Bake Off Judge to Choose the Crème De La Crème of Irish Pastry Chefs

Valrhona Pâtisserie Championship

The Valrhona Pâtisserie Championship is back, and the fifth year of the biannual pastry chef competition has a cherry on top with one the top pâtissiers in the UK joining the judging panel.

Odaios Foods and Valrhona Chocolate have announced that Head judge for this year’s competition is Benoit Blin.

Chef Pâtissier at 2 Michelin Star Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, where he has worked closely with Raymond Blanc OBE for over 20 years, Benoit has become a familiar face on our screens for his role on BBC2’s Bake Off: Crème De La Crème television series.

The Valrhona Pâtisserie Championship taking place next Tuesday 30th May in DIT Cathal Brugha Street.

The six finalists competing are:

– Aideen Burke Pastry Chef at Portmarnock Hotel

– Alane Lima Santos Pastry Chef at L’Art Du Chocolat

– Andrius Zubernis Pastry Chef at The Brewer’s House

– Karen Smith‏ Pastry Chef at China-Sichuan, Sandyford

– María Mariano Garcia Pastry Chef at Dromoland Castle

– Paula StakelumHead Pastry Chef at Ashford Castle

Benoit will be joined on the tasting panel by Aoife Noonan, executive Pastry Chef SMS Luna, 777 Dublin, Butcher Grill & Super Miss Sue, and Clare Fletcher, formerly Pastry at The Ritz London and 2 star Michelin Le Manoir aux Quat’Saison and recently returned to Ireland heading up pastry at The Firehouse Bakery.

Also on the panel are David Geszler, Head Pastry Chef at The Marker Hotel, and Ludovic Lantier Executive Pastry Chef Fade Street Social, Rustic Stone and Taste at Rustic.

The theme of this year’s competition is ‘Classic Revisited’.

Through written recipe submission and accompanying photographs, entrants were required to choose a Classic Dessert and “reinvent the recipe avant-garde style, using a contemporary approach.”

The competition for this years’ final is expected to be hotly contested; it was remarked by the 3 judges who reviewed and scored all applicants that the number and standard of entries for this year competition was higher than ever.

On the day, the six finalists will each have 4 hours to create their dessert for the 2017 panel of judges.

The winner of this year’s Championship will receive a 3 day training course (stage) in l’École du Grand Chocolat Valrhona, Tain l’Hermitage, France, including meals, accommodation and flights, dinner in a Michelin star restaurant while there, and access to the UK and Ireland selection of Valrhona’s Chocolate Chef Competition.

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