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54 Pastry & Baking
North America
astry chefs representing eight countries locked
horns at an international competition in
Tokyo, vying for the title of the world’s best
patisserie makers.
Top pastry chefs from France, Italy, United States,
Singapore, China, Malaysia, Australia and Japan showed off
their creative desserts and sweets during the inaugural
International Patisserie Grand Prix held on the 14th-15th
of March in the JCB Hall at the famous Tokyo Dome City
in Japan.
To the untrained eye, many of the creations on display
looked nothing like what most people perceive as ‘desserts’
and ‘cakes’. The craft of pastry has truly evolved into an art
form where highly skilled chefs replace chisels, brushes, granite
and canvas with puree, pulled sugar and atomized couverture
“What these ladies and gentlemen are able to create is
simply astonishing. I’ve never attended a pastry competition
before but I can’t help but feel almost all the desserts are far
too beautiful to eat,” said spectator Motoko Maruko.
Indeed, with such a collection of international dessert
talent, the level of competition at this inaugural event was
impressive. And, these chefs needed to bring their best efforts
to the judging table considering the likes of Yves Thuries
(MOF), Katsuhiko KAWATA, Stéphane Glacier (MOF) and
En-Ming Hsu were on hand and evaluating each creation with
a critical eye in the search for perfection.
The purpose of the IPGP 2009 is to familiarize the public
with world pastry and to celebrate its rapid development in
terms of taste and artistry in relation to food culture.
Participating chefs were chosen by IPGP officials from those
who have achieved the highest results in international
confectionary competitions, including the World Pastry Cup
in France.
International Patisserie Grand Prix
Within 13 hours over the two-day competition, each team
produced a sugar showpiece, one plated dessert, one entremet,
a gâteau de voyage and three types of petit gateau based on
this year’s IPGP theme of “ecology.”
For a pastry event, the crowd was large, excited and had
considerable appreciation for what they witnessed. In the end,
Team Japan captured 1st Place along with Best Chocolate and
Sugar Showpieces. Team France took 2nd with the United
States placing 3rd. Team Singapore won Best Teamwork and
Team France won Best Taste.
“As a member of the organizing committee, I am quite
happy with the competition and the level of skill on display.
We have endeavored for a long time to make this a fair and
competitive event and we are very thankful to all the teams
and sponsors. It was wonderful to have Yves Thuries and
Christophe Michalak speak at the gala dinner and I think
everyone had a great time and we are looking forward to the
planning of the 2nd IPGP,” say Kiwamu Kamimura from
Demarle Japan.
“The IPGP was a well executed competition with an
exceptional amount of support for the teams. I can see this
becoming the leading international pastry competition,” offered
Kirsten Tibballs from Team Australia.
With yet another international competition in the books,
the field of world pastry powers has narrowed to two clear
front runners. The back in forth between Japan and France
is fun to watch and reminds many of a heavy weight boxing
match where the upstart apprentice is going toe-to-toe with
the wily veteran. Who will be left standing? Only time will tell
but for now, the apprentice has the master on the ropes and
looking to deliver the knockout.