Frenchman Vincent Vallee was crowned the world champion chocolate maker in Paris on Friday, beating top chocolatiers from around the globe in a three-day final.
“It’s the first time a French chef has won the competition,” said organizers Cacao Barry, who have held the tournament finals in the French capital since 2005.
In second place was Japanese chocolatier Hisashi Onobayashi with Belgium’s Marijn Coertjens in third.
Over three days, 20 chefs – national champions from all over the world – fought for the top prize at the Salon du Chocolat trade fair in the French capital.
Vallee, 27, won with his “Inspired by Nature” theme, notably thanks to a chocolate sculpture of a woman with a cat’s head as well as a bird cage decorated with a chocolate toad, two dragonflies and lilies.
“Throughout the competition Vincent Vallee set the bar very high in terms of innovation and creativity,” said jury head Michel Perruchon.