Local pastry chef named "US Chocolate Master" - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Local pastry chef named "US Chocolate Master"

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va (WVVA)-- The Greenbrier's Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Francois Suteau, is the winner of the U.S. finals of the World Chocolate Masters competition, held in Chicago this past weekend.

"It's a relief," said Suteau on Friday. "I've been training for three months really hard, and to finally get it, it feels awesome."

Part of the competition was to construct a showpiece between one and two meters tall, made entirely of chocolate, that fits the theme "The Architecture of Taste." Chef Suteau took this quite literally, creating chocolate knives, plates, forks, and even appliances like a stove, to represent the ways chefs can create tasty treats.

He also made a plated dessert, a chocolate bonbon, and a modern take on a chocolate doughnut for the judges to sample-- all in 8 hours.

"It combines art and chocolate," said Suteau. "There is a lot of art involved in these kinds of competitions."

Suteau especially wanted to thank his trainer, Laurent Branlard, as well as his team for helping him prepare for the competition, as well as his coworkers at The Greenbrier for allowing him time to train.

Suteau will advance to the World Chocolate Masters competition held in Paris later on this year to represent the United States. The competition is hosted by the gourmet chocolate brand Barry Callebout.

But he said he doesn't feel the pressure of that just yet. "But I know somewhere inside of me yes, there is a lot of pressure. It's just not time [to feel it] yet," he told WVVA.

The Greenbrier gave WVVA some more information about Suteau's background:

"Born in Nantes, France, into a family with a long history in patisserie, dating back to 1752, Chef Suteau has previously worked as executive pastry chef at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles; The Adolphus in Dallas, Texas; JOEL in Atlanta, Georgia (where he was awarded "Best Viennoiserie," "Best Mille Feuilles" and "Best Chocolate Cake of Atlanta"); and The River Club in Columbus, Georgia.  Chef Suteau was also recently the captain of the US pastry team, competing in the 2011 World Pastry Cup/Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie in Lyon, France.  In 2011, Chef Suteau was named one of "The Top 10 Pastry Chefs in the United States" by Dessert Professional magazine, a leading industry publication."

The chef shared some advice for anyone looking to get into chocolate sculpting: "Practice, practice practice. Love it and do it every day."

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