Chainshaws, ice piques and sweat were not what I was expecting when I arrived at Sirha’s World Pastry Cup 2015, but that’s what I got. The competition takes place in Lyon’s enormous expo building over two days every other year. National teams of three pastry chefs spend a year (if not more) perfecting their skills around the dedicated creations of the competition.

This year, the creations that each team had to complete were:

  • 3 Valrhona chocolate desserts
  • 1 artistic creation made of sugar
  • 3 frozen fruits desserts
  • 1 artistic creation made of Valrhona chocolate
  • 12 desserts on a plate
  • 1 artistic creation made of sculpted ice

It may sound like a relatively simple task to understake in 10 hours (starting at 6.30am!)but trust me, from by the sheer concentration, perseverance and sweat that was clear on each team’s faces, it is not.

Day 1

China | South Korea | Tunisia | Switzerland | Denmark | Algeria | The Philippines | Colombia | Taiwan | Morocco | Singapore

The first 11 teams made their ways to their individual kitchen pods, and set up camp. Chainsaws out infront of their kitchens and ice blocks divvied up and the sculpting got going. Behind each ice sculptor, the two otherchefs (chocolate and sugar sculptors)began creating their other creations. Throughout the day – with slight blips, ice collapsing and a few structural chocolate issues – the results were sublime.

Stay tuned for the goings-on of the second half of the competition that’s taking place as we speak, as well as the results that will be announced tonight! Don’t forget to stay tuned with Sophie’s live tweets and instagram updates.