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Off The Wire
8 Pastry & Baking North America
L’Art du Chocolatier™
Challenge 2012
Cacao Barry® announces Simon
Bregardis as Chocolatier of the Year
• Assistant Pastry Chef from Bellagio Resort & Casino
bested six finalists from leading U.S. establishments,
in two-day competition, May 5-6, to win first place,
Best Showpiece and Best Workmanship awards
• Chef Florent Cheveau earned 2nd place, Chef Russ
Thayer earned 3rd place in competition
• More than $30,000 in cash and prizes were awarded
Chicago, 2012 – Cacao Barry®, the French premium
chocolate brand, is proud to
announce that Simon Bregardis has been named
Chocolatier of the Year in its annual
L’Art du
Chocolatier™ Challenge
, an all-chocolate, U.S.
competition that encourages creativity and
expertise in designing and executing original creations.
Bregardis is an Assistant Pastry Chef at
Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
“Cacao Barry created this unique competition to give
pastry chefs and chocolatiers a stage to showcase their
creativity and skill through the medium of chocolate,”
said Alexandra Urbe, Cacao Barry® Brand Manager,
Americas. “We are pleased to congratulate Chef Bregardis
on earning Chocolatier of the Year.”
“I am honored to be recognized for my work and want
to thank Cacao Barry for its dedication to innovation and
providing chefs from around the country a wonderful
opportunity to demonstrate their talent,” said Bregardis.
In a first for the competition, Bregardis not only earned
the coveted title, but also won two additional awards in the
competition: Best Showpiece and Best Workmanship.
“Chef Bregardis undoubtedly set a new standard for
our competition,” added Urbe. “His showpiece was an
impressive work of art that clearly showed his incredible
talent, focus and mastery of techniques. Additionally his
work was extremely consistent, precise and flawless.”
During the two-day competition on May 5 and 6, seven pastry
chefs competed at the state-ofthe- art Barry Callebaut Chocolate
Academy in Chicago for the coveted title and chance to win
$15,000 worth of prizes from Cacao Barry® and another $15,000
worth of certificates and prizes, which were generously donated
by sponsors: Boiron, Chicago School of Mold Making, Demarle,
Pregel, Bakon USA, Savy-Goisseau, Waring, Technobake, Tomric
and Solia.
Other awards that were presented included:
• Second place to Florent Cheveau, Pastry Chef, Jean-Philippe
Pâtisserie, Las Vegas
• Third place to Russ Thayer, Assistant Pastry Chef, PreGel
America, North Carolina
• Best Tasting to Florent Cheveau, Pastry Chef, Jean-Philippe
Pâtisserie, Las Vegas
In addition to the title, Bregardis won a $4,000 cash prize, a
course at the Chocolate Academy, round trip airfare to Chicago
plus accommodations, a shared feature in a leading food industry
publication, a signed copy of Ramon Morató’s book “Chocolate”
plus $4,000 worth of gifts and certificates donated by sponsors.
Cheveau earned $6,000 worth of prizes as the second place
winner as well as the Best Tasting award for his near-perfect score
in taste, an uncommon accomplishment. As third place winner,
Thayer earned $5,000 in prizes.
On the first day of competition, each finalist submitted two
finished gâteaux de voyage and two containers of spreadable paste.
Participants also had six hours to prepare their original chocolate
pastry, chocolate tablets and tabletop showpiece using Cacao Barry®.
Highlights of the final day included renowned AlambiQ
mixologist Freddy Diaz preparing Boiron purée-based cocktails
and La Guilde Culinaire celebrity chef Jonathan Garnier preparing
artisanal hors d’oeuvres using Mycryo®, Cacao Barry’s unique
powder form cocoa butter.
The panel of globally renowned pastry chefs who evaluated the
chocolate creations included:
• Ramon Morató, Cacao Barry® Technical Advisor & Director,
Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy, Spain
• Christophe Morel, Master Chocolatier & Pastry Chef,
Christophe Morel Chocolatier and Cacao Barry® Ambassador,
Florent Cheveau, Simon Bregardis, and Russ Thayer