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In case you missed it the two most important culinary competitions in the world took place in Lyon France on January 27th and 28th, 2013. Held every two years the Pastry World Cup and the Bocuse D'or is without doubt the pinnacle.    This photo above is the stunning chocolate cake made by the Belgium team and they didn't even come in the top 3!

Held at one of Europe's largest catering trade fair's called the Sirha; The Pastry World Cup gets live TV coverage in France on several networks. The 22 finalist's nations go head to head in an atmosphere akin to the Football World Cup complete with cheering fans from all of the competing countries. The 22 finalists have all won gold silver or bronze medals in the stiff qualifying competitions including the European Cup, the Asian Pastry Cup, The Cupa Maya and the African Cup. This year's Coupe du Monde has 22 finalists; Australia, Ivory Coast, France, Argentina, Belgium, China, Columbia, South Korea, Denmark, Egypt, United States, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Morocco, Mexico, Portugal, United Kingdom, Singapore, Taiwan, Brazil and Tunisia. Each county competing in the final also send a chef judge to ensure fair results.
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Rules
Each team consists of three chefs who have 10 hours to prepare:
~ Three chocolate desserts using the same ingredients.
One of the dessert's for six people, to be incorporated into the team's display table that has their sugar and chocolate an artistic scultures.
Two desserts for ten people, which will be judged on taste.
~Three fruit-based, ice-cream desserts using the same ingredients. including One dessert for six people, to be placed on the team's display table which holds their ice sculpture.
Two ice cream desserts for ten people, which will be judged on taste.
~Twelve identical plated desserts, including one to be incorporated into the team's display that has their sugar and chocolate an artistic sculptures.
The eleven remaining plated desserts will be judged on taste (one plate shared by two members of the jury).
~ One artistic creation made of sugar measuring 125 cm in height maximum.
~ One artistic creation made of chocolate measuring 125 cm in height maximum.
~ One artistic creation made of sculpted ice. TVProduction_small
This shot of the television production control "room" gives you a better idea of how important a competition this is and the live feed is beamed all over the world.

Winners
France won again taking home the trophy impressive gold medals and 21,000 euros.    Japan and Italy took second and third place and win 12,000 euros and 7,000 euros respectively.
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Intense concentration from all those involved to produce their best results.

Having so many photos, I thought it easier to make a slide show of the best.

Here is the breathtaking plated dessert from the winning French team.
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*All photographs are copyrighted and the property of either the Coupe du Monde or the photographer at the show and used here with their permission.