It was neck and neck to the last praline and in the end it was Japan who won the title of Junior World Pastry Champion at SIGEP 2017. Second place went to Italy, but it was a very close thing: 3,918 point for the Japanese contestants, 3,912 for the Italians. Further behind, but still in the élite of world pastry making, France, with 3,733 points.
On the two days at SIGEP, the international artisan confectionery expo, organized by Italian Exhibition Group at Fiera di Rimini and running through to Wednesday, young pastry chefs from France, Japan, India, the Philippines, Singapore, Mexico, Poland, Russia and Italy competed for the title.
Their creations were based on the theme “Planet Fantasy, the power of fantasy” and judged according to the quality of the creations, the care taken in the use of the raw materials and the perfection of the technical standards. The junior world championship was held in the Pastry Arena, with worldwide live streaming coverage, and re-transmitted at night to favour the national teams with different time zones.
This was a confirmation for Japan. In fact, two years ago in Rimini, its team came in first, ahead of France and Taiwan. This year, the team was again “trained" by Kajiro Mochizuki – the great Master pastry chef at Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel (1,000 rooms), which employs 55 pastry chefs: a great team manager for the Japanese team formed by the very young chefs Masato Yokouchi and Yuki Matsuda.
For the Italian team, which came in second, the partial success in no less than three tests was not sufficient; Japan was able to do better, winning the other five, but all were very balanced.
The Italian team was made up of 20 year-old Mattia Cortinovis from Bergamo and Andrea Marzo from Brescia. Team Manager was Fabrizio Galla (Piedmont).
The two Italian boys comment, “We can sum up this world championship in a world: experience. A year’s training, then this uncertain challenge in an extraordinary scenario at SIGEP. We’re satisfied – we did our best and during the contest did better than over the previous weeks.”
Advice for youngsters looking for work? “If you like this world, take a chance, remember there will be sacrifice and hard work, but the satisfaction repays you well.”
Mattia Cortinovis has continued the family tradition and works in the family pastry shop in Bergamo; Andrea Marzo began work in a Riccione hotel, then, after working abroad, now works in a pastry shop in Erbusco (Brescia). In the future thinks he will return to his family’s venue in Turin.
The Junior World Pastry Championship is based on an idea by Master Pastry Chef Roberto Rinaldini and in recent years has offered an extraordinary appointment at which the world’s best new generations of pastry chefs have emerged. The international panel of judges was headed by Francesco Mino, an Italian master pastry chef who has lived abroad since he was 16: he currently works in Saigon; Honorary President was Iginio Massari, the “masters’ master”. The panel of judges was completed by the team managers of the national teams taking part.
1st - Japan (3,918 points) Masato Yokouchi -Yuki Matsuda. Team Manager: Kajiro Mochizuki
2nd - Italy (3,912 points) Mattia Cortinovis -Andrea Marzo. Team Manager: Fabrizio Galla
3rd - France (3,733 points) Fanny Le Duff - Quentin Parisot. Team Manager: Jerome Langillier
SINGLE TEST AWARDS
Best praline award: Italy
Best modern Valrhona chocolate cake award: Italy
Best cleanliness and preparation award: Japan
Best chocolate sculpture award: Japan
Best sugar sculpture award: Japan
Best gelato dessert in a glass award: Japan
Best plated dessert award: Italy
Best presentation table award: Japan
Pastry Event Sponsors
Partners: Besozzi Oro, Debic, Valrhona; Event Sponsor: Hausbrandt; Star of Sugar Title Sponsor: Decosil; Tecnical Sponsors: Bragard, Bravo, Cascina Italia, Dito Sama, Irinox, Laped, La Spaziale, Lainox, Sagi, Selmi, Silikomart, Sirman.