The Chocolate Life

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The sugar and chocolate showpiece competition at the World Pastry Championship is a place to pick favorites. I pick favorites there the way I might choose giant lollipops at the amusement park - which one speaks to my heart in color and design. But here’s the trick that sets the sugar artists of the pastry championship miles apart from the guys in the candy kitchen making giant lollipops. Sugar artists must make their sculptures tall. Not just big, but gravity-defyingly tall. Next, they must make its colors so luminous and harmoniously blended that you recognize the object as something worthy of a museum or a sugar art gallery (if only there was one). Unlike bronze, stained glass or canvas where you’d expect exquisite color and form meaningfully rendered together, sugar melts in heat and humidity. Sugar breaks. Sugar shatters. Sugar buckles under extreme weight. Creating a brilliantly colored and shaped sugar piece that is also tall and sturdy is the high-wire act these artists must perform. As if that’s not enough, they have to do the same dazzling work in chocolate. What a show!

For more photos of the sugar artists and their sculptures, visit or order the next issue of Dessert Professional Magazine

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Tags: artistry, artists, championship, chocolate, forum, pastry, sculpture, sugar, world


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Comment by Susie Norris on July 15, 2009 at 10:58pm
Thanks. How did the event go from your perspective?
Comment by Clay Gordon on July 15, 2009 at 7:14pm
I am working on getting them.
Comment by Susie Norris on July 15, 2009 at 7:13pm
Dude, upload some pictures of CHOCOLATE showpieces!! I only have a few that are post-worthy but probably a little too blurry...can't wait for the official roll-out!!
Comment by Clay Gordon on July 15, 2009 at 7:02pm
Hey - if you uploaded a picture of a CHOCOLATE showpiece I would have been talking about the techniques used in it. But you uploaded a picture of a SUGAR showpiece.
Comment by Clay Gordon on July 13, 2009 at 11:59pm
Just a note on the globe in the above picture. The center of the globe is two hemispheres of pressed sugar. It's very difficult to glue sugar to pressed sugar, so each hemisphere of pressed sugar was "cast" in sugar and then joined to form the sphere. The sphere was then glued (using sugar) to the standing base piece and the other elements glued (again, using sugar) to the sphere.
Comment by Susie Norris on July 13, 2009 at 12:49pm
Thanks for the leads to more photos. The visuals of this event are really inspiring.
Comment by Clay Gordon on July 13, 2009 at 9:46am
BTW, the picture is of Chef Bill Foltz of Team Dadzie. They took the Bronze medal but did not win for their sugar showpiece - Team Salazar took the prize for best sugar showpiece.
Comment by Clay Gordon on July 13, 2009 at 9:44am

Thanks for this post.

Actually, all of the photos I took (of the World Pastry Forum and the Championship) and all of the "official" photos are going to be posted on (it's a Ning site so you can sign up with your ChocolateLife username and password if you want to join).

There are already two albums up - Chef Nicholas Lodge's Gum Paste Flowers Hands-on Class and Chef Bronwen Weber's Sculptured Cakes Hands-on Class. Next up are the Hands-On classes of Stephane Treand (chocolate showpieces) and Jean-Michel Perruchon (chocolate amenities).

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