Seung Yun Lee from Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School Melbourne, Australia was crowned first place and followed by second place by Chi Hsien Cheng from Le Meridien Taipei at the inaugural World Chocolate Masters Asia Pacific Selection in Taipei. Both won a full travel package to compete in the World Finals which will be held in Paris between 19th and 21st October 2011. Barry Callebaut Service Asia Pacific Sdn. Bhd. has organised the competition in two segments: one for Japan and one for Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) region. As such, Japan World Chocolate Master 2010, Yoshiaki Uezaki will also be one of the three contestants representing Asia Pacific at the World Finals.
Seung Yun Lee had majored visual communication design from Induk Institute of Technology in Seoul, Korea. Prior to becoming a pastry chef, she has always wanted to work in a capacity where she can utilise her creativity and so she began her career as a graphic designer. She was inspired to become a pastry chef through a movie called “Chocolat” and since then she has never looked back. Panel of Jury and audiences were mesmerised by her showpiece which captured the essence of the competition theme, taking us back to the origin of cocoa through her representation of an Aztec Warrior.
According to the Jury President, who is also the World Chocolate Master 2009, Shigeo Hirai, “Seung Yun Lee has the best originality among the contestants with well expressed and designed in relation to the theme of this competition.” Hirai was very impressed as he never saw any Asian woman who can create such a beautiful showpiece with high quality and high originality.
The Taiwan World Chocolate Master 2010, Chi Hsien Cheng, won second place during this Asia Pacific Selection gets also to compete with other chocolate talents in the World Finals. Chi Hsien Cheng has developed his passion in pastry during his study at National Kaohsiung University. He has been highly recognised in many competitions since 2006, won silver in the Chocolate Showpiece Category in 2008 Taiwan Gateaux Technique contest and 3rd place in both Petit Fours and Dearing the Cake Categories at FHA 2008 Culinary Challenge in Singapore. As for his showpiece at this Asia Pacific Selection, the main
body was created using moulding technology in creating an abstract shape of Quetzalcoatl. The Cutting technique makes lines of Quetzalcoatl waving and flowing that create an atmosphere of mystery ambience in rain forest. The dark body is using black image to express the mysterious of Quetzalcoatl. The gift of Quetzalcoatl, cocoa bean, is using clay technique and re-sculpting the shape of cocoa beans with hands to give it personal touch. Chi Hsien Cheng used cutting technique to create a fantasy and unique flower that represent the glory of the Cocoa Bean, the gift of Quetzalcoatl. He was thrilled to have won second place and is proud to represent Taiwan to compete with other talented World Chocolate Masters in the upcoming World Finals.