Valrhona recently held the North American Final of its Chocolate Chef Competition (C3) in partnership with StarChefs during the annual International Chefs Congress in Brooklyn, New York. The C3 brings together leading pastry chefs to compete and showcase their talents against one another.
For this fifth edition of the C3, six North American candidates presented original recipes for plated desserts and petits fours made using Valrhona BAHIBÉ 46% single origin milk chocolate from the Dominican Republic.
This year’s event, the first time it’s taken place on U.S. soil since 2015, was won by Chef Kevin Clemenceau of andSons Chocolatiers in Beverly Hills, California. Chef Clemenceau’s petits fours, titled “The Marias,” were made with cocoa streusel, crunchy praliné and cocoa nibs, chocolate disk decorations, BAHIBÉ 46% chantilly, BAHIBÉ salted butter caramel, and cocoa nibs and gold leaf decors. He was inspired by modern pastry styles and the cocoa flavor in BAHIBÉ 46%. For his plated dessert, titled “Neyba,” Chef Clemenceau was inspired by the flavors of BAHIBÉ 46% in combination with different spices, nuts and a touch of acidity. and featured vanilla-tonka crème Anglaise, cocoa streusel, BAHIBÉ 46% crèmeux, BAHIBÉ 46% Bavaroise mousse, BAHIBÉ 46% miror glaze, yuzu sauce, BAHIBÉ 46% chocolate decor, rocher glaze, and hazelnut and cocoa nib nougatine.
The runner-up was Chef Eunji Lee of Jungsik in New York City. Chef Lee’s petits fours, titled “Roasted Chestnut,” consisted of cognac cream, chestnut cream, BAHIBÉ 46% cocoa butter mixture, black painting, chestnut powder, a chocolate tuile, and BAHIBÉ-chestnut crunchy. The Press Prize Winner was Chef Jim Hutchinson of Winvian Farm in Morris, Connecticut. Chef Hutchison’s petits fours, titled “LYM (Love You More),” were made with a combination of his favorite flavors in one bite – coconut BAHIBÉ 46% whipped ganache, Szechuan peppercorn financier, and a passion fruit gel center. spired by the fresh, acidic fruits of Bali combined with American flavors.
“Something that this competition does is that it starts to show a trend in the industry,” says Chef Keegan Gerhard, the host of the competition. “I’m really intrigued by how we’re going away from the flowing desserts to the center-plated again.”
The six pastry chef candidates
Desarae Bittle • the Greenbrier
White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
Kevin Clemenceau • andSons Chocolatiers
Takunori Hirayama • Duo Pâtisserie
Jim Hutchison • Winvian Farm
Eunji Lee • Junksik
New York City
Weilu Wang • Eleven Madison Park
New York City