In 2010, for the first time in history, IBIE—along with The Bread Bakers Guild of America, Lesaffre International and Europain—will proudly co-host the prestigious Louis Lesaffre Cup, the North and South American qualifier for the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie (The Bakery World Cup).

Here, 8 teams of highly skilled, ultra-competitive professional bakers will compete for 8 hours, 3 days in a row, in 3 categories:

Bread includes making a variety of traditional baguettes, sandwich loaves, specialties of the country and worldwide specialties.

Viennese Pastry gives teams the chance to work on a wide variety of international products and specific national products while using the techniques that highlight their unique expertise.

Artistic Piece involves producing a composition that conveys the identity of each team’s country and requires enormous creativity and technical mastery.

The Louis Lesaffre Cup is more than just a technical competition, however, it is test of the human spirit. Teamwork, stress management, self-control and physical and psychological endurance are essential in achieving the excellence for which the competition is renowned.

To prepare for the contest, the candidates follow an often grueling training regime that is rather like preparing for the Olympics: practicing for long hours every week, sacrificing leisure activities and free time, learning to work as part of a team, rehearsing each operation over and over again and constantly improving their products so the results will be perfect on the day of the competition.

Judging is done by a jury of baking professionals from outside the Americas to guarantee total objectivity and ensure that there are no professional or personal links between jury and participants. Jury members judge the products according to criteria such as weight and volume compliance, taste, appearance, originality, creativity, risk taking and time-spent.

The two winning teams from North and South America will be awarded with the Louis Lesaffre Cup trophy and a spot at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, taking place at Europain in Paris, France.