In its effort to prepare for the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie (World Cup of Baking), Baking Team USA traveled to Minneapolis for a three-day practice session in General Mills’ new Bakeries and Foodservice Culinary Center this month. The trip to General Mills, a platinum sponsor of the Bread Bakers Guild and Team USA, provided team members a chance to use unfamiliar equipment. The team will experience a similar situation at the Coupe du Monde, held during Europain in Paris, April 16-20.
This year’s team includes Team Captain William Leaman, Seattle, artistic design; Jory Downer, Evanston, Ill., viennoiserie; Jeffrey Yankellow, San Francisco, baguette and specialty breads; Tim Foley, Stevensville, Mich., team manager; and Didier Rosada, San Francisco, team coach.
New to the competition this year is the addition of savory sandwiches. “I think they [competition organizers] added sandwiches to make it more interesting and to follow the evolution of the craft. People go to bakeries now to get sandwiches,” Rosada said. The sandwich category requires the team to produce 160 salted rolls, pastries and club sandwiches as well as a rectangular sandwich bread that is designed as part of the artistic piece with the theme, “Your country’s emblems through bread.”
“The new category was a bit of a shock, but it works out great for us, especially with my background in foodservice,” said Jeffrey Yankellow, who has a culinary arts degree and worked several years as a chef before turning to baking.
Only the top three out of 12 teams at the Coupe du Monde will guarantee their country a return visit to the next Coupe, which is held every three years.
“When I’m in my bakery, the competition is all I think about,” said Jory Downer, owner of Bennison’s Bakery. “I don’t know what I’ll think about on April 18, when it is all over for us.”
For more information about Europain, visit www.europain.com and click on the British flag for the English version.