National Selections

2nd Prize - USA, Report

Lionel Clement wins the USA national selection

NY, November 9th, 2008 - Lionel Clement from the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, has won the USA national selection for the World Chocolate Masters in New York City. Clement beat out four other pastry chefs and chocolatiers from some of the country’s leading hotels and restaurants on Sunday, Nov. 9, to be named the U.S. National Chocolate Master 2008-2009. 

As part of the competition, each participant created a large chocolate sculpture that conveyed the theme of this year’s competition – “Haute Couture” – using professional gourmet chocolate brands Callebaut, Cacao Barry, and Carma and the aesthetics of high fashion. They also showcased their skills by creating chocolate pastries, pralines, and a smaller chocolate showpiece made from special ingredients that were revealed to the contestants only a few minutes before the start of the competition.

“Barry Callebaut designed this event to give pastry chefs and chocolatiers a forum to showcase their unique abilities to create works of art using fine chocolate,” said Sarah O’Neil, director of marketing for Barry Callebaut North America. “Whether their inspiration was an elegant hat or a chic dress, these talented chefs brought the haute couture theme to life with their unique culinary creations.”

As part of the competition, a professional jury of top pastry chefs, including world-renowned chocolatier Jacques Torres, judged each contestant on their overall technical skills, as well as the presentation of their artistic showpieces, and the taste of their dipped pralines, moulded pralines, and chocolate pastry.

Clement’s winning chocolate showpiece featured an exquisite silhouette of a woman’s face, with flowing hair and an elaborate hat made from different layers of chocolate that provided both dimension and texture.

The U.S. finals of the World Chocolate Masters were held at the French Culinary Institute in New York on Nov. 9, 2008. The competition was organised by Barry Callebaut and its Chocolate Academy; it was sponsored by The Chocolate Show (Salon Du Chocolat); California Raisins; Nielsen-Massey Vanillas; Mafter Bourgeat culinary products; Demarle non-stick baking products; Robot Coupe food processors; Chicago School of Mold Making; PCB pastry decorations; Grand MarnierNavan natural vanilla liqueur; and Knipschildt Chocolatier

For more pictures : 
1) The Winner, Lionel Clement and his pieces

2) All chocolate pieces from all contestants

3) All photos from the competition