US bakers win SIGEP Bread Cup in Italy

The United States won the coveted SIGEP Bread Cup during the 32nd annual International Exhibition for Artisan Production of Gelato, Pastry, Confectionery and Baking, which took place Jan. 22-26 in Rimini, Italy.
SIGEP 2011 surpassed the 100,000 trade visitor mark and the 32nd edition ended with 106,685 trade members at the expo (a 10.6% rise on 2010), of whom 19,676 were from abroad (+16.1%).

The fifth edition of the SIGEP Bread Cup was won by the United States, ahead of Italy and Australia, after an extremely balanced contest. The USA placed first in the “traditional bread” specialty, again ahead of Italy and Australia; placed second in the new “artistic bread” test, behind Germany; placed third in the contest on “healthy bread,” behind Australia and France; and placed fourth with their “bakery cake,” where Italy came first.

The SIGEP Bread Cup’s theme was “Flavours and tastes of the world.” Ten teams took part. Finishing behind the top three teams were: France, Portugal, Israel, Germany, Slovenia, Russia and Great Britain.

The four-member U.S. team at the SIGEP Bread Cup consisted of Harry Peemoeller (team captain), Sr. Instructor, Johnson & Wales University (Charlotte, NC), John Tredgold, VP of Baking Operations, Semifreddi's Bakery (San Francisco, CA), David DeCesare, Baker & Director of Operations, Hearth Wood Fired Bread (Plymouth, MA), and Michael Rhoads, Chair, Baking & Pastry Program, New England Culinary Institute (Montpelier, VT).

They competed in four categories: healthy bread, traditional bread, baked dessert, and artistic design. Rhoads created the traditional bread, making a Walnut Levain featuring organic black walnuts from Vermont. Tredgold made the healthy bread, a Loli that features specially milled flour from California. DeCesare created a variation on a Pilgrim Cake, a light bread studded with corn and cranberries (from Massachusetts). Peemoeller, the bread artist, designed a spectacular piece that reflects the theme of "environmental sustainability and energy saving - interpretations for a world respectful of nature.”

The team was coached by Dara Reimers of The Bread Shack in Auburn, ME, who has competed at the Bakery World Cup in Paris, France, for the Bread Bakers Guild Team USA.

The Production Award went to England for producing the most product to be sold at the stand raising money for the Club Arti E Mestieri Charity project in Kenya.

Other awards:
Best Healthy Bread - Australia
Best Baked Dessert - Italy
Best Showpiece - Germany
3rd Place Overall - Australia
2nd Place Overall - Italy
1st Place Overall - United States

In other competitions and activities conducted at SIGEP 2011, artisan gelato, pastry and bakery production proposed an extraordinary program of events.

The Junior Pastry World Cup, SIGEP Gelato d´Oro, SIGEP Bread Cup and the Italian Chocolate-making Championship were the key events from the competition point of view.

SIGEP 2011 will also be remembered for two exceptional events: the Guinness World Record Gelato, the largest ever made in the world, was a cone 281 centimeters high made by chocolatier Mirco Della Vecchia and a team made up of seven artisans; and the huge cake for the 150th anniversary of Italy´s unification, which was made by 70 pastry cooks of the Italian Confectioners Confederation.