Pastry Chef Vincent Pilon won both the National Taste Award 2007 and the National Chocolate Master award during the U.S. Chocolate Master competition held in Chicago, May 19 and sponsored by Barry Callebaut. As the winner, he moves on to compete in October against 22 other countries’ contestants for the title of World Chocolate Master 2007 in Paris, France.
The U.S. national competition, hosted by The French Pastry School, featured seven pastry chefs who were challenged to use different techniques to assemble chocolate creations, including an artistic showpiece, moulded pralines, dipped pralines and a “mystery” dessert, whose ingredients were revealed only minutes before the beginning of the competition.
A jury of notable culinary professionals, including Art Smith, who won a James Beard Award for cookbook writing, and Gale Gand, executive pastry chef for TRU restaurant, helped judge the competition. Pilon is the executive pastry chef at Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas. Originally from Villepinte, France, Pilon was part of the U.S. National Pastry Team in 2003, which won gold, and was selected as one of the ten best pastry chefs in America in 2007 by Pastry Art & Design.