Epicure Group’s executive pastry chef Deniz Karaca has been awarded third place at the 2013 World Chocolate Masters, the highest ever place achieved by Australia in the history of the prestigious international competition.
The Melbourne-based pastry chef said the result is a testament to Australia’s chocolate and pastry industry, which is gaining notoriety internationally.
“It’s been a tough road, but I was really excited to get to Paris and show the judges and other contestants what Australia and the Asia-Pacific region has to offer,” he said.
Deniz also won a special award, the best decorated globe.
To be able to participate in the finals, Deniz has progressed through a year of qualifying competitions, which started with his win at the Australian national event in 2012. He then went on to be crowned the Asia-Pacific master at the regional selection, held in Taiwan earlier this year.
Savour Chocolate and Pâtisserie School director Kirsten Tibballs said Deniz clearly stood out in the competition, among 20 of the world’s leading chocolatiers and pastry chefs.
“His attention to detail and precision was faultless. Deniz trained up to 30 hours a week for two years prior to the competition and his preparation was paramount to his success,” she said.
Organisers Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Carma brought together 19 of the world’s best patissiers, chocolatiers and chefs, with the challenge of creating a new architecture of taste, texture and experience in which chocolate plays a fundamental role.
During the gruelling three-day event, each contestant had to create a chocolate showpiece, a chocolate layered cake, dipped and moulded pralines, a decorated globe and a gastronomic chocolate dessert.
Davide Comaschi of Italy took first place in the competition with Marike van Eurden of the Netherlands coming second.
In addition to the overall winners, the jury gave special awards for best moulded praline, dipped praline, gastronomic chocolate dessert, chocolate pastry and chocolate showpiece.
Paris is the fifth edition of the World Chocolate Masters. The next World Chocolate Masters (WCM) qualifier will be held in Sydney on May 25, 2014. The first place will represent Australia in the WCM final and the second place will win a trip to Paris to view the next WCM final in 2015.