Date: March 18, 2016
The first person from Taiwan to win the Global Pastry Chefs Challenge is blazing a trail for
local culinary maestros looking to earn recognition of their homegrown creativity, talents and skills abroad.
Chen Li-che, head chef of R&D at locally based 85C Bakery Cafe, represented Asia when taking on six rivals from around the world in the final of the World Association of Chefs Societies in Paris-organized challenge held two years ago in Norway.
But Chen’s path to champion has not been easy. At junior high school he had a reputation as a truant, and it was not until he went to vocational school he found his talent. Even then, Chen had obstacles to overcome, such as a strong allergy to chocolate, which left him with irritated hands at the end of every pastry session.
“But this discomfort is not enough to make me regret the decision to embark upon this career,” Chen said. “I love desserts and putting big smiles on the faces of foodies.”
Such passion is reflected in Chen’s awarded piece 3-D Reflection of the Deep Blue Ocean, which comprised a chocolate humpback whale jumping out of a wave made of blue sugar, and cakes concocted from Taiwan-grown bananas and pineapples.
“It took me a couple of months of practice and more than 100 kilograms of chocolate to ensure that I did my best in the challenge.” Chen said. [FULL STORY]