Pastry captures our imagination like few other things can. It is a magical mix of childhood desires, edible fantasy and sensory delight.

Over the last 15 years, we have worked with many remarkable competitors. Not only for teams competing at du Monde de la Pâtisserie, but a multitude of talented chefs, both local and international. It’s been an fantastic to create custom molds to help the chefs reach their next level at competitions. Getting an insider’s view as we assist them with concept development through to their competitions is a real privilege. I’m always fascinated by the creative process. It starts when with good ideas, that take shape all the way to the dramatic final reveal in front of judges, audience, friends and family.

Inspiration at the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie

One of the most spectacular exhibits of pastry artistry in the world takes place every two years in January at the Sirha Trade Expo which hosts the highly esteemed, Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie in culinary Mecca, Lyon, France. There are stunning ice sculptures, enchanting individual plated desserts, enticing frozen fruit entremets using Ravifruit purées, and seductive chocolate entremets created with Valrhona chocolate. The audience favorite always impresses; dramatic sugar showpieces designed to interact with their chocolate counterparts. In the global pastry community, this is the best of the pastry competitions!


Team France Etienne Leroy, Bastien Girard and Jean-Thomas Schneider took 1st Place, Team Japan Takahiro Komai, Yoshiaki Uezaki, and Takao Yamamoto took 2nd and Team Switzerland Cédric Pilloud, Jorge Cardoso, Jean-Baptiste Jolliet took a surprising yet well deserved 3rd.

This year’s Gold Winners – Team France. With “Rock n Roll” as their theme:(photos by Sirha Press)

This was my fifth trip to the event. Every time I am go, I fall even more in love with the fine art of pastry. Between the excitement of the impassioned crowd, elegantly orchestrated pageantry, socializing with industry leaders and experiencing what this year’s twenty-one teams from around the globe had to present, it was living a dream in pastry paradise.

Judging Chocolate Entremets at Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie

Beatrice S.Schneider - press judges at the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie

Beatrice S.Schneider honored to serve as US press judge

This year was exceptional, as I had been invited as a press judge to taste and vote on the chocolate entremets. Over two days, myself and three other judges representing USA, Switzerland, France and the UK, savored and scored twenty-one chocolate desserts. What a heavenly honor! We had the good fortunate to received coaching from World Pastry Champion Angelo Musa, MOF, so we knew what to expect. And yes, there are more demands and nuances than just then just eating a slice of cake.

When it came to judging, we first looked at how well the chocolate entremets reflected the team’s chosen themes. Then how well they executed the plating, and finally how delicious the actual slices of chocolate entremet were. Additionally, we reviewed the structure of the entremets; how precise the layers and proportions were, noting the quality of the cutting, and the precision of the finishing.

Then came tasting the first bite, including all of the layers… noting temperature, then textures, and finally, if the entremets had a good chocolate flavor. Another point to watch; do the other flavors support the whole and is there an overall harmony of flavors? Having access to the recipes, we critiqued how well the referenced products were used. Finally, we questioned how original the dessert was and if there was anything that surprised us. We quickly learned how to assess each factor with only seven minutes in between each entremets. I chose to take two bites, one for the initial impression and a second to verify my judgement. To my surprise there were many more desserts that I would have enjoyed eating again, yet only four that really stood out.

2017 top four Entremets: Team France, Team Japan, Team Switzerland and USA.

The Winners of the 2017 Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie

Held over two long days, kept lively by 2,700 cheering supporters, the intense competition was scrutinized by the top judges who critiqued the teams and their work based on tenacity, creativity and innovation. This year the gold medal, gold trophy and 21,000 euro prize money went to Team France composed of Etienne Leroy, Bastien Girard, and Jean-Thomas Schneider. They also won the press award and Vase de Sévres for scoring the most points for their Buffet Presentation.

Team Japan, composed of Takahiro Komai, Yoshiaki Uezaki and Takao Yamamoto, took the Silver Medal, silver trophy, and 12,000 euros in prize money.

The Swiss team composed of Cédric Pilloud, Jorge Cardoso and Jean-Baptiste Jolliet, who had been selected at the regional competition as “wild cards” took the Bronze medal, bronze trophy and 6,000 euros in prize money.

Team USA scored fourth place overall, was awarded the Eco-responsible prize presented for the first time to the team most respectful of the raw materials used, and the Prize for Sculpted Ice by Victor Dagatan.

See what the excitement is all about, enjoy the highlights and catch the thrills in this  Pastry Postcards. We hope you enjoy this exhilarating collection.

Congratulation to the chefs for another outstanding and memorable event. A competition of this caliber celebrates excellence and the heritage of the international contestants, fostering innovations like non-other. The Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie is an event not to be missed. Mark your calendar for Jan 27 & 28, 2019 See you in Lyon!

Beatrice-S-Schneider-Chicago-Culinary-FXBeatrice S. Schneider is the creative director and co-founder of Chicago Culinary FX and Chicago Mold School.

Please visit – Pastry Postcards for more photos and coverage.

For Dessert Professional Spring 2017
Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie 2017