"The idiom says: “Rome wasn't built in a day”. To be an outstanding chocolate master, I need non-stop learning. That’s the only way I’m able to gain valuable experience."

INTERVIEW WITH JINGJINGLIAO
2017 CHINESE NATIONAL SELECTION WINNER

How did you prepare yourself for the World Chocolate Masters?

“Before I started this competition, I didn’t have a lot of experience in sculpting with chocolate. So, to prepare myself, I mostly studied architectural books and design concepts. At that time, I didn’t have a clear idea of how I would bring all my creations together.”

What did you learn from participating in the Chinese National Selection?

“Competing with all these chocolate talents was a unique experience. I saw parts of myself that needed some improvement, which really helped me in developing my skills. The idiom says: “Rome wasn't built in a day”. To be an outstanding chocolate master, I need non-stop learning. That’s the only way I’m able to gain valuable experience. After this competition, I found that sculpting chocolate requires constant practice and physical support. So, when the World Chocolate Masters was over, it was important to make a long-term learning plan for myself.”

“The idiom says: “Rome wasn't built in a day”. To be an outstanding chocolate master, I need non-stop learning. That’s the only way I’m able to gain valuable experience.”

 

– Jingjing Liao –

Has your life as a chef changed since winning the Chinese National Selection?

“Life has not changed that much, I just returned to my normal job (laughs). But at the same time, I started planned training sessions to prepare myself for next year's competition.
I’m under great pressure to represent China while going up against true world class masters. But I’m also very excited! Competing on an international level will allow me to broaden my horizons and strengthen my skills.”

How do you test and fine-tune your creations?

“When making my creations, I constantly try to improve them by creating shapes and comparing what’s different each time. I evaluate them and try to seek out little mistakes until I reach the level of quality I’m looking for.”

Do you receive a lot of input from other chefs?

“Exchanging information with other experts is extremely important. Not everyone's strengths are the same. By working with others, I not only learned a lot about my profession, I also learned a great deal about myself. Now I can identify my blind spots and take care of them.”

How will you prepare for the finals?

“I’m constantly reading books about architecture and design (laughs). That way, I learn all about structural elements and how to achieve them. Knowledge is key.”

How would you describe your personal style in chocolate and pastry?

“My work mainly focuses on sculptural craftsmanship and hand molding. For future assignments, I’ll be sculpting manually to be completely free of any mold.”

How do chocolate and pastry change in your opinion?

“French pastry is becoming more popular in China, the shops are definitely selling more sophisticated products. The future market will be focused on the sales of gift boxes.”

How do you see the future?

“In the future, everything will go faster. Science will gain important new insights, and the world will evolve accordingly. We must pay attention to protecting our environment and save energy in order for our planet to survive. Future generations should be able to enjoy the future’s convenience by securing the beauty of nature.”

Wednesday, 31 May, 2017