UK Team finishes 4th at Pastry World Cup 2021
The team was comprised of Le Cordon Bleu London’s Deputy Head of Pâtisserie, Nicolas Houchet, Head Pastry Chef Hotel Café Royal, Michael Ho Lam Kwan, pastry chef and Team Captain, Christopher Seddon and President of the UK team, Jamie Houghton, Senior sous pastry chef at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons at the Belmond Hotel.
Over a 2-year cycle with 50 national and 5 continental selections, teams from 11 countries met for the Grand Final of the Pastry World Cup. The UK team trained for 18 months, perfecting their show pieces in preparation for the final which held at the Sirha Lyon trade fair on the 24th and 25th of September. As the competition took a more sustainable approach this year, it was decided to honor nature through the general theme: all art is imitation of nature.
Each team had to present a restaurant dessert, frozen dessert, dessert to share and a spectacular buffet showpiece. The UK team’s buffet showpiece was a glorious sculpture of a crane ascending from water, with leaping carp, an intricate tree trunk and flowers. The main trunk structure and flower arrangement were made using a combination of sugar and chocolate, moulded together seamlessly.
For the sugar, Chef Nicolas carefully crafted a water pool with hand shaped lily pads and beautiful double-sided ribbon acting as reeds. He used a new technique to make the blown carp, giving the skin an incredible appearance. The crane adorned the top of the piece, made using several techniques from moulding to hand shaping and the use of utensils to make the feathers.
The team’s restaurant dessert was inspired by the flavours of a traditional afternoon tea and Eton Mess, a fusion of two British classics. The frozen dessert was an ice-cream play on a peach melba, beautifully made to look like succulent peaches. Finally, the dessert to share was a chocolate dessert with a strong cocoa flavour profile and a delicate assembly of a variety of textural elements, with a beautifully crafted boat orchid as the centrepiece.
The team at Le Cordon Bleu London could not be prouder of the UK pastry team, and especially our own Chef Nicolas Houchet for representing Le Cordon Bleu and the UK so brilliantly.