My passion is sourcing and verifying fine foods for Qualifirst. I travel the world extensively; but, when I have a chance to experience the best in Canada, I relish it and keep myself grounded here full of excitement!
Last week, Far-Met Qualifirst hosted a MICHEL CLUIZEL seminar, featuring the Tokyo-based pastry chef/chocolatier and ambassador for Michel Cluizel France, STEPHANE VIEUX. He flew in from Japan to lead a seminar for Western Canadian Pastry Chefs & Chocolatiers.
The site of the seminar was graciously supplied by the equally internationally recognized chocolate maker, BETA 5, who recently won significantly at the World Chocolate Awards in London, England.
The seminar started off at a fast pace with half a dozen complex desserts and a few full plated desserts – it was all business. However, the excitement was in the innovative techniques, advice, and tips which Chef Stephane consistently shared to the full crowd. Everyone took notes, including pastry chefs with decades of experience.
Chef Stephane exposed “sweet secrets” (the name of his company in Japan) along with serious techniques, ideal temperatures, and tips.
I have attended over 50 of these events as a fascinated observer, this seminar was different than most. Chef Stephane kept everyone focused and listening throughout the entire event – talking about chocolates first and last. Everything chocolate is serious business!
He was once quoted saying, “In Japan, especially in Tokyo, customers are very demanding and hard to please. In Pastry and Chocolates manufacturing, products are very subtle, tastefully made, carried to perfection. Pastry and Chocolate expertise level is impressive and market highly competitive. You always have to be meticulous and rigorous in your choice of raw materials, gustative notes, balance of flavours, textures and, obviously finishing and appearance. Evolving in such demanding environment pushes you to be at your best and always question your own skills and creativity. Michel Cluizel products, whose various notes and powerful flavours are unique, are perfectly adapted to this search of quality and originality.”
One memorable technique was on making a gelatin sphere filled with fruit puree that would be soft to the touch like an egg yoke. He explained the method of freezing the fruit puree, then using a pin to dip the frozen fruit sphere in the gelatin at the correct temperature. Once the sphere was released onto the plate, the pin would slip out and the gelatin would seal the pinhole, and voila…a soft, fruit puree filled sphere. Toothpicks and chopsticks do not work all the time…the pin works.
Everything was tasted enthusiastically. Impressed at the way the Far-Met Team worked 18-hour days to prep the seminar, the reward was a world-class event with participating chefs continuing to send in their appreciation and accolades.