21 to watch: world’s upcoming pastry chefs gather at Berlin boot camp – 15-17 Apr 2018
Press release



14 Apr, Berlin. In the run-up to the World Chocolate Masters final later this year – to be held from 31 October up to 2 November in the Paris Salon du Chocolat – the 21 finalists will flock from around the world to a hidden hub in Berlin. The Berlin boot camp mission is to fuel their creative energy levels through inspirational sessions and coach them to perform at their best during one of the most impactful and career-changing events in their professional lives. For the first time in the history of this young competition, Cacao Barry offers the upcoming talents the unique chance to meet each other and put their ideas to the test. They’ll also get the chance to challenge their ideas, unbox creativity and exchange with some of the world’s leading pastry chefs.


The World Chocolate Masters: a journey for the world’s upcoming pastry talents to challenge themselves

Since the last national selections end of January this year, we now know the 21 finalists for the world final. For the first time in the young history of this competition, Cacao Barry organises a 3-day boot camp to immerse the finalists in brain-stimulating and multi-sensory sessions. "A competition is so much more than just the performance during the competition days.", Cacao Barry Creative Director Ramon Morato explains.
"Participating in such a competition is a personal journey. A personal evolution really. During the months and weeks ahead of the final, you need to shape your ideas, find sparring partners, discuss... sometimes even start over completely… with one goal: present the improved version of yourself and your ideas during the final. So the months ahead are much more important than anything else. Hence why we find it so important to offer every finalist the chance to meet people with varying backgrounds, views and opinions. Even if this competition is based on individual performance, we are a community of chefs who support each other and are open to discover new views. We hope that every contestant will return home stronger, and maybe even with new or different ideas…"

Three days of full immersion

The Berlin boot camp sessions will stretch from inspiring stories by previous winners of the World Chocolate Masters Vincent Vallée (FR) and newly appointed jury president Frank Haasnoot (NL) to interactive talks about steering the creative process by artists and designers such as Andreu Carulla (ES) and Benjamin Van Oost (BE). Of course, taste will be at the heart of the sessions guided by wonder boy of the Parisian patisserie scene Yann Couvreur (FR) and flavour pairing methodist François Chartier (CA). Dutch brothers Kamiel and Hendrik Buysse (NL) will treat the 21 finalists to a 12-course dinner where cacao flavours will blend with savoury, spicy and sweet ingredients and matching cocktails will blur the lines. And since this boot camp is about the future: the horizon will be scanned by Tom Palmaerts (BE) from the award-winning trend watching agency Trendwolves whereas Ramon Morato (ES) translates them into pastry flavours and chocolate concepts. And since a competition is all about focus and energy, contestants will get into the mind of former world champion boxing Brahim Asloum (FR) for some intense, energising sessions. Last but not least, the contestants will deepdive into each of the creative assignments due for the upcoming final to get into full-ready mode

21 upcoming pastry talents to watch

For the first time, the World Chocolate Masters welcomes its finalists in a non-competition setting. The Berlin boot camp will be a think tank and a lab to fuel all contestants’ common passion for pushing the barriers of chocolate gastronomy. “With this event, the competition aims at growing into much more than a world championship of chocolate craftsmanship and creativity.”, Ramon Morato explains. “It’s a journey of personal development for each of the finalists and an international network of like-minded chefs who move creativity forward and shape tomorrow’s vision around artisan patisserie and chocolaterie.”

Finalist from newcomers Australia and Morocco will side traditional participating countries such as France, Italy, Belgium, UK, Japan, USA, Canada, Mexico, Russia, China and many more. As all finalists start their preparations for the final from January onwards, the organisation expects to see “an unprecedented high level of mouth-watering creativity in the final”.

Futropolis: the future visions of chocolate gastronomy

This edition's theme 'Futropolis' challenges all finalists to think about the future of chocolate gastronomy. More specific, how the cities of the future will influence the way we will live, consume, make choices… and enjoy chocolate. The jury specifically will be looking for excitingly innovative taste combinations with chocolate, forward-thinking patisserie concepts and a design language that will define tomorrow's commercial patisserie and chocolaterie presentations. Yet it will also be looking for concepts that reduce our ecological footprint, bring healthier food to the table and give new impulses to local traditions. Changing consumer preferences, trends and new technology will be at the heart of the creative challenges, showcased by the finalists.

Berlin, a symbol of change and creativity

For the competition’s first ever boot camp, the location of Berlin was chosen as the city hones in on its role of vibrant pole of attraction for new creative blood. More than ever, the city embodies a symbol of hope and change. It broke free from its past as a place of walls, control and division and morphed into a welcoming hub of freedom, diversity and new ideas, powered by its own inhabitants’ peaceful call for change. The result is a flourishing mix of subcultures and movements that very often start in the underground yet determine tomorrows standards. A successful cross-fertilisation between art, fashion, architecture, philosophy, crafts and politics can be felt in every vain. Berlin reinvented the way it looks at gastronomy and continuously challenges its own traditions. And with its exciting inflow of creatives from different disciplines and coming from around the world, the city embodies experiment and exchange. That’s why it’s a probably one of the best places to plant the seeds of tomorrow’s creativity in patisserie.


About the final

The 2018 World Final of the World Chocolate Masters will take place in:


SALON DU CHOCOLAT – PARIS – Porte de Versaille – Hall 4
31 OCT – 2 NOV 2018

Accessible during salon opening times.


Tickets to the salon include free access to the public space of the 2018 World Final.
As of spring 2018, they can be purchased at: www.salonduchocolat.fr


The event will be livestreamed at:

• facebook.com/worldchocolatemasters
• World Chocolate Masters channel on Youtube

Saturday, 14 April, 2018