Thursday, 20 December 2012

Gold Sponsor Update

We are pleased to announce two new Gold sponsors for the team... Futura Group and Escoffier! 

Futura Group specialise in developing high quality resources and products to facilitate and enhance the learning process. Innovative multimedia integration throughout their learning resources coupled with strong backgrounds in hospitality, education and vocational training, allow Futura to captivate and motivate learners, support teachers and training supervisors both inside and outside of the classroom.

Escoffier “Escoffier” is a name known the world over as The Master (Le Maitre) and is the source for many of the cooking methods and the brigade system used in professional kitchens today. For expert chefs everywhere, the name Auguste Escoffier is synonymous with excellence, quality, commitment, and skill in the culinary profession. The Escoffier Online International Culinary Academy makes it possible to turn your passion for cooking into a career you'll love, with their online program offering a self-paced curriculum that is focused on professional culinary training.

Thank you to Futura Group and Escoffier - we look forward to having you on board for Lyon!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

New Member Welcome!

Team Pastry Australia is pleased to welcome their newest team member - Richard Hawke - just in time for Le Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie in January!

Originally from North Ryde, Sydney, Richard's dream was always to go to France to learn all the techniques. Richard currently works as a teacher at ENSP (Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Pâtisserie) looking after their international programs. Richard specialises in Entremets and continues training alongside his teaching.

Some of Richard's work ::

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Team Pastry Australia is having a fundraising dinner to raise much needed money to get the team to their final destination; Lyon. 

Held on November 8 it is a wonderful opportunity to bid at auctions, buy raffle tickets and do your bit to support the team in this, their final push for patisserie glory.

With a degustation dinner by Le Cordon Bleu and a main prize of a fabulous trip to the cocoa plantations of Ghana (courtesy of Callebaut) it will certainly be a night to remember!

To book, please refer to the flyer that can also be downloaded here.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Meet our newest Sponsor! KitchenAid

KitchenAid have come on board as a gold sponsor for the Australian team's effort to Lyon!

The team have received a new KitchenAid Commercial Bowl Lift Mixer and will be putting it to the extreme  test by producing macarons, 3 x entremet and 18 plated desserts in just four hours.

Says Team Coach, Dean Gibson, "The results will be posted on the blog for those professionals wanting to see this KitchenAid Commercial machine maxed out. As a professional I know what I would want to see before I brought one of these, considering the reputation and indestructibility of the heavy duty KitchenAid, I am so excited to take this new one for a test drive."

For more information:

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

A Lesson in Ice

In an effort to present to the world the strongest Australian team ever to compete at the World Pastry Cup,  Team Pastry Australia has again worked with Dutch Pastry Chef Jeroen Goossens last week in Australia. His expertise and experience  in all the skill areas in this competition including chocolate and ice master pieces gives the Australian team its best chance to be competitive.

Dean Gibson, team coach, said ”Jeroen is one of the very few professionals in the world that can master chocolate, degustation and ice, he was instrumental in our planning to go and win the Asian Pastry Cup in Singapore which was the qualifying competition for the World Pastry Cup in Asia”.
Over the week of intense training Jeroen designed and trained ice competitor Barry Jones, the team plans to include Jeroen in the final training prior to the competition in January. 

Gibson said of the ice training, “we have contracted Jeroen because he is the best at preparing pastry teams and he knows the Australian team having been involved from the start. It is interesting that we would bring Jeroen from the Netherlands to Australia to do ice carving and it would be great to have the Dutch pastry chefs traveling to the World Cup to support Australia next year”.
Team Pastry Australia is also looking for Dutch sponsors to support the training planned in the Netherlands to give the Australian team its best chance to compete against the big teams at next year’s Coupe du Monde in Lyon.

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Daily Telegraph

We've been featured in the Daily Telegraph, one of Sydney's leading papers!

Chocolate sculptures get tongues wagging in Coupe du Monde, or World Pastry Cup as it is commonly known...

By Melissa Matheson
  • September 28, 2012

IT'S the most delicious championship of them all - the Coupe du Monde, or World Pastry Cup - and the Australian team has created Sydney's skyline in nothing but chocolate for a shot at the title.
The Australian Pastry Team won the Asian Pastry Cup in Singapore earlier this year with a chocolate sculpture of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House and even fireworks - all made with chocolate.
Next stop is the Coupe du Monde in France in January, but before they fly-off, the team will show hungry onlookers just what it takes to make the 1-2metre sculpture with a full rebuild at Josophan's Fine Chocolates store on King St in the CBD today.
Store owner Jodie Van Der Velden said the Aussies will be up against the "best of the best'' in the cup and the judging will be tough.
"Every component of it is chocolate - it's also held together with chocolate,'' she said.
"If you can make it look like you're defying gravity then that will score you highly. There's not allowed to be any framework in it.''
In order to hold it together, the chocolatiers work with heated chocolate to join the pieces together and then cool the "chocolate cement'' quickly to form a tight, smooth bond.
The Australian team's training can range from 40 to 80 yours per week in the lead up to a big competition.
"That's the breath-taking thing, especially in competitions where you have 20 people and they're all working together and they get towards the end of it and you hear that dreaded sound and it all collapses,'' Ms Van Der Velden said.
While the team will be at its busiest between 12noon and 2pm today - the perfect time for lunchtime dessert - the chocolate sculpture may not taste so good.
"They're art really, they're a sculptural art piece, rather than an eating piece,'' Ms Van Der Velden said.
"That being said, I've got a lot of people who have tried to take a bit off my chocolate tree.''

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Message from TPA's Team Captain...

Seeing the remains of your showpiece scattered in hundreds of pieces across the floor is a humbling experience. To see two showpieces collapse within a minute makes you question whether you should really be doing this at all. You clean several hours of work off the floor and take a break. Dust pan and brush, the new tools of the trade. It wasn’t supposed to be like this, competing for profession and country.

The biannual Asian Pastry Cup in Singapore and the Coupe de Monde (CdM) de la Patisserie in Lyon are some of the biggest patisserie competitions globally. The pressure that comes with these competitions can break the strongest teams. With only several more months to go, Team Pastry Australia (TPA) shares an insight to their preparation for Lyon.

Coach, Dean Gibson sums up the teams preparation as, “train hard, win easy”. Although a win is never guaranteed, and a bit of luck is always welcome, Dean’s short motto encompasses the array of challenges to compete and reflects the teams focus.

Training hard means squeezing the most out of already busy days- balancing family, work, friends and training. The Team Manager, Jian Yao, of Continental Patissière, having sorted his Sydney business, occasionally naps in his office chair, before focusing on his Shanghai business shift. Jian and Dean lead by example. This stretching of effort is what makes the team effective. Jian describes the Singapore success as result of, “everyone playing their role to the fullest. This has what has made the team successful. We do everything to together, eat, travel, etc. It is what makes us work so well.”

However, success in a competition with a creative outcome means the only goal is to be your best. TPA’s preparation can’t be compared to others, because the team prepares against the creative parameters they try to achieve. Practise and preparation play a big part in this and everybody on the team manages this in different ways. However, the team agrees, the best is as only good as the preparation.

Preparation means coming up with a crazy idea and pursuing it, practising things over and over again, pushing the boundaries of what you know, or what anybody knows for that matter, as well as observing what appears to be a major breakthrough, develop in agonisingly slow and incremental stages. Spending time in the kitchen testing flavour combinations, breaking showpieces deliberately and by accident, as well as accumulating a culinary ‘museum’ of assorted chocolate and sugar showpieces foretells this preparation.

The teams’ professional development is also supported by many industry specialists. John Crowl from Cow and the Moon Gelato has brought technical expertise and passion to the formulations for the teams’ entremet glace. This collaboration enables the team to exploit ideas quickly and standardise formulations. It is the dedication and passion of people like John who bring both the team and the whole industry forward.

This capacity to share and collaborate is what brings such a selfish pursuit to the wider professional community and customers. As culinary teachers and industry mentors in daily life, this knowledge and expertise does filter into curriculum and industry. It fuels passion. It encourages healthy competition. It is the ‘why’ when you see so much effort scattered across the floor. With dust pan at hand, the team continues its journey to “train hard”.

The team would like to thank all of our amazing sponsors!

Did you know?
  • In Lyon, teams of three will have 8 hours to produce a showpiece from ice, sugar and chocolate, as well as entremet glace, chocolate entremets and plated desserts for tasting.
  • There are 24 judges in the Coupe de Monde de la Patisserie.
  • Flavour is the most important criteria in the judging process, despite the showpieces taking so much time.
  • Justin, the chocolate showpiece specialist, is referred as the ‘choc star’.
  • The recommended serving temperature for a chocolate entremet is 8 to 10˚C.
  • The team’s favourite meal during training in the lead up to Singapore was pizza!

Andre Sandison 

Jeroen Goossens joins Team Pastry Australia!

TPA has again secured Goossens as Ice Trainer and logistics mentor for the Australian teams campaign in Lyon.

Jeroen was heavily involved with the early development  of the team in 2011 in preparation for the Asian Pastry Cup and has competed at the highest level.

Says Team Manager, Dean Gibson; "Competition is all about organisation and careful preparation , the rest is skills and lots of training. Jeroen brings all these tools, knowledge and high energy to the team. He is one of the very few professionals in the world that can specialize in ice, chocolate, degustation and sugar".

After Jeroen's visit, the team will again link up in Lyon in January, where Jeroen will conduct final ice training and instruction with Barry Jones. Jeroen will spend five days of intensive ice training with Barry in October  which will be the last of the development on all sugar, chocolate and ice pieces for the Australian team.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Hunter Valley Chocolate Festival 2012

July saw over 10,000 people attend the Hunter Valley Gardens Chocolate Festival in regional New South Wales with “Winter Wonderland” setting the theme for the highly anticipated Callebaut Showpiece Competition.

This year 22 entries were provided from around Australia with respected industry leaders Including TPA Members Jian Yao, Justin Yu and Dean Gibson on the judging panel.

Also during the weekend Team Pastry Australia worked for the first time with Team Bakery Australia in an open air live bakery which operated throughout the event.

Says Dean, “We used the event as a platform to do demonstrations with Adriano Zumbo (also a past TPA competitor), Drew Maddison a Corporate Pastry Chef from F Mayer, team members from Team Pastry Australia, Dean Tilden of Hunter TAFE and Brett Noy (TBA, Southern Cross baking Group) who rolled, proofed and baked 1200 chocolate croissants.”

Brett Noy added, “Using French flour, French butter, Belgian chocolate sticks and Aussie expertise we couldn’t go wrong. If you look around at the talent we had on stage and at the competition site it was probably the biggest gathering of professional pastry chefs and bakers in Australia.”

The Hunter Valley chocolate festival is now the main event for the Australian teams to work together in a fundraising weekend to help both teams compete against the world. Brett who is currently coaching the Australian baking team will compete in Munich August 2012 and Team Pastry Australia will compete in Lyon in January 2013.

Asian Pastry Cup 2012

And the Winner is…Australia!!!!

A new team has finally ended the reign of three time cup champions, Singapore. The Australian team was crowned the 2012 winner of the Asian Pastry Cup at the end of an exciting, tense and emotional two day competition. The teams from Malaysia and Singapore were awarded the second and third prizes respectively as hundreds of supporters cheered them on. New contender to the competition, New Zealand, rounded off the top four teams that will be heading to LyonFrance for the World Pastry Cup in 2013.

It has been a massive two years of planning with 100s of hours of training, but we have done it, with Team Pastry Australia (Jian Yao, Dean Gibson, Damikka Hatharasinghe, Justin Yu and Andre Sandison) placing first and also being given best sugar piece and the media award for best tasting at the 2012 Asian Pastry Cup.

It has been a huge logistical exercise including building a replica competition space, packing it up and freighting 360kgs of specialised and fabricated equipment to Singapore to take on the 11 Asian countries over two days of competition,

The word from the organisers prior to the Cup was that Australia seemed unorganised and were placed outside the top three. Singapore was again favourite to win as it had never been beaten since the competition’s inception in 2004.

As all Australians know however, you never underestimate the under dog. In just 1.5 hours we had unpacked our equipment and set up our comp kitchen – much to everyone’s surprise.

Certainly organization is such a big part of being a competitive team. Both Jian and myself used our 2010 effort and experience to emulate the efficiency of the Singapore team, we knew we would have to be more Singapore than Singapore to be Asian Champions.

And so it came to the competition, over the next eight hours we did encounter some problems such as with the blast freezer, but we had anticipated this and allowed for extra time in our program.

However the most stressful time of the eight hour competition was after seven hours and 35 minutes when the main chocolate explosion on Justin’s piece broke off and smashed on the floor. This was at a time that we had three MOF pastry chefs and most of the international jury watching us and I thought for sure we’d lost our chance to take gold.

True to the form though, both Justin and Andre were able to recover and Justin simply cleaned up the broken chocolate and started to build another, while Andre set up all the fish tanks for the presentation. I can tell you that those professionals were amazed at this recovery. Soon, even more cameras and pastry chefs came over to see Justin finish his piece with just 45 seconds left. After eight hours of competition it came down to under a minute – very cool.

As team coach I am so proud of Justin and Andre, it was amazing to see these boys test themselves at an international standard and even sweeter to hold up that gold on the podium and do what they said could not be done, beat Singapore in Singapore!

We never would have achieved this if it were not for our manager Jain Yao. He has been a mentor for me over the past two years and his drive, personality, integrity and commitment to this team is to be acknowledged. It is this same selfless attitude in Dammika and the rest of the team that has resulted in us becoming a champion team rather than a team of champions.

Team Pastry Australia would like to thank our sponsors for your commitment and support, it has been a great journey and even a better story, you are all part of this historical victory for Australia.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Masterchef Spectacular!

Last night proved pastry's turn to shine in the Masterchef kitchen with three team's battling it out to create a sweet showpiece inspired by Antoine Careme, a French master patissier who is often referred to as the godfather of pastry. Bejewelled with spun sugar, soft marshmallows and macarons aplenty, each team constructed whimsical works of art that tasted as good as they looked.

While past Team Pastry competitor Adriano Zumbo was on hand as mentor to guide the team through the process, it was current competitor Andre Sandison who offered knowledge, his skills and his kitchen at Le Cordon Bleu.

Finally, it was time to judge. Team Pastry's great friend Kirsten Tibballs (of the famed Savour School in Melbourne) and our very own Dean Gibson formed part of the elite, six-strong judging panel who tasted their way through all three creations.

Well done team!