After two days of intense live heats, the finalists of the Richemont Masterbaker Pastry and Baking Championship 2019 were revealed.
Qualifying chefs battled it out at the Richemont Masterbaker Centre of Excellence in Baking and Pastry in Dubai’s JLT, aiming to become the four pastry chefs and four bakery chefs to make it to the final.
With the prize of an all-expenses paid trip to Richemont Centre of Excellence for Bakery, Confectionery and Chocolate Luzern, Switzerland up for grabs, each of the chefs had to complete a number of challenges aimed at testing not only their creativity, but their ability to work under pressure and complete what was asked of them in the brief.
The bakery chefs had to create a number of classic items including quiches, rustic wheat loaves, croissants, and Danish pastries. While the pastry chefs had to turn their talents to petits fours, fruit entremets, and baked tarts.
Judge Paul Hayward said: “The competition is unique at the moment as a lot of others are static and all visual, there’s very few live cooking competitions for this amount of time in a real, live environment.”
Another of the judges, Pascal Clair, said he and the rest of the panel would be looking for the basic fundamental skills in each competitor and then seeing who could take it the next level.
An intense competition across two days, the chefs had to craft their creations to an Arabian culture theme and the judges were impressed by the use of local ingredients such as saffron and zaatar in the chefs’ dishes. Judge Adel Vieilleville praised the methodologies used by the chefs and said “everyone has put something very special into their craft”.
When it was all said and done, and the contestants were waiting to discover their fates, the overall feeling was one of a job well done, regardless of the result.
After speaking to the chefs, judge Hayward said: “They were so happy to talk to us and get feedback and they were pleased with what they did. For me it’s a pleasure to see the next generation of chefs and the passion they have.”
Vieilleville added to that, calling on the chefs to “respect the product” as “someday these people will be leaders and they will have to pass down the knowledge to other people”.
It wasn’t just the chefs learning from the judges, with head of faculty for Richemont Masterbaker Christiane Trilck saying that even for the judges with upwards of 20 years’ experience each in the industry, they never stop learning and had picked up new techniques from the competition.
At the end of a tough but exciting two days, the winners were announced. Lawal Sharaff of Mix Pastry & Sweets Al Ain, Jisson Paul of Five Palm Jumeirah, Cindy Kosasih of Caesars Bluewaters Dubai, and Rushi Mei-Li of Caesars Bluewaters Dubai will be the final four pastry chefs, and Mahesh Kamble of Grand Hyatt, Joseph Casapao of Scarlet’s Bakery & Patisserie, Dubai, Bishal Sunuwar of Grand Hyatt Dubai, and Sajan Pokhrel of Park Hyatt Dubai beat the competition to become the bakery chef finalists.
Richemont Masterbaker director Maryam Khorakiwala summed up the event by telling the chefs: “It’s never a waste to invest in yourself. There’s a community here that’s interested in your development, that’s investing in your development, and we should all participate to grow it.”
The Richemont Masternaker Pastry and Baking Championship 2019 final heats will be held on October 1 and 2.
For more images from the heats check out for updates on the gallery page at www.championship-richemont-masterbaker.com or to find out how you can develop your Pastry & Baking skills see: www.richemont-masterbaker.com