Yesterday at Salon du Chocolat you could have tasted desserts from future top future pastry chefs of the world.
Desserts that are part of this splendid piece de monte hand-made of chocolate and sugar.
Yesterday's big event at the Salon du Chocolat (and for 17 contestents the grand finale of a year of creation) - the 4th Charles Proust Concours took place. Charles Proust, by the way, was president for 30 years of France's first association of patissiers started in 1871.
Supported by Grand Marnier and Relais Dessert. I posted on this top organization of French pastry chefs, Relais Desserts here.
The contest was headed by Pierre Herme with a theme from the Fables of Jean de La Fontaine. An artistic jury looked for compliance with the theme, balance of materials, technique and harmony of colors and shapes. While the tasting jury evaluates textures, accuracy in tastes and consistency with the theme.
Here's L. confering with Pierre Herme front row and center on the Charles Proust jury. They tasted and judged 17 (!!!) different desserts.
Back stage the real drama was taking place. Last minute adjustments over a chocolat-mandarin orange tower.
Seen in this contestent's piece de monte.
You could feel the tension.
Better than any boardwalk beauty contest.
A prestigious team of M.O.F.s (Meilleur Ouvriers De France) (affectionately referred to as 'mofs') were backstage to assist and advise contestents and to test taste. The Charles Poust Concours is one of many reknown French contests (Coupe du Monde du la Patisserie Lyon, Olympiades des Metiers, Barry Caillebaut World Chocolate Masters, Le Mondial des Arts Sucres,silver dessert award, Junior French Dessert Championship) open to aspiring patissiers.
M.O.F. patissier Nicolas Bernardé and Grand Marnier ambassador confers here. Remember the movie, Kings of Pastry recounting chef Jacquy Pfeiffer's adventures in the fierce 3-day competition to become one of France's top pastry chefs? All these chefs sporting the red-white-blue collar band won that battle to the finish line.
Later in the afternoon the jury decided.
Twenty-one year old Paul Klein of Patisserie Chantal Klein, Belfort took first place and won this silver macaron stack trophy.
Paul Klein's piece de monte exquisitely tells the story of the hare and the tortoise.
If I'd taken out my iPod Touch I could have identified all the star chefs present. Relais Desserts has a fun free app naming names and addresses of the top world-wide pastry chefs in their organizations + recipes. I was too busy shooting to taste the desserts so I stopped by Grand Marnier at the Salon for a freshly made crepe with cherry jam and a splash of cherry brandy.