Valrhona C³ Pastry Competition at ICC
In their second partnership with StarChefs, Valrhona announced an elite roster of pastry chef competitors, who gathered in New York at the international Valrhona C³ (Chocolate Chef Competition) on October 24, 2016. At this year’s competition, hosted at the 11th Annual StarChefs International Chefs Congress in Brooklyn, New York, the 2015 Grand Prize winner Nicolas Blouin represented North America as he challenged pastry chefs from across the globe.
The Chocolate Chef Competition (aka C³) celebrates the professional pastry chef and honors the elaborate nature of the trade in all of its technical and creative aspects. “Valrhona’s mission is to create community and creative exchange between pastry professionals to push the industry forward,” says Anthony Valla, COO of Valrhona USA. “ICC shares this goal and is a great way to promote the celebrated C3 competition in North America.”
Selected during fierce regional contests organized by Valrhona in 2015 and 2016, the pastry chef finalists were:
- Fabrizio Fiorani | BVLGARI Hotels & Resorts | Tokyo, JAPAN
- Nicola Dobnik | Del Cambio | Turin, ITALY
- Fredrik Borgskog | Upper House/Gothia Towers | Gothenburg, SWEDEN
- Andrea Dopico | Moments | Barcelona, SPAIN
- Benjamin Kunert | Atlantis by Giardino | Zürich, SWITZERLAND
- Damien Gendron | Grand Hotel | Cap Ferrat, FRANCE
- Nicolas Blouin | Rosewood Mansion | Dallas, USA
After training for months in their home countries, each candidate brought their talents to the United States, and presented an original plated dessert and petit four based on the theme “Guanaja 70%.” One of Valrhona’s most iconic chocolates, Guanaja 70% celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. The winning pastry chef was determined by a cadre of world-class chefs—including Antonio Bachour (Bachour Bakery + Bistro), Enrico Cerea (Da Vittorio), Johnny Iuzzini (Sugar Fueled Inc.), Jean-François Piège (Le Grand Restaurant), François Payard (FP Patisserie), Stephane Chéramy (Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes), Olivier Fernández Obiols (Gran Hotel La Florida), Sébastien Serveau (Sébastien Serveau), Niko Triantafillou (Dessert Buzz), Maria Nguyen (The Art of Plating), and Antoinette Bruno (StarChefs). The competition was emceed by Zac Young (David Burke Group).
Competitors were evaluated on originality of recipe, taste, association of tastes, texture, aesthetics, and incorporation of competition theme.