Train Hard, Win Easy

The Pastry Battlers, documents the journey of the talented pastry chefs behind Team Pastry Australia; a group who are determined to prove Australia can compete with the best.

Two years ago, TAFE pastry teacher Dean Gibson and Continental Patisserie’s Jian Yao decided to form a team of talented pastry chefs to represent Australia in the 2013 World Pastry Cup. Their dream; to finally put Australian pastry on the map and showcase to the rest of the world what the team did at the recent World Pastry Cup in Lyon.

Photographer/videographer Matthew Venables and I saw a great story to tell the Australian public. After having seen many television shows dedicated to “chefs de cuisine”, we thought it was high time for Australian pastry to shine, as it is a still not-well-known discipline that requires a very high level of skills and encompasses so much more than cakes and desserts!

We decided to document the team’s journey in their preparation to the Asian Pastry Cup in Singapore, up until the World Pastry Cup in 2013. During these two years, we have followed the team like a bad smell and have been fortunate enough to witness the impressive commitment of members Andre Sandison, Justin Yu, Barry Jones, Dean Gibson and Jian Yao, as well as Dammika Hatharasinghe (sugar trainer and mould maker).

It was with great pleasure we witnessed their victory at the Asian Pastry Cup in April 2012. It was fantastic to see the efforts of the team and all the people who helped them rewarded at last.

We duly followed the team to France at Yssingeaux International Pastry School, where they trained for a few days before heading back to Lyon for the competition, which took place over two days at the SIRHA. Between the teams from France, Japan, Italy and Belgium the level of skills was extremely high. Nonetheless, the Australian team managed to place seventh, which was fantastic! This meant the team could go back to Australia being proud of what they achieved and finally get some well-deserved rest!

For us, this meant the end of filming. However it also signified the beginning of trying to make this documentary a reality, and to get it out there to the public. So far, this project has been entirely self-funded, but we are now at a stage where we need to raise funds to edit the documentary and approach networks.

This is why we have launched a Pozible campaign, where members of the public can support the project by donating what they feel like (pledges start from as little as $5). View the campaign at, or visit the documentary’s Facebook page at

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