Three winners announced at Masters de la Boulangerie

by John Unrein
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Masters de la Boulangerie
Bakers celebrate their win at the award ceremony.

PARIS — There was pomp and circumstance and even a marriage proposal. Taiwan’s Peng-Chieh Wang not only won the title of World Master Baker in Artistic Bread Making at the Masters de la Boulangerie in Paris, but his fiancée used the celebratory occasion to propose marriage to Wang on center stage Tuesday, Feb. 6. He said yes, and the tears kept flowing.

Déborah Ott of France won the World Master Baker title in Gourmet Baking, and Peter Bienefelt of The Netherlands won the World Master Baker gold medal in Nutritional Bread Making.

The Masters de la Boulangerie, organized by Lesaffre, took place over three days on Feb. 3-5, as competitors pursued the title of World Master Baker. Previously, only six bakers in the world held this title. Now there are nine.

“It was crazy,” said Jacob Baggentstos, who represented the United States in the Artistic Bread Making category. Mr. Baggenstos is the pastry chef at Bakery Nouveau in Seattle.

Also representing the United States in the competition was Jeffrey DeLeon, the group pastry chef for Farmshop in Santa Monica, Calif. He competed in the Gourmet Baking category.

Launched in 2010, the Masters de la Boulangerie, a global competition for individuals, is part of a four-year international competition cycle: Louis Lesaffre Cup, Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie and Masters de la Boulangerie.

The 2018 event was part of Europain 2018 at the Parc des Expositions at Paris Nord Villepinte.

Canada was represented by Alan Dumonceaux in Gourmet Baking and by Marcus Mariathas in Nutritional Bread Making. As Ace Bakery’s senior director of product development, Mr. Mariathas brought his expertise in traditional European methods as the sole North American representative in the Nutritional Bread making category. Mr. Dumonceaux is the chair of the baking program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
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