We’re two weeks away from the Scandinavian WCM qualifying round at the Hotel & Restaurant skolen in Denmark, where five chocolatiers and pastry chefs will give their all to earn the title of Scandinavia's new Chocolate Master. One of those candidates is Gabriel Ahlgreen. And although he's very busy preparing for the big day, he found a bit of time to talk to us.
WCM Communications Team: What do your WCM training days typically look like?
Gabriel: “My days are pretty hectic, and because of that it's impossible for me to practice before the shop closes, which just opened in February. But I make sure to spend my evenings wisely, so that I can properly prepare for the different assignments of the competition.”
WCM Communications Team: What are your expectations for the Scandinavian preselections?
Gabriel: “I have a clear mission to win. If you're not there to win – you shouldn't even bother coming.”
WCM Communications Team: Are you nervous for the prelections?
Gabriel: “I am a little nervous since I do not really know any of the other participants, except from what I have heard from others. I don't have any idea about the other participants actual qualifications and skills, but I am sure that it will be a very exciting day.”
WCM Communications Team: What's the Cacao Barry chocolate you love most working with?
Gabriel: “I really like to work with Alto el sol Millesime 2013, because it is sour and tastes fantastic. It's perfect for coating cakes with a bit of spice.”
WCM Communications Team: What's your favourite competition assignment?
Gabriel: “I was looking forward to the plated dessert assignment, so I was a bit disappointed when I found out that the organising committee dropped it. But I think I've found a pretty exciting Chocolate to Go concept that I’m looking forward to see what the judges have to say about. But my ultimate favourite is the chocolate showpiece assignment of course.”
WCM Communications Team: How are you planning on incorporating the 'Inspiration from Nature' theme into your chocolate creations?
Gabriel: “I think that the theme is quite broad. So I've chosen to do it a little bit different, while still making it elegant and making sure that no one has any doubts about what the theme is.”
WCM Communications Team: Who do you think will be the toughest competitor to beat during the prelections?
Gabriel: “I don't know who the strongest competitor is, since I don't know any of the other participants, except for the Finnish participant Eero Paulamäki who I know has participated several times and the other Danish participant Tor Stubbe that has beaten me in a Nordic Showpiece competition last year. Those are the two I know most about, but how they will perform on the competition day – I don't know... But I'm eager to find out!”
WCM Communications Team: Thank you so much for this interview, Gabriel.
Gabriel: “You're welcome!”