This year’s winner of the World Chocolate Masters competition, which took place in Paris this week alongside the Salon du Chocolat, is Frank Haasnoot, of the Netherlands.
Nineteen highly skilled contestants from around the world, each of them already winners of “National Chocolate Masters” competitions in their home countries, participated in the event.
For this 4th edition of the finals, the theme was “Quetzalcoatl’s Gift.” Participants were asked draw their inspiration from the Aztec origins of cocoa in creating a large artistic chocolate showpiece plus a chocolate cake, two pralines (one hand-dipped, one moulded), a gastronomic dessert and an artistic piece.
Quetzalcoatl was a feathered serpent Aztec god who brought cocoa to earth as a gift to humans.
Contestants were given just three hours to assemble the showpiece in front of the jury, and eight hours to create the remaining five items.
Mr. Haasnoot’s 100-per-cent chocolate showpiece (pictured below) depicts an Aztec warrior in search of cocoa.
The stunning chocolate necklaces created for the artistic part of the competition featured elaborate assemblies of jewel-encrusted metalwork, leather, serpent heads, feathers, beads and flowers — all entirely made of chocolate!
The award for best chocolate necklace (pictured below) went to Jana Ristau, of Germany.
Runners up for the top spot of World Chocolate Master were Yoshiaki Uezaki, of Japan (2nd place), and Palle Sorensen, of Denmark (3rd place).
The international jury consisted of 21 celebrity pastry chefs and master chocolatiers, including Patrick Roger and Arnaud Larher.
Created in 2005, the World Chocolate Masters is the world’s leading culinary competition dedicated exclusively to the art of chocolate. Its main sponsor is Barry Callebaut.
The finals, which are held over three days, take place every other year.
A prize package worth 75,000 euros will be distributed among all the contestants according to their ranking and score.
Mr. Haasnoot, who currently works as executive pastry chef at the Dobla Innovation Centre in Heerhugowaard, Netherlands, will hold the title of World Chocolate Master 2011 until the next competition, in 2013.
This year’s 19 contestants were Seung Yun Lee (Australia), Ryan Stevenson (Belgium), Véronique Rousseau (Canada), Palle Sorensen (Denmark), Mariusz Buritta (Eastern Europe), Xavier Berger (France), Jana Ristau (Germany), Asgeir Sandholt (Iceland), Yumiko Saimura (Italy), Yoshiaki Uezaki (Japan), Damien Deslandes (Lebanon), Luis Robledo (Mexico), Frank Haasnoot (Netherlands), Alexander Ilyukhin (Russia), Francisco Somoza (Spain), Claudia Schmid (Switzerland), Chi Hsien Cheng (Taiwan) John Costello (United Kingdom) and Sylvain Bortolini (United States).
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