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The filling, the bonbon, the wheat and the chaff

July 9, 2018
The filling, the bonbon, the wheat and the chaff
Alberto Ruiz

“Teach me how to make a fancy and colorful decorated bonbon as seen on Social Media, but without going into the filling”. This is the terrifying phrase Philippe Vancayseele had to hear in one of his courses. And we fear that it has not been the only time nor the only pastry chef victim of such frivolous requests.

The emergence of social networks has meant a growing interest in pastry, but not necessarily for the trade, at least in equal measure. Like a mirage, Instagram profiles show wonderful, dazzling, fabulous images. If it is red, smooth and shiny, it usually works. And what does the filling matter and therefore the flavor if one already has the likes in the bag?

As we have already written, it is undeniable that the Internet is democratizing almost everything. Today anyone can publicly show their work without the need of a media outlet covering it. And that offers enormous advantages, but also disadvantages. The problem now is not only separating the wheat from the chaff, but rather finding the wheat among so much chaff. And something else, following the example of the barn, it turns out that all this wheat is beginning to look too much the same. The true creators find it more difficult to register the authorship of their creations. Everything is covered and almost everything is copied, but few mention the obligatory source of the original.

Thus, there are more and more voices that warn of the standardization of pastry and the rampant superficiality. Some begin to look towards social networks but as a way of knowing what not to do. In this context, everything that is included in the professional field becomes more relevant than ever. Serious competitions, professional fairs, technical journals, and schools are still the guardians of the trade, the defenders of rigor, orthodoxy, and education as the main vehicle for the evolution and progress of the sector. In the end, the objective remains that Philippe Vancayseele’s students ask him, “How do you make the best bonbon?”

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