Pastry contest: Life never tasted so good!

September 29th, 2011 | Posted by greg in Classes & Demo | Daily life...

When I was 5 years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life.
When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I wrote down “Happy.”
They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life.

~John Lennon

The winner from the talented Disneyland team

Perhaps he had it, perhaps Lennon would have been the winner of the 4th Fonterra pastry contest!

A taste of life was the theme of the 2011 cake competition held at the fine HITDC. And frankly, in order to translate your thoughts about how good life tastes into a cake, within two hours, you either had to be a genius philosopher, stunningly creative or simply look at it with your inner child eyes. Or perhaps a bit of everything…

The 9 professional and the 5 student teams who participated to the contestdemonstrated to us, humble judges, what their life tasted like and let me tell you, they made ours taste different! We had some extreme adventurous cakes using gourd vegetable cooked in black pepper and paired with dark chocolate; and we also had superb flavors such as green apple and calamansi cake which we all agreed topped all other flavors on the day.

Our MC for the day translated everything from Chinese to English

So what makes life taste different?

For some reasons every team came up with the concept of having different flavors for different emotions in life. For example “sweet, bitter, sour, spicy” – and many cakes ended up loaded with chilies. Using chilies in pastry making is like placing a careful drop of nitroglycerin on a jackhammer in action. Everyone used the standard chilies and wow, did it come through. I would have perhaps tried to source milder chilies to blend with the different ingredients.


That cake from the student category was called "Four Seasons" :)

Overall, with such a complex and intangible theme, I thought the participants performed very well. The results of the day were highly positive for everyone and I think I will repeat myself, but such events are too rare in the region and Fonterra is really great at supporting and organizing such event (no, I don’t have shares in the Fonterra company! It’s just facts!). During contests like that, the younger generation of pastry chefs, winning or not, are able to measure their ability with others. The more they can do it, the better they become.

People meet, talk, create friendship and the pastry industry grows stronger.

Congratulations to all the participants!

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