From my observations, the Japanese line of patissiers and patissieres can be broadly divided into two categories. There are those who innovate and improvise, bringing together familiar “oriental” elements be it in ingredients or technique with the art of French pastry making, adapting to bring forth and open up greater possibilities and potentials yet at the same time making the creations more “acceptable” and attuned to the palates and taste buds of the local crowd. Then there are those who choose to stay firm and close to ground zero, bringing what they have learnt and absorbed from their years of apprenticeship in France back to Japan and introduce to the home audience the very essence of French pastry making in an utmost unbashful and unadulterated manner. Both have their loyal fans and followers, and both must be commended for their efforts to scale greater heights and also preserve the pertinent traditions and methods that define the very soul of pastry arts. From what I see, Chef Norihiko Terai 寺井則彦 of Patisserie Francaise Aigre Douce エーグル・ドゥース belongs to the latter…
One of the main highlights of Food & Hotels Asia 2012 is the Asian Pastry Cup. The most prestigious event for pastry professionals, APC allows young patissiers from all over Asia to contest one another in terms of skills, technique and creativity for the top prize. The top three prize winners automatically qualify themselves for a place to compete in the uber prestigious “Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie 2013″ aka Pastry World Cup, traditionally held in Lyon, which en masse the best patissiers from all around the world. And by winning the Coupe du Monde, one basically get elevated to join the heights of the “pastry gods”. Easier said than done, as it is a competition with a lot of sweat and tears, as the teams battle against each other over long and gruelling hours to produce the best chocolate cake, best plated dessert, best sugar showpiece, best chocolate showpiece,…and finally the top prize!
In short, intensément!!!