World Finals


Shigeo Hirai (Japan) and his showpiece 'Baroque Romance'

On Wednesday 14th October, all 19 finalists set up their chocolate masterpieces in only 3 hours. Some participants have really impressed the international jury and public with their superbly elegant and refined interpretation of "Haute Couture" in chocolate. The French showpiece broke partially about one hour before the end of the work time, but Sébastien Trudelle did manage to keep his nerves under control and to recover part of it. Once finished, each contestant personally presented his masterpiece to the jury.
Shigeo Hirai
, the Japanese finalist, won the award for the "Best Chocolate Showpiece" with his incredibly beautiful “Baroque Romance”. Hirai explains that this work represents his own understanding of baroque style in modern life. A fragile and yet powerful mannequin is posing as for a photographer.

'Best Chocolate Pastry' by Sergi Vela (Spain)

Thursday 15th October
The first 9 finalists are competing and making pralines, pastry, desserts and their famous chocolate decorated hat. A professional jury tasted the different creations.
Sergi Vela, the Spanish finalist, created the jury's favourite chocolate entremet and won therefore the "Best Chocolate Pastry" award for his «Velvet with nine textures… must be discovered». Vela describes it as a " pastry that creates a very pleasant sensation in the mouth which discovers all the rational and balanced flavours of the main ingredients - chocolate, pecan nut, banana and sablé made with Fleur de Sel."
During the day,many fans are arriving to support their favourite contestant.

Fabian Sänger (Switzerland)

Friday 16th October
The last 10 finalists got up early to start their competition at 7h00. The last creations must be finished by 15h30.
Swiss Fabian Sänger created the "Best Chocolate Dessert", called “Sense”. Sänger explains that "this dessert is set up to stimulate all of the human senses, being hot, cold, breezy, crispy, fruity and spicy at the same time." It composes a tepid ginger walnut brownies with pear kumquat compote; a Pear Sorbet and finally a Madagascar mousse with hazelnut cream and a crunchy coffee and Pailleté Feuilletine bottom, with Williams sugar crust praliné.

'Best Praline' by Ryan Stevenson

Ryan Stevenson from Belgium wins the award for the "Best Praline". His moulded praline called "Balanced" contains a Kalamansi caramel with a ganache of tonka beans. Although he might as well have received an award for the most enthousiast fanclub...

The "Press Award" also went to Shigeo Hirai. The press tasted one praline of each contestant, and gave their opinion on the large chocolate showpieces.

Despite the pressure of time, limited space, a tribune full of spectators and numerous cameras of press companies from all over the world, the finalists of the 2009 World Chocolate Masters succeeded in performing an unseen level of craftsmanship.

Designer Hat decorated with chocolate by Michaela Karg (Germany)

Michaela Karg, a young lady chef from Germany, impressed the entre jury with a stylish decoration on the hat. She called her hat “Le Chapeau Papillon”. Branches modelled in dark chocolate, twisting delicately in different directions, grow out of cocoa fruits. On these branches live airbrushed butterflies. A wide jagged ribbon decorates the border of the hat. Karg says that her "inspiration came right from the source; from the cocoa fruit itself!"
The basic hat that all contestants had to decorate as part of this competition, has been designed exclusively for this purpose, by Parisian Milliner Mademoiselle Slassi. A perfect example of the merger of two crafts, and a true meeting point between "Haute Couture" and chocolate.

Congratulations to all 19 finalists for their outstanding performances !