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French chef named top chocolate maker

By Agence Presse France in Paris (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-10 07:54

Frenchman Vincent Vallee has been crowned the world champion chocolate maker in Paris, beating top chocolatiers from around the globe in a three-day final late last month.

"It's the first time a French chef has won the competition," said organizers Cacao Barry, who have held the tournament finals in the French capital since 2005.

Vallee, 27, won with his "Inspired by Nature" theme, notably thanks to a chocolate sculpture of a woman with a cat's head as well as a bird cage decorated with a chocolate toad, two dragonflies and lilies.

In second place was Japanese chocolatier Hisashi Onobayashi with Belgium's Marijn Coertjens in third.

Over three days, 20 chefs - champions from nations and regions all over the world - fought for the top prize at the Salon du Chocolat trade fair in the French capital.

Asian finalists in the Top 10 included Roger Fok from the JW Marriot Hong Kong, who regularly participates in culinary competitions. As a member of the Hong Kong team he won first prize at the 2013 Salon Culinaire Mondial in Switzerland.

"I love chocolate. My biggest motivation for participating in the World Chocolate Masters is to express my love for chocolate," Fok told organizers after making the final round.

Also a finalist was Chia Feng Tsai, chef at Feeling 18��C, a boutique that sells handmade pralines and pastry in Taichung, Taiwan. In 2013, he took the gold at the Taiwan Ice Cream Contest. The same year, his entry in the qualifying round in Taiwan earned him third place, and he won that regional contest in 2015.

"Throughout the competition Vincent Vallee set the bar very high in terms of innovation and creativity," says jury head Michel Perruchon. For the next three years Vallee will wear the title of world's best chocolate craftsman.

As the winner, he will get the opportunity to visit a cocoa plantation and his work will be displayed in the renowned Harrods department store in London for an exclusive sale during its Valentine's Day campaign in February.

Diego Lozano from Brazil won the Social Media Award, which was the prize for the public's favorite chocolate showpiece. His showpiece got the most votes from the general public via the World Chocolate Masters website.

 French chef named top chocolate maker

French chocolate maker Vincent Vallee prepares his creation for the best chocolate maker contest in Paris during the confection fair.AFP

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