On July 10, 2019, eight eager patisserie students descended on Holmesglen Institute’s Glen Waverley campus, prepared for what was to be the inaugural Victorian TAFE Patisserie Challenge.
The brainchild of Guido Pozzebon, a patisserie trainer at Holmesglen TAFE, the challenge allowed the four teams of two students to showcase their skills and complete to see who would earn the title of the best patisserie students in the state. Passionate about giving the next generation of pastry chefs opportunities to grow and showcase all they have learned, Guido was inspired to invite other schools to complete.
“What we discovered was that there was plenty of competitions for baking or cookery students, but a lack of opportunities for patisserie students. So after eighteen months of planning, we managed to get the competition off the ground”, he said.
Students from four competing TAFEs had just five-and-a-half hours to produce one large and six French pastry size entremets for the judges, all identical in presentation. William Angliss, Chisholm institute, Melbourne Polytechnic and Holmesglen were all represented as their student teams battled it out across the day.
The entremets consisted of a baked base, a mousse based filling, a fruit based gel insert, a gel glaze and garnishes. Each team had to create their own recipes using stock provided by Apromo Trading and using equipment supplied by Club Chef, Robot Coupe’, Vanrooy and Loyal.
The competition was fierce and the end results were spectacular. Judges Filip Tibos from Apromo Trading, Hayden Grech from Vanrooy and Luke Johnson of Glace’ quizzed the teams on their procedures, observed their skills and asked about their inspiration both for their entremets. A possible 300 points were available to be awarded across four criteria: professional practice, preparation, presentation and taste. The end result was close, with just one point separating first and second place.
Angela Valansi and Abbey McLellan of Holmesglen were victorious on the day with Elise Sponner and Gianna Speranza of William Angliss a very close second.
The competition was a great success and the Victorian TAFE Patisserie Challenge committee, led by Franck Poirier of Chisholm Institute, believes it will only go from strength to strength.
Ultimately, the committee is working towards establishing a national Australian TAFE Patisserie Challenge. This year’s challenge will be held at Chisholm Institute in Dandenong on July 7.