Rather recently I found out there is an annual Pastry and Pizza Challenge that has been going on since 2008.
The Challenge is organised as part of Fonterra’s commitment to encourage budding chefs by offering them an opportunity to showcase their culinary skills whilst competing with the crème de le crème of the industry.
In other words, they are competing on an international level.
This year I was invited to the prize giving ceremony and had some time to get acquainted with the workings of this annual competition. As a foodie, I appreciate any given opportunity to meet aspiring and current chefs; especially local talented ones.
During the World Gourmet Summit 2012 in Singapore just last week, I was introduced and interviewed almost 15 international and Michelin star chefs. As I reflected upon it while drafting this post, I realized there’s a huge gap between our local chefs and the ones I met in Singapore.
Nevertheless, I was in awe of some of the creations I saw that day, starting with this novel one that uses our local fruit; the mangosteen, which is not a common choice for cakes.
Chef Kuet Ean Ean won 2nd place for her efforts. I would definitely award her additional marks for originality!
Chef Kuet is a Penangite (*proud*) and her cake has alternating layers of cream cheese, chocolate sponge and mangosteen coulis.
The 1st prize winner, Chef Eric also hails from Penang. *another proud moment*
His creation; Praline Royal is made with praline chocolates, cream cheese and soursop. It looked really good and probably matched in terms of taste.
I said ‘probably’ because none of us got to sample any of the cakes on display that day. Granted, it was a prize giving ceremony not a food tasting session, but it would have added credibility to our story if we could vouch for sure that the cakes were as good as they looked.
Anyhow, one of the judges is Jean Francois Arnaud, hailed as one of the best Pastry Chefs of France and head of the HTC Asia culinary school in Menara IMC, KL. Undoubtedly, we can take his word for it if he says Chef Eric is deservingly the winner this year.
The Fonterra Foodservices Pastry Challenge is one of the region’s largest competitions especially in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Other than cash prizes, the Winner of the Pastry Challenge, together with other Regional Winners will walk away with an exclusive hands-on training workshop in while the Winner of the Pizza Challenge will represent Malaysia in the Fonterra Global Pizza Challenge in Melbourne, Australia.
Well good luck to Chef Syairul then for his quest to Melbourne, Australia!
He went home RM3,000 richer and his trip to represent Malaysia at the next Fonterra Global Pizza Challenge in Australia is fully sponsored.
Fonterra’s Anchor commercial dairy baking products such as dairy cream, cheese, butter and milk were used as main ingredients in the challenge.
Here’s more pictures of the delectable looking desserts that was displayed that day. This very piece below was eye-popping, in the literal sense!
This is the Orange Royal Delight Brulee Cake.
The cross -section of the cake looks really intriguing doesn’t it?
Here’s a Strawberry Spice Mousse Cake. I wonder what spices was used.
Hazelnut de Pralinosa.
Last but not least, Romance Cloric Chocolate Infused Cake.
Sigh, I just love looking at pretty desserts, don’t you?