The Masters de la Boulangerie takes place Feb. 3-5 in Paris during Europain.

PARIS — A display of creativity, talent and technical expertise, the Masters de la Boulangerie is a premier bread baking competition that pits bakers against one another for the title of World Master Baker. Organized by Lesaffre, it takes place Feb. 3-5 in Paris during Europain.

The event is the final part of a 4-year international competition cycle that includes the Louis Lesaffre Cup, Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie and Masters de la Boulangerie.

In all, 18 candidates will compete at the Masters de la Boulangerie in three different categories: Nutritional Bread Making, Gourmet Baking and Artistic Bread Making. In each category, six participants will face off, with only one from each specialty winning the title of World Master Baker. Among the bakers, 12 have been selected based on their scores obtained as individuals during the two previous competitions, and six have been selected for their promising potential.

The competition’s Organizing Committee has introduced new rules and challenges for the event. Not only judged on technique and ability, candidates also will be evaluated on sales and marketing, economic factors and social and environmental sustainability linked to their creations. Participants also will be asked to meet different challenge criteria within their specialty. Five judges from the U.K., Austria, Costa Rica, Spain and Indonesia will grade the competitors in each category.

In the Nutritional Bread Baking category, bakers will highlight a diverse range of bread from across the globe and produce 100 pieces. French-style baguettes and bread, leavened bread, cornbread, rye bread and Polar bread are among some of the bread varieties participants will be expected to produce. The candidates in this category will participate in three challenges: International Expertise, Creation and Innovation, and Bake & Dine. The following bakers will showcase their skills in the Nutritional Bread Making category.

  • Chung-Yu Hsieh, Taiwan, Wu Pao Chun Bakery
  • Yoji Segawa, Japan, DONQ
  • Marcus Mariathas, Canada, Ace Bakery
  • Peter Bienefelt, the Netherlands, Atelier du Pain
  • Dean Tilden, Australia, Tafe New South Wales
  • Osman Gunduz, Turkey, Mask Bakery

For the Gourmet Baking category, participants will showcase their international expertise and create 140 Viennese pastries. The bakers must produce a laminated and non-laminated fermented dough, a typical Viennese pastry from their country, an Estonian Kringle and a product — Pandoro, Povitica or Concha — drawn at random. Candidates also will compete in two other challenges: Creation and Innovation and Bake and Dine. The following bakers will compete in the Gourmet Baking category. 

  • Jeffrey DeLeon, U.S., Bakeshop
  • Yu-Chih Chen, Taiwan, Uni-President
  • Déborah Ott, France, Boulangerie Wesner
  • Alan Dumonceaux, Canada, Northern Alberta Institute of  Technology 
  • Anna Gribanova, Russia
  • Gaston Alejandro Mino, Argentina, Nucha
The Artistic Bread Making category will showcase candidates’ creativity. In this event, the participants are asked to bake a 3-dimensional visual expression of a cultural theme. The edible piece must between 1.5 and 1.6 meters high and have a diameter of 1 to 1.1 meters. Taste also will be a factor in the judge’s scoring this year. The following bakers will compete in the Artistic Bread Making category. 

  • Yong-Joo Park, South Korea, Vanuatu
  • Peng-Chieh Wang, Taiwan, Boulangerie Shakespeare &  Co.
  • Bin Zhou, China
  • Eduardo Belttrame, Brazil
  • Jacob Baggenstos, U.S., Bakery Nouveau
  • Santaram Maneeram, Mauritius, St. Regis Resort
The competition kicks off Saturday, Feb. 3, and ends Tuesday, Feb. 6, when the winners are announced. Between the opening ceremony and closing ceremony, Europain visitors can attend technical sessions and listen to speakers discuss the future of the baking industry.