West Footscray’s Santiago Cuyugan has been named Savour Patissier of the Year, beating some of the best pastry chefs in the world.
The pastry chef and chocolatier at Bibelot in South Melbourne received the highest combined score across the four categories of desserts, tarts, entremets and eclairs in last month’s contest in Melbourne.
His entremet, a mousse cake, was judged the best by a judging panel comprising internationally-renowned pastry chefs Christophe Michalak, Jordi Roca and Antonio Bachour and chocolatier Paul Kennedy.
It was built with a caramel-sponge base, topped with a layer of caramelised puff pastry and then struzel, chocolate chunks, chopped hazelnuts and candied mandarin.
“A lot of people will have a mousse and a jelly and a cream and everything’s very soft,” Mr Cuyugan said.
“I just wanted something with a bit more crunch.”
Meanwhile, his flower-shaped tart is sitting at No.1 in the yet-to-be decided People’s Choice award on Instagram.
Cuyugan said the flower mould took two months to create and he planned to patent the design.
“I want to sound humble, but it’s quite beautiful,” he said.
His other entries in the competition were a French earl grey, grapefruit and hazelnut eclair and a fermented dessert containing rhubarb and kombucha jelly.
His prize is $15,000 cash, training at Ravifruit studio in Hong Kong with world-renowned pastry chef Marike Van Beurden and a trip to a Ghana cocoa plantation courtesy of competition sponsor Callebaut.