After months of experimentation with layers, textures and flavours MCEC pastry chefs Michael Belcher and Alessandro Bartesaghi reaped the sweets of their labour and brought home medals from the Hunter Valley’s Callebaut Chocolate Entremet competition.
Mike was awarded a silver medal and Alessandro took out a gold and was placed third overall – a huge coup for the guys who were up against 46 of the best pastry chefs and chocolatiers across Australia.
The two assembled their chocolate entremets (multi-layered mousse-based cakes) onsite and plated their creations in front of judges including pastry virtuoso Adriano Zumbo.
Alessandro and Mike spent lots of time bouncing ideas off each other and working on different flavour combinations and textural elements. And once they were happy went about perfecting every element that went on the plate.
“The difference between first and second place can be something little like a slight smudge on a plate or a small air bubble in your glaze so we had to get everything just right.
“The competition was a great challenge for us because this is not something we would do on a daily basis and was an excellent opportunity to represent MCEC and test our skills against some of the country’s best pastry chefs,” Mike said.
Despite some bumpy terrain en route to the Hunter Valley, and having to turn their hotel room into a makeshift kitchen to create delicate chocolate garnishes, Mike and Alessandro finished their cakes without a hitch. A big thanks to Newcastle Tafe for allowing the guys to prep in their kitchen!
The Callebaut Chocolate Entremet Competition was held as part of the Hunter Valley Chocolate Festival, attended by chocolatiers, pastry chefs and chocolate lovers across Australia. The major prize winner was awarded a five day cocoa plantation tour in South America.
Mike and Alessandro’s impressive competition cakes….
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