and skill from Australia’s stars of the chocolate and pastry world.”
Congratulations Angelo, well done on making the top five and competing in such a prestigious event!