Pastry Chef Yusuke Aoki | 2016 Valrhona C3 International Finals of Ritz Carlton Qatar

Pastry Chef Yusuke Aoki | 2016 Valrhona C3 International Finals of Ritz Carlton Qatar
September 2016

Ritz Carlton Qatar
West Bay Lagoon
Doha, Qatar

After graduating from Kyoto Pastry Art College, Yusuke Aoki began his pastry career in Tokyo, where, early on, he was exposed to the renowned fusion of French pastry with Japanese ingredients and technique. While working in the city’s French pastry boutiques, he began to develop his classic, but distinctive style. 

Eager to refine his skills, Aoki moved to Paris to train under Pastry Chef Stéphane Glacier, M.O.F., at l'École Patisseries & Gourmandises. During his time in France, he was able to experiment with new French trends, in addition mastering a wide-ranging repertoire of viennoiserie, wedding cakes, banquet and restaurant desserts, chocolate pralines, showpieces, sugar decorations. 

Aoki returned to Tokyo for a position at the Ritz-Carlton, followed by a stint at the hotel’s Toronto property. Continuing his work with the international hotel brand, he took the helm of the Ritz-Carlton in Doha, Qatar. Recently, Aoki won the hotel’s competition to develop a signature chocolate cake—a combination of Valrhona chocolate and Grand Marnier. Aoki will put on his competition toque again in fall 2016, representing the Middle East region in the Valrhona C3 competition.

Interview with Pastry Chef Yusuke Aoki of the Ritz Carlton Qatar

Valrhona: Tell us about your pastry style.
Yusuke Aoki:
Classic but distinctive.

Valrhona: What is your favorite dessert you’ve ever made?
I am hoping that the dessert for this competition will be the one.

Valrhona: What was your first job in pastry? 
 A dishwasher, of course. It’s the Japanese way of discipline.

Valrhona: Who are some of your mentors? What have you learned from them? 
M.O.F Chef Stephane Glacier and all the chefs I have worked with in Japan. I am still learning from them every day.

Valrhona: What is your planned training regimen for the competition? 
Practice as many times as possible.

Valrhona: What’s your most important kitchen rule? 
Working clean and organizing.

Valrhona: How do you feel about representing your country at the International Finale of the Valrhona C3?
Of course nervous, but very proud of it and excited.

Valrhona: Why do you think you are the potential winner? 
Because I love Valrhona chocolate! I will do my best!

Valrhona: How does the theme30 years of Guanaja 70%inspire you? 
It is a huge anniversary celebration for Valrhona, so it inspires a lot.

Valrhona: What would it mean to you to win the competition? 
Winning is just the result. I would like to have fun and gain great experiences!