The Valrhona Pâtisserie Championship 2014

Aoife Noonan, Pastry Chef at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, wins the Valrhona Pâtisserie Championship 2014

Aoife Noonan, pastry chef from Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, has won The Valrhona Pâtisserie Championship 2014, held Tuesday 10th June in DIT Cathal Brugha Street. Aoife faced off stiff competition from The Lady Helen Restaurant in Mount Juliet, L’Atitude 51 in Cork, Galway-Mayo
Institute of Technology and DIT Cathal Brugha Street, to win the fourth edition of this award.

The theme for the 2014 Championship was ‘StresseD’ (StreetRestaurantDessert). Competitors were required to showcase the upside of stress, the stress that helps us to create and break new ground.

The four other finalists competing on the day were Patrick O’Mara (The Lady Helen Restaurant), Yoann Avignon (L’Atitude 51), Paula Hannigan (GMIT) and Norma Kelly (DIT). Each competitor had four hours to produce two interpretations of their dessert – a plated Restaurant Dessert and a Street Food version - using Valrhona chocolate, which illustrated the StresseD theme.

The jury, presided by international judge Loic Carbonnet (Executive Pastry Chef of the Four Seasons Hotel, London), also included Benoit Lorge (Chocolatier & Proprietor of Lorge Chocolates, Kenmare), Cyril Borie (Chocolatier & Proprietor of L’Art du Chocolat, Kildare), Freda Wolfe (Culinary Manager of Odaios Foods) and Philippe Verdelet (Head Pastry Chef of Carton House, Maynooth). Ketty Elisabeth, French Foodie in Dublin, Food Blogger was the Street Food judge on the day. The competition was overseen by Andrew Gravett, Northern European Pastry Chef for Valrhona.

Aoife interpreted the StresseD theme in the form of coffee and chocolate, “Coffee plays a significant role for me in managing and dealing with my day to day work life. A double espresso every morning and between shifts tends to give me a caffeine fix to enable me to drive and push myself in a stressful environment. The coffee and chocolate combination was an obvious one.”

Aoife’s winning Restaurant Dessert, titled “The ‘Java’ Cake”, consisted of a Coeur De Guanaja Cremeux and Espresso Jelly on a Chocolate Pâte Sablée Base, completed with a Jivara Opaline Tube filled with a Tia Maria Espuma and accompanied by a Guanaja & Tonka Bean Sorbet.

Her Street Food version, “The Espresso Shot”, was a Tia Maria Sphere coated in Ivoire Chocolate and rolled in Coeur De Guanaja Sablée, crushed Coffee Beans and Jivara Tuile Shards.

Aoife’s dessert was a clear winner for its overall balance and harmony of flavours, textures, technical ability and presentation. She used four different Valrhona chocolates to create her Restaurant Dessert; Coeur de Guanaja P125, Araguani 72%, Guanaja 70% and Jivara 40%. The Coeur de Guanaja 80%, paired with espresso and tonka beans provided a strong distinctive contrast in flavours which balanced perfectly with the sweetness of the Tia Maria and Jivara opaline tube. Aoife’s winning dessert will feature on the à la carte menu of Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud from tonight.

This is the fourth edition of the Championship and the second time for a pastry chef from Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud to win. Aoife joins a top line-up of previous winners who include Marion Dony, former pastry chef at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud (2012), Darren Hogarty, pastry chef at Chapter One Restaurant (2010) and Ludovic Lantier, former pastry chef at Powerscourt Hotel (2009).

The objective of the Valrhona Pâtisserie Championship is to promote and advance the standards’ of pastry chefs on the island of Ireland. As the 2014 winner Aoife will receive a three day Stage in l’Ecole du Grand Chocolat Valrhona in Tain l’Hermitage, France, including meals, accommodation and flights, a tasting menu in Maison Pic, a 3 star Michelin Restaurant in Valence and a copy of Au Coeur des Saveurs by Frederic Bau, the illustrious executive pastry chef and director of l’Ecole du Grand Chocolat, Valrhona.

Congratulations Aoife!

View some PR from the 2014 Championship

View some Recipes from the 2014 Championship


For an overview of the previous three years' Championships click on the links below:
Valrhona Pâtisserie Championship 2012 Winner Marion Dony, formerly Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud
Valrhona Pâtisserie Championship 2010 Winner Darren Hogarty, Chapter One Restaurant
Valrhona Pâtisserie Championship 2009 Winner Ludovic Lantier, formerly The Ritz Carlton / Powerscourt Hotel

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