In January 2019, Australia will be competing in the Junior World Pastry Championship at Italy’s Rimini Exhibition Centre.
The two-day competition will feature some of the best young pastry chefs from seven different countries, who will be battling it out for coveted title of extraordinary talent, as well as a grand prize of €7000.
Over the two days, teams are expected to create seven mouth-watering desserts and food sculptures, reaching heights of up to 1.2 metres.
The pressure is on for Australia, who will be represented by a team from Sydney.
Team coach and teacher at baking and patisserie NSW TAFE Scott Astley, along with his team members Eve Khouphongsy and Jirawat New Vararutsupagul, and showpiece coach Emmanuel Lottefier, have been training for the competition for the past eight months.
“It’s a lot of work, so you got to be really prepared for it,” Astley said.
The team practice making the dishes, time themselves on how fast they need to make it, and schedule where they have time to make other dishes.
“They want to be pretty confident already and you don’t want to have to show them how to do something, they just got to get better at doing it, get faster at doing it,” he said.
Scott’s team will be creating a black demon and white angel dessert sculpture to convey the competition’s theme of ‘flying.’
“Everything on our theme will be black and white predominantly,” Astley said.
“The demon is a man kneeling down with wings… [and] a white angel…flying down, and basically holding him down from flying.”
The showpieces will be made from chocolate and sugar works and are expected to be as tall as 1.4 metres.
The tension is high when there are so many dishes to make, of such high difficulty and over such little time.
However, Astley has prepared his team for the obstacles that are inevitably going to arise.
“In any competition, you’re most probably not going to get everything you want to get done,” he said.
“With my guys, I’ve told them: ‘this will probably go wrong, and you have to expect it, and if something goes wrong, what are you going to do about it?’
“You do what you need to do to get it sorted and keep working.”
Teams will be judged on a number of factors such as difficulty, decoration, presentation, hygiene, and of course, taste.
The competition will be aired on Italian television and live streamed online from Sigep’s website.
Astley is honoured that his team is competing in the multinational competition and for his members to be getting exposure in the pastry industry with some of the top pastry chefs in the world.
Astley wishes to thank the team’s sponsors, Messina Gelato, Euroquip, 3D Chef, Barnes, Spain and Portugal Cultural Flavours, for their support in the training and funding for the competition.
Once the competition is over, Astley isn’t taking any breaks; he’s already planning to compete in the 2021 Junior World Pastry Championship.