Happened in April during the FoodHotel Asia (FHA) Singapore in conjunction with C3 Valrhona, a Chocolate Chef Competition, a total of 11 internationally acclaimed pastry chefs from 11 countries were being selected to participate in the 5th Edition of La Crème de la Crème 2018, organised by the French Dairy Board (CNIEL) at the Asian Pastry Cup stage of FHA.
FHA is Asia’s most comprehensive international food & hospitality trade event. World-class competitions such as the Asian Gelato Cup, FCC Gourmet Challenge and others are also being held at the same time. For more information visit: FHA.
With the objective of promoting the goodness of the French dairy cream and Valrhona chocolate, the chefs are tasked to create their interpretation of the theme “Cream and Chocolate” using the French dairy cream and Valrhona chocolate to enhance the taste and quality of their creations. All the creations were being photographed and compiled into a limited-edition recipe book which will be distributed to students and pastry chefs.
The Invited List of Pastry Chefs:
• Nicolas Bacheyre (France), pastry chef, Un Dimanche à Paris
• Ken Thomas (Hong Kong), head pastry chef, Gourmet Dining Group EPURE and DALLOYAU
• Farid Al Farouk (Indonesia), pre-opening pastry chef, Fairmont Hotel Jakarta
• Jimmy Boulay (Japan), pastry chef, Ritz-Carlton Tokyo
• Eunyoung Yun (Korea), pastry chef and owner, Pâtisserie by Garuharu
• Fodil Baghal (Malaysia), pastry chef, Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur
• David Landriot (Singapore), pastry chef, Maison Kayser Singapore
• Camille Cheng (Taiwan), pastry chef and owner, Escape From Paris, Taipei
• Antoine Chassonnery (UAE), executive pastry chef, Fauchon Middle East
• Vincent Cockenpot (UAE), executive pastry chef, Bateel, Dubai
• Sebastien Zhong (China), pastry chef at Angliss Beijing Food Service, Beijing
What Is French Dairy Cream?
In France, creams are subjected to an exceptionally high standard of quality. The term “cream” refers to a dairy product with a minimum fat content of 30%, approximately six percent of non-fatty ingredients (such as protein, lactose and trace minerals) and water. Exclusively derived from cow’s milk, the climate in France characteristics ensure that milk production is stable and consistent, a critical basis for creating quality cream quality. Dairy producers obtain fresh raw cream from areas that have not undergone any heat treatment to preserve its functional and organoleptic properties. To prolong shelf-life, it is mandatory that the raw cream goes through a UHT sterilisation process that does not have any impact on taste.
French cream is instantly recognisable by its texture and highly developed aromas, characterised by its roundness, smoothness and a bright, fresh taste. Due to its high standards, authenticity and quality, French cream carries strong values that reflect the professionalism of the top pastry chefs, who are assured of the expertise in producing safe and top-quality cream.
Cream and low-fat cream must undergo heat treatment (pasteurisation or sterilisation), except for raw cream. The label “fresh cream” is given when the cream has been pasteurised.
The criteria used to distinguish different types of cream are as follows:
• Raw Cream: Direct product of skimming, chilled and stored at 6°C, not pasteurised or sterilised.
• Pasteurised Fresh Single Cream: Pasteurised and not fermented, more fragile than sterilised milk, liquid and sweet.
• Pasteurised Fresh Double Cream: Matured cream that is inoculated with lactic ferments after pasteurisation, thick and acidic with strong flavours.
• Sterilised Liquid Cream: Raw cream that is sterilised at 115°C for 15-20 minutes and cooled after packaging. Sterilisation does not allow fermentation, so the cream remains liquid.
• UHT Cream: Raw cream that is sterilised at 145-150°C for two seconds, then rapidly cooled to preserve nutritional and functional properties.
• Low-fat Cream: Obtained by regulating cream separator to 12-30% fat content. Can be liquid or thick (if fermented and cultured), pasteurised or matured.
Special Interview with Chef Camille Cheng
Splash (涟漪, Lián Yī) is the name of the dessert created by Taiwanese Chef Camille. This dessert will be introduced on one of the gourmet books publish in Europe next year. Just imagine you pouring out fresh milk or cream and the liquid splashes into a physical container; the designed surface is based exactly on the ripple effect of a pool of waves.
The La Crème de la Crème 2018’s requirement is to use Valrhona Manjari 64% chocolate paired with vanilla together with the French cream. What so special about this dessert made by Chef Camille actually lies with the ingredient she brought in; the Taiwanese Honey Red Tea. A simple classic style way of designing the ‘Splash’ and presenting it with a mouthfeel of light flavours has been decided by her to ensure the balance of each unique taste and its identifiability.
“I am very happy to be chosecn as one of the participants for La Crème de la Crème 2018 as this is also my first time participating in such event. It is truly an honour to represent Taiwan because I think that not every chefs has such an opportunity to do so. Seizing this opportunity also allow me to fufil what I wanted which is to introduce this Asian special tea to the world through making this very special style of cake.”
The main factor that makes this homegrown ingredient from Taiwan interesting is the “scent” released by a type of special worm after it has bitten the tea leaf. Therefore, we will sense a honey fragrance at the end of our palate when we drink the tea.
“Utilising too much moulds during creation of a cake has higher chance of being copied by others. To prevent me losing my personal characteristic, I try my best not to use too many moulds but instead assemble a very basi shape for my cakes and decorate it using pipping bag to pair or use hand to create the exterior appearance, to present individual speciality.“
In Chef Camille’s opinion, a mould can make a cake look beautiful but once everyone starts to buy that particular design and uses it, the style will no longer be special. That is why a dessert chef is a very important form of existence.
Having someone you love to be there and always support you is what everyone wants to have. Chef Alexis Bouillet who is Camille’s husband, was there to help her out. She introduced him as a very special renowned chef who won the 2011’s World Skills Championship.
“I met him in Paris during my journey of learning culinary art at Four Seasons Hotel as a Staigaire. I learnt alot from him, he teaches me everything about French, from language to dessert making; a very good teacher indeed. Now communicating with all the chefs with French is not a problem, it is just like speaking in mandarin daily.”
Last but not least, Chef Camille shared that her overall executing and preparation for this event is rather smooth and the only temporary challenge was only the new environment in terms of finding the equipment and stuff which can alright once get used to it upon settling down.
A glimpse of the Global Star Chefs Showcase 2018
The STARCHEFS has prepared a magnificent buffet for the public of young talents and pastry enthusiasts in this almost three-hour industry show.
The magnificent spread includes chocolate showpieces, sugar showpieces, entremets, mini pastries, and plated desserts.