Tag Archives: chocolate showpieces

Chocolate Showpieces: The Pinnacle of Food Art

What is a show piece? What makes pastry chefs and professionals strive to perfect these creative structures that flout gravity. I often ask myself why show pieces? They are impossible to sell due to the high labour content, they often don’t last long due to the fragile nature of the ingredients, and they take hours sometimes weeks of painstaking work to form.

Chocolate Showpiece by Paul KennedyNew Chocolate Showpiece by Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School Paul KennedyI do know why the increasingly popular constructions are made. What better way to showcase your skills on a grand scale. You must be able to create a showpiece to enter most international competitions. We as professionals are now often judged as a tradespeople by the strength of our show piece making skills. The top of their game Stephane Treand, Stephane Leroux, Frank Haasnoot and Stephane Klein are closely monitored by professionals around the world for the next trend or fashion in show pieces.

Show pieces are usually created by one of three mediums, chocolate, sugar and pastillage very few pastry chefs specialize in all three areas. The main one we lack skill and expertise in Australia is sugar but we certainly shine through with chocolate with Australia hosting some of the best in the world arguably Paul Kennedy is one of the leaders in Australia.

Chocolate Showpiece

Chocolate Showpiece from World Chocolate Masters

Paul was a finalist at the World Chocolate Masters in Paris and is Executive Pastry Chef at Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School. ‘Styles are constantly being re-invented with a new twist’ explains Paul. ‘Like fashion and everything in food, the styles of show pieces changes rapidly.’

The first step in starting the journey on a new show piece is understanding the medium you are working with for example the ability to temper chocolate. Next is the design, to start with it is easier to copy a simple show piece you have seen and liked. Draw the piece in pencil first ensuring the design flows and is not too static so the piece looks like it is moving. Cardboard is an easy medium to use to create your structure for chocolate. A lot of professionals will make a mock up of the show piece in cardboard before creating it with expensive ingredients. With our climate in Australia any type of sugar structure will deteriorate quickly, chocolate with the correct temperature controls can last for years.

One of the most important points when creating a show piece is to keep the piece clean and neat. Also try to emulate air and lightness by creating negative space in the piece so it is not too heavy. If you are recreating a life like item make it as close as possible to the natural equivalent. For example a flower should reflect a native flower but on a larger scale. Your structure should be solid to support all your decorations on the piece, but once the show piece is finished your structure should be almost invisible and just supporting your decorations.

Frank Haasnoot Chocolate Showpiece

Frank Haasnoot Chocolate Showpiece from 2011 World Chocolate Master

Chocolate show pieces date back over 70 years in history which started out as piped chocolate filigree assembled into three dimensional centre pieces followed by carved sculptures from a solid block of chocolate.  Then we moved onto modelling chocolate figures, modelling chocolate created from glucose and chocolate. With the invention of chocolate cool spray chocolate show pieces improved in leaps and bounds. Chocolate cool spray is compressed cold air in a aerosol that will instantly set chocolate, which means you no longer have to stand there holding a piece in place waiting for the chocolate to set. We now see incredible architecturally designed pieces that are getting more sophisticated each year.

Savour has just launched the newest chocolate showpiece creation for students to create in class. The western themed showpiece featuring various skulls, intricate flowers and life-like barbed wired.

Savour School VIP students create Chocolate Shipwreck Showpiece

Under the guidance of Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School Pastry Chef Paul Kennedy, our VIP Students John Law, and Benjamin Turner, plus Savour apprentice Jean Kirkland have created a magnificent chocolate ‘shipwrecked’ showpiece.

 

Featuring a shipwrecked boat with mast, red coral, octopus, treasure chest with coins, manta ray and anchor.

 

Learn more about creating chocolate showpieces in our 3 days hands on class at Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School.

Shipwreck Chocolate Showpiece - Savour Chocolate and Patisserie School Manta Ray - Shipwreck Chocolate Showpiece - Savour Chocolate and Patisserie SchoolCoral - Shipwreck Chocolate Showpiece - Savour Chocolate and Patisserie SchoolOctopus - Shipwreck Chocolate Showpiece - Savour Chocolate and Patisserie School

 

Rebecca Carins wins World Chocolate Masters Qualifiers Australia 2014

Rebecca Carins - Chocolate Showpiece - World Chocolate Masters Australian Qualifier 2014 - Close upThree master chocolatiers, Rebecca Carins of Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School in Melbourne, Elicia Chan and Sassi Matteo competed on Sunday, May 25 for the opportunity to represent Australia at the World Chocolate Masters next year in Paris.

 

Visitors watched in awe as the entrants created individual chocolates, an entremet and a chocolate sculpture around the theme “Inspiration from Nature”. These products were created in eight gruelling hours of competition organised by Australia’s ‘Queen of Chocolate’ Kirsten Tibballs and proudly presented by Callebaut and Cacao Barry.

 

Rebecca Carins - Chocolate Showpiece - World Chocolate Masters Australian Qualifier 2014 - WorkingArriving at 6am to begin judging the contenders were Kanjiro Mochizuki from The Imperial Hotel Japan, considered one of the world’s leaders in sugar work and has served on the jury of the National Pastry Team Championship and Coupe de Monde in Lyon. He was joined by Adriano Zumbo of Adriano Zumbo Patissier, and Deniz Karaca, who was placed third when he competed in Paris at the World Chocolate Masters 2013.

 

Unusually warm weather in Winter saw contestants swelter in the Hordern Pavillion, not at all ideal for chocolate. Unfortunately for Sassi, the heat caused his showpiece to welter and fall. Fortunately, he made a miraculous recovery and was able to finish his chocolate showpiece in time.

 

It was Rebecca Carins’ who withstood the heat of the competition and took out the major prize, a Robot Coupe Blixer 3 and the opportunity to compete in the Asia Pacific World Chocolate Masters Qualifier in Taipei. As runner up, Elicia Chan won a trip overseas to Taipei to watch the Asia World Chocolate Masters Qualifier.  For third prize, Sassi Matteo won a class with 2013 World Chocolate Masters Champion Frank Haasnoot at Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School.

 

Rebecca’s remarkable chocolate showpiece is now on display at Savour. Stay tuned for more on Rebecca’s journey to Taipei.

 

Flash Sale – 1 Week Only at Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School

Chocolate-Moulds
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Classes
20% OFF CLASSES FOR NEXT WEEK ONLY
DISCOUNT ALREADY APPLIED
Chocolate Bars with Ganache Fillings | Sun, May 25
Chocolates & Pralines Level 2 | Mon – Tues, May 26 – 27
Chocolate Showpieces | Wed – Fri, May 28 – 30
Americolours
35% OFF RANGE OF AMERICOLORS
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Sale ends Wednesday 28th May 11:59pm (EST)