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Hélène Maingueux and Gaëtan Fiard, will represent France in the Mondial des Arts Sucrés in 2014
Hélène Maingueux, a Le Cordon Bleu Paris alumni and Gaëtan Fiard, first chef de partie at Le Diane – Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière, have been selected to represent France in the “Mondial des Arts Sucrés”, the International Confectionery Art Competition, in 2014.
The selection competition rivaling four mixed teams took place on March 4th at the Ferrandi culinary school. Within the space of eight hours the competitors had to produce a chocolate art creation, a sugar showpiece, two chocolate entremets, assorted chocolate bonbons (candies) and five plated desserts. Hélène and Gaëtan chose a cinema theme. Chef Régis Ferey, Chef Pâtissier at the Élysée Palace (the presidency of the French republic), headed the jury composed of famous names in the world of pastry and “Meilleurs Ouvriers of France” Best Craftsman of France (MOF).
Before embarking on her culinary adventure, Hélène began studies in foreign languages, completed a Master in International Trade and worked for “Argus des Fichiers Presse” for a year. “I loved my job” she explains, “but what gave me most pleasure was preparing desserts for the weekend. So from there I wondered whether I shouldn’t be doing a pastry course”. Hélène decided to enroll at Le Cordon Bleu Paris in March, 2012.
Hélène obtained her Patisserie diploma at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris in December 2012, ranking second in her class. At the end of her training, Nicolas Jordan, Chef Instructor at Le Cordon Bleu, asked Hélène if she would like to take part in the competition and offered to coach her. “I soon realized that Hélène was a very determined student, really motivated with a genuine desire to succeed.”
Hélène began preparation for the competition at the beginning of February during her days off. “Over the last two weeks we practiced every day for ten to twelve hours. I was really surprised to win considering the little experience I have in this profession. This is a great opportunity for me, I have learnt an enormous amount about pastry and pastry techniques and I have certainly discovered what a competition is. I would recommend this experience to any keen, young student in this profession, and I would like to give special thanks to Chef Nicolas Jordan for his support during my training. This victory also belongs to him! I would also like to thank Gaëtan who helped me throughout the challenge.” Gaëtan was coached by Claude Ducrozet, Chef Pâtissier at the Hôtel Fouquet’s.
Next step: just one week off before starting training for the “Mondial des Arts Sucrés” which will be held in March, 2014 at Europain (World Bakery, Patisserie and Catering Exhibition).
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