Eleven countries will go head to head at the end of the month at the Louis Lesaffre Cup Europe international selection. These country’s bakers will compete for three places at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, held next year at Europain, Feb. 5-9, 2016, in Paris. Those European countries will be chosen by Pierre Zimmermann, Louis Lesaffre Cup jury president, and a team of baking professionals from around the world.
Mr. Zimmerman is a fourth generation baker hailing from France. Mr. Zimmerman has long been involved with the competition, having two wins of the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie to his name, once in 1996 and again in 2008 as a coach. In 2010 he joined Chicago’s French Pastry School to teach the Bakery and Viennese Pastry section and worked with other bakers to create The Art of Baking program. In 2012 he opened La Fournette in Chicago.
He is joined by Bernd Kütscher, Germany; Pao-Chun Wu, Taiwan; Haïf Hakim, Senegal; Carlos Pereira, Peru; and Christophe Hagnerelle, France.
Mr. Kütscher, director of the German National Bakers Academy in Weinheim, will serve as a technical juror. He has taken part in many different baking competitions including the Stollen Oscar Wettbewerb in Germany, in which he won a merit award in 2003, and in 2001 he was awarded the Marktkieker prize for entrepreneurship in the baking industry.
Mr. Wu, manager of the WU Pao-Chun Bakery in Taipei, also will serve as technical juror. The picture of a self-made man, Mr. Wu studied baking in Japan and in 2007 competed in the Louis Lesaffre Cup in the bread category with the Taiwanese team. A year later at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, Mr. Wu won second place. In 2010 he was named Master Baker 2010 at the Bakery Masters.
At Aux Fins Palais, the bakery Mr. Hakim manages in Dakar, Senegals, Mr. Hakim showcases all of his talents as an artisan baker, pastry chef, chocolatier and ice cream maker. A 1992 graduate of the Grands Moulins in Paris, Mr. Hakim spent two years teaching at the school before returning to his native Senegal to open his own bakery. He has served as both coach and competitor for the Senegalese team at the Louis Lesaffre Cup and the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie. Mr. Hakim will serve as technical juror this year.
Mr. Pereira, manager of Bon Breads in Las Vegas, left his native Peru to study under the tutelage of Michel Suas at the San Francisco Baking Institute. With the opening of his bakery Bon Breads, Mr. Pereira filled a need for artisan baked goods in Las Vegas, a city severely lacking at the time in artisan bakeries. He served as the 2010 coach for the Peruvian team at the Louis Lesaffre Cup, and this year will serve as technical juror.
Mr. Hagnerelle, Michelin-starred chef from the Val d’Auge restaurant in Bondues, France, will serve as food critic juror for the Louis Lesaffre Cup. Before running the kitchens of Val d’Auge, Mr. Hagnerelle gained experience in other Michelin-starred establishments: Jamin and Les Crayères. In 2011 he was awarded the Gault et Millau d’Or. In 2015 he participated in the Louis Lesaffree Cup as a food critic.
This year’s competition will see Italy, France and Belgium competing on Aug. 24; Hungary, Serbia and Russia competing Aug. 25; Poland, Israel and Spain competing Aug. 26; and Sweden and The Netherlands competing Aug. 27. Results will be announced on Aug. 28, and the top three teams will go on to compete at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie at Europain, Feb. 5-9, 2016, in Paris.