Founded in 2005, the World Chocolate Masters is the most demanding international competition for chocolate professionals and is often referred to as the "world chocolate championship." It is an initiative of Cacao Barry, one of the gourmet brands of the Barry Callebaut Group.

This year’s event took place from October 31 to November 2 during the Salon du Chocolat in Paris. Over the course of the three-day competition, contestants were asked to create and/or present 7 assignments to the jury. Each of them reflected the Futropolis theme: in the participants' ingredient selections, the flavors they created, their shapes, and presentations.

Elias Läderach from Switzerland surpassed the other contestants and was crowned ‘World Chocolate Master 2018’ following the nerve-wrecking final round in which ten chefs created two masterpieces:

  • A Fresh Patisserie – Contestants had to do “on the spot shopping” in a race against the clock.
  • City of Tomorrow – An astonishing view on future cities, reflected in incredible chocolate sculptures. Tall buildings, futuristic shapes, and impressive combinations of ingredients were featured.

In the end, Läderach was able to overcome the other chefs with his eye-catching sculpture. “For me, it is like a 3D painting. It’s a dynamical game between movement and silence. On the inside, you see a woman who symbolizes the silence. The leaves floating around it symbolize the movement. It is really a piece that reflects all my passion and love for chocolate artistic,” Läderach said.

Yoann Laval from France and Florent Cheveau from the United States were the runners up.

Cheveau impressed the jury with his Patisserie, featuring the molecule of the DNA of chocolate on top. Elegance and sharpness defined his piece, showing his vision on the future.

“It’s a module that can travel through space and time,” Florent said of his final showpiece. “I used the same four elements as in my showpiece of day one. At the right space, this creation can give life with those four elements, for the city of tomorrow.”

The winning chocolate pieces will be exhibited in Harrods, the world-renowned luxury department store.

To see the “Cities of Tomorrow” from the final day of the competition, take a look at this slideshow.