For the first time since 1996, France earned the top baking title by winning the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie earlier this month in Paris, France. Italy took second place, and newcomer Taiwan took third in the international baking competition held during the Europain bakery trade exhibition March 29 to April 2.
Bread Baker's Guild Baking Team U.S.A. did not place in the top three, but Peter Yuen won an honorable mention in the viennoiserie category. Team U.S.A. was the team to beat after winning the Bakery World Cup twice in the past three shows and taking second place in 2002.
Several technical mishaps lessened Team U.S.A.'s chances during the competition, such as the inability to practice with French flour like the other teams and an oven with no steam injection.
Despite the hurdles, Team U.S.A. members Dara Reimers in the artistic design category, Solveig Tofte in the artisan bread category and Yuen pulled together to produce exceptional products during the grueling eight-hour competition. Hundreds of cheering fans from all twelve countries competing in the Bakery World Cup packed the stands during the awards ceremony.
A complete report on the competition and Europain will be published in Modern Baking's May issue.