21 to watch: united and immersed during the first ever World Chocolate Masters bootcamp
Press release



17 Apr, Berlin. What will the world be like in 10 to 20 years from now? And what will our chocolate delights look like? Taste like? Be like?

The 21 finalists of the World Chocolate Masters – coming from all continents – flocked together in Berlin to deepdive into the future of pastry and chocolaterie. During 3 days, they were immersed in an avalanche of forward-looking sessions around design, artistry and craft and taste. For the first time, a culinary competition organised a bootcamp to tear down the walls between different nations and cultures and offer its finalists the unique opportunity to collaborate, exchange and find new insights.


From Tokyo to Mexico city: 21 pastry chefs to watch gathered in Berlin

21 they are: the upcoming league of pastry chefs who will influence how the world will look at chocolate desserts and patisserie in the coming years. After a successful first year of preparation for the national selections of the World Chocolate Masters, they each have been selected as finalist to represent their country during the World Chocolate Masters final later this year. To propel their creative thinking, and to stimulate their brain waves around this edition’s theme of Futropolis, the World Chocolate Masters invited them to take part in the competition first ever boot camp – for the occasion organised in Berlin. Simply because the city is one of Europe’s creative hubs uniting a legacy from the ‘old world’ with edgy thinking about the future, new tech startups and a vivid art and science scene.

During this bootcamp, I now discovered new ways to apply a design methodology to shape my showpiece.

– Aravavinda Leelarathna (finalist Middle East) –

3 days filled to the brim with ideation sessions revolving around the future of chocolate patisserie

“By 2030 most innovations will originate in Asia.” “By then, the world’s biggest cities will count 37 million inhabitants. The top 10 of biggest cities won’t be Paris or London, yet be situated in Asia and Africa.” “Food prices will double by 2030.” “How will we organise energy, food supply and distribution for 37 million people?” “How will we dal with food waste?” “How will we combine health and indulgence into our desserts and sweet snacks?” “Will cocoa trees grow in cities?”
These were just a few of the many thematic challenges that were launched during the World Chocolate Masters Berlin bootcamp. A bootcamp that definitely challenged the status quo and asked all finalists to think about the new world we’re shaping today.

“Find your own path. In anything you do,
make sure the jury discovers who you are.”

– Yann Couvreur (patissier – Paris) –

From mental unbox sessions to experimental pairing

The main objective of the Berlin bootcamp was of course to offer all finalists the opportunity to gain new insights and challenge their thinking. Hence why it was organised around themes like DESIGN / TASTE / ENERGY & FOCUS. Apart from ideations sessions focusing on the future, the personal journey of each finalist was at the heart of this bootcamp too. Networking, exploring different cultures and visions and finding ways to canalise one’s own energy and create bigger mental focus to unbox one’s creativity were key during the bootcamp. During an energising hands-on box training, Brahim Asloum – France’s former world champ boxing – lead the finalists into boosting their energy and focus, while keeping a sharp eye on the world around them.
Canadian wine experts and scientist François Chartier guided the finalists into the world of molecular analysis of ingredients and taste. His ideas and vision were brought into practice when contestants were challenged to work around new flavour combinations with chocolate. In a hands-on flavour pairing exercice, they explored ingredients from around the world’s cuisines to match them with Cacao Barry’s chocolate couvertures and create new flavour sensations. The idea here too was to broaden their views and push the classic boundaries between savoury and sweet.

“I think the future will be completely transparent and mobile. We will live in transparent houses that you can move to another place when you feel like it. The transparency will make you feel surrounded by nature all the time.”

– Eun-Hye Kim (finalist – Korea) –

The 2018 final will be different from any of the previous ones

The World Chocolate Masters has always embraced innovation and therefore transformed its competition format to offer contestants the opportunity to set new standards. With the upcoming final, the format will be completely new again – offering new assignments, a new setting and new impulses. Simply because now, more than ever, all artisans are faced with new challenges to stay relevant, be truly innovative and differentiate themselves.

Three days of full immersion

The Berlin boot camp sessions covered everything 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 Adam Johnston (UK Director for Andreu Carulla studio) and Benjamin Van Oost (BE). Of course, taste was at the heart of these sessions guided by the wonder boy of the Parisian patisserie scene Yann Couvreur (FR) and flavour pairing methodist François Chartier (CA). Dutch brothers Kamiel and Hendrik Buysse (NL) treated the 21 finalists to a 12-course dinner at which cacao flavours will blend with savoury, spicy and sweet ingredients; matching cocktails will blur the lines even more. And since this boot camp was about the future, trendwatcher Tom Palmaerts (Trendwolves – BE) scanned the horizon for future trends whereas Ramon Morato (ES) translated them into pastry flavours and chocolate concepts. And since a competition is all about focus and energy, contestants deepdived into the mind of former world champion boxing Brahim Asloum (FR) for some intense, energising sessions. Last but not least: the contestants got full insights in each of the creative assignments to get into full-ready mode for the upcoming final.

The World Chocolate Masters: a journey for 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 organised a 3-day boot camp to immerse the finalists in brain-stimulating and multi-sensory sessions. ‘This competition is so much more than just the chef’s performance during the competition days.’, Cacao Barry Creative Director Ramon Morato explains.
‘Participating means embarking on 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 hot topics... sometimes even start over completely… with one goal: to present the best possible version of yourself and your ideas at 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 that support each other and are open to new views. We hope that every contestant will return home stronger, and maybe even with new or different ideas…’

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 live, consume, make choices… and enjoy chocolate. The jury specifically will be a search 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.


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

Tuesday, 17 April, 2018