Meet the UK Pastry Team for Le Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie 2019

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 19th March 2018

The candidates for the 2019 UK Pastry Team for the prestigious Le Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie competition were announced earlier today.

Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, the bi-annual World Pastry Cup culminates in a show-stopping live finale where 22 countries compete for the title. The finale will take place on Sunday 27th & Monday 28th January, 2019 at the Sirha exhibition in Lyon.

The press event where the announcement took place was at the French Embassy in Kensington Gardens, in the presence of H.E. Monsieur et Madame Jean-Pierre Jouyet, Ambassador of France to the United Kingdom.

As the UK Pastry Team ranked among the top five teams in the past three competitions, they are automatically granted a place in the finale, without having to compete in the continental selection events. Other countries in the Top 5 were: Italy, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

Which chefs are in the UK Pastry Team 2019?

Jamie Houghton was the winner the UK Pastry Open at The Restaurant Show in October 2017, securing his spot on the team for 2019. He is the team captain and will be mainly responsible for the team’s sugar piece.  Jamie has competed in several pastry competitions before, and he was a mentee in the UK Pastry Team for the 2013 and 2015 Coupes du Monde. He currently works as pastry sous chef at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’saisons, under chef pâtissier Benoit Blin, MCA.

When asked why he wanted to take part, Jamie said:  “I think it was kind of a fascination more than anything. I was a mentee in 2013 and since I saw my first showpiece, I thought it was phenomenal, and I’ve wanted to be a part of it since then. So I took every opportunity that I could to be involved – I wanted to be strong enough to do the UK Pastry Open..."

He added: "The [UK Pastry Open] competition was amazing and the standard was so high. You did not know who was going to win. That shows how strong pastry in the UK is at the moment.”

Sarju Ranavaya, who won the best chocolate showpiece at the UK Pastry Open will be competing in the chocolate category.  A graduate of renowned culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu, Sarju has also worked at several luxury hotels including The Langham and Brown’s Hotel. He is currently working as a pastry chef at Classic Fine Foods’ The Taste Lab in London, with head pastry chef Denis Drame. 

Denis will be coaching the UK Pastry Team and he explained that they already have the foundations for all three of their final pieces. 

He said: 

“At the moment, it’s the early stages, but I’ve got to say we are much further than we’ve ever been when it comes to practice. We are working mainly on the tasting at the moment, because at the end of the day, it’s a pastry competition, so it’s about tasting. We are working on that but the foundations are done, we are almost there... The main thing, whether it’s the plated dessert, the chocolate cake or the ice cream cake, it’s all about innovation – it’s about doing something that has not been done before. This is the World Cup – this is the best of the best so we have to come up with something that people have not seen or tasted before." 

He added: "On the day, anything can happen but the main thing is that we have the right tools to be successful."

Chris Seddon will be responsible for the UK Pastry Team ice piece. He is the head pastry chef at Coutts Bank on The Strand, London and has previously worked at Claridge’s, The Savoy and The Connaught. Like Jamie and Sarju, Chris has also competed in the UK Pastry Open, and he was a reserve for the 2017 UK Pastry Team.

The reserve candidates for 2019 are Nicolas Houchet (reserve sugar), deputy head of pâtisserie at Le Cordon Bleu London; Mickael Ho Lam Kwan (reserve chocolate), head pastry chef at Duddells and Jonas Plangger (reserve ice), head pastry chef at Coworth Park Hotel in Ascot. The mentees who will be training alongside the team are Charles Liets, Graf Kwok and Miranda Reci.

Chairman of the UK Pastry Club, Benoit Blin MCA has high hopes for the team. He said: 

“We are expecting nothing less than them on the podium in 2019. We’ve finally got all the resources, all the support systems in place, and we’ve got three young British candidates for the first time who have committed themselves, and companies for which they work which are also committed to supporting them. What else could you want?”

By Jenna Lloyd

@canteenjenna

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 19th March 2018

Meet the UK Pastry Team for Le Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie 2019