Romantic Paris is again the setting for Europain 2014, which promises to transport those who attend into a magical wonderland of dainty macarons, exquisite chocolates and the most flavorful breads and pastries on the planet.

Scheduled for March 8-12, 2014, at the spacious Paris-Nord Villepinte exposition center, Europain & Intersuc combine forces to create an expansive global trade event for bakery, pastry, ice cream, chocolate and confectionery. The 2012 show, also in Paris, drew 82,690 visitors from 143 countries.

The Bakery Masters competition brings together the 24 top candidates from the Louis Lesaffre Cups in 2009 and 2011 and the 2012 Bakery World Cup. During the Bakery Masters, participants will compete in one of three categories (bread, Viennese pastry and artistic creations) for the prestigious title of Master Baker.

Two bakers – Mike Zakowski and Harry Peemoeller – are representing the United States in the 2014 Bakery Masters. Zakowski, who is competing in the bread category, runs his own small retail shop called the Bejkr Bake Shop in Sonoma, CA. Peemoeller, who will compete in the artistic competition, is senior instructor at the College of Culinary Arts, Johnson & Wales University, in Charlotte, NC.

“It's fun and exciting to meet bakers from all over the world and that is the point of the competition, to bring us all together and compete on such a stage in Paris,” Zakowski says. “Win or lose, we all win by just being invited to compete at such a high level.”

Peemoeller is equally excited. “It is a great validation of the level and talent in artisan baking here in the United States. The Bread Bakers Guild is very much committed to support its mission of educating and sharing, and over the years, American bakers were able to go toe to toe with some of the craftsman from countries with centuries of bread baking tradition. It is an honor, as much as it is challenging and perhaps a little nerve-racking, to be honest.” 

The competition will be held within the framework of the Europain exhibition on March 8-12, 2014. It will take place at the “Cube” dedicated demonstrations area within the Paris-Nord Villepinte exhibition center.

The challenge is not simply about creating the products required by the judges; candidates also need to embody tomorrow’s baking trends. Imagination, creativity, ingenuity and innovation will be the order of the day.

There are two other key international competitions at Europain.

International Confectionery Art Competition is the only international competition involving mixed teams (16), which will have 20 hours to prepare 13 edible works of art. A jury consisting of the best pastry chefs will judge the different creations on the menu of this international competition: chocolate sweets, sugar creation, and plate desserts.

Finally, the French Schools Cup involves teams of three young trainees (which must include at least one woman) in artisan baking and pastry-making. It will put the spotlight on training institutions (secondary schools and training centers for apprentices), which train tomorrow’s bakers and pastry-makers.

To learn more about the Europain, visit or