Representing Brazil: Diego Lozano
Works at: Escola de Confeitaria Diego Lozano
Won: best chocolate showpiece
Running the Escola de Confeitaria Diego Lozano in São Paulo, Brazil, chef Diego Lozano is out to pass on his extensive knowledge on all things confectionery to the rest of the world. After graduating Senai in São Paulo, his eagerness to learn brought him to Belgium, where he first plunged into the adventure of being pastry chef/chocolatier for Chocolate World before perfecting his pastry skills at Marc Ducobu Pâtisserie. After returning to Brazil, Diego was invited to lead the pastry department at Alex Atala’s award-winning D.O.M. restaurant and already ventured an attempt for the title of World Chocolate Master in 2007.
Although he is an outspoken fan of classic European confectionery, Diego Lozano has a predilection for Brazilian ingredients. That's why his trademark is to combine the two to form his own signature style of confectionery.
Representing Canada: Michaël Cotard
Works at: Cotard Chocolatier
Won: best chocolate showpiece, best Chocolate to Go concept
Michaël Cotard, happy father of four and chef-owner of Cotard Chocolatier, has participated in several competitions since the beginning of his career, including the national qualifiers for the 2013 World Chocolate Masters, at which he received the award for Best Dessert and the media award for Best Candy Chocolate. He also participated in the national qualifiers in Toronto for the 2011 World Chocolate Masters, at which he gained second place.
For a more creative chocolate outlet, Michaël also ventured into the world of fashion, teaming up with fashion designers to create chocolate haute couture for several fashion shows. Apart from Cotard Chocolatier, he is also the owner of a pastry shop on the island of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, situated in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean near Canada.
Representing Mexico: Slawomir Korczak
Works at: Polska Panaderia y Chocolate
Won: best Chocolate to Go concept and moulded praline
Slawomir Korczak discovered his passion for pastry at a young age while working at a small family-run catering business. His hunger for knowledge and travelling lead him to explore London where he took up the position of pastry chef at the Balans restaurant, only to return to Poland and become a graduate of Kurt Scheller’s Culinary Academy. He subsequently worked as a pastry chef as a member of the team responsible for the launch of Hotel Rialto: the first luxury boutique hotel in Warsaw (Poland).
Marrying a Mexican woman encouraged Slawomir to learn about the country and culture of his wife, and lead him to found a catering and consulting business in Mexico. He even provided catering services for the actors and production team of the Zorro movie that was being shot at San Luis Potosí at the time.
After dedicating a few years of his professional career to sharing his knowledge with students at several Mexican universities, Slawomir travelled the world with a clear mission to hone his chocolate and pastry techniques to perfection, learning the tricks of the trade from renowned chefs like, among many others, Stephane Leroux, Christophe Morel, Luis Robledo, Jean-Marie Auboine and Jérôme Langillier.
He then returned to San Luis Potosí to co-found the culinary university Instituto Culinario Danieli and designed a unique programme with international internships for the students.
Today, Slawomir is the chef-owner of ‘Polska Panadería y Chocolate’, a culinary boutique where people from all over Mexico come to enjoy artisan European bread, chocolate delicacies and pastries.
Representing the USA: Dan Forgey
Works at: Norman Love Confections
hef chocolatier Dan Forgey began his culinary career at the New England Culinary Institute, graduating with an Associate of Science in culinary arts. After working in upscale resorts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida he eventually accepted a three-month position on a commercial fishing boat before assuming the position of head chef at a fine dining restaurant in Massachusetts.
After moving to Florida for a pastry position at the Waldorf Astoria Naples (formerly Naples Grande), Forgey accepted a position at the Fort Myers-based Norman Love Confections in 2007. Since then, Forgey has competed in chocolate showpiece competitions, subsequently receiving three silver medals and best overall showpiece in Pastry Live 2013.
Traveling the world touring chocolate factories and production facilities, Forgey uses his broad culinary and pastry experience as well as cutting edge techniques to create chocolates and sculptures that constantly challenge the boundaries of the industry.