The U.S. finals of the World Chocolate Masters, organized by Barry Callebaut, will take place Sept. 27-29 at the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) in Las Vegas. The event is designed to offer chocolate artisans and pastry chefs a forum in which to showcase their skill at designing chocolate showpieces, as well as creating chocolate pastries, pralines and desserts.
The competitors must create a large chocolate showpiece that conveys this year’s theme: Cocoa, Quetzalcoatl’s Gift. In addition to the showpiece, competitors also must produce a chocolate pastry, two types of pralines and a plated dessert.
This year’s competitors are Sylvain Bortolini, assistant pastry chef, Bellagio, Las Vegas; Stephen Durfee, pastry chef instructor, Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, St. Helena, Calif.; Naomi Gallego, executive pastry chef, Fairmont Hotel, Pittsburgh; Jove Hubbard, executive pastry chef, The James Hotel, Chicago; Frederic Loraschi, owner, Chocolat Frederic Loraschi LLC, Hummelstown, Pa.; Richard Ruskell, executive pastry chef, Montage Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills, Calif.; and Orlando Santos, pastry chef, The Duquesne Club, Pittsburgh.
The winner of the U.S. competition will be named U.S. National Chocolate Master and advance to the 2011 World Chocolate Masters in Paris, where he or she will compete against artisans from 20 other countries.