33-year-old Marijn Coertjens blew every competitor out of the proverbial water in the Chocolate Academy centre in Wieze, Belgium with his imaginative chocolate creations. These were both beautiful and delicious, and even had a slight political undertone to them. Marijn proved to have excellent technique and his ability to incorporate storytelling in his assignments really gave his creations an extra dimension, which was much to the delight of all twelve jury members. Those, in turn, were unanimous in their decision. According to their professional opinion, Marijn is the only participant worthy of representing Belgium during the 2015 World Chocolate Masters final in Paris.
Marijn Coertjens is head of the chocolate team of The Peninsula hotel in Hong Kong. In an interview he did with us only three weeks before the competition, Marijn confessed to us that he wanted to “tell a story about nature and its culture. A story that belongs to us all and would bring us closer to nature again with all its beauty.” And he didn’t exaggerate. His chocolate showpiece in particular told the story of the Kayapo, an indigenous people in Brazil that defends its precious land in the Amazon forest against ranchers, loggers and miners. It gave the World Chocolate Masters a whole new dimension.
Apart from enjoying the stories that gave his creations more backbone, the jury unanimously found that Marijn excelled in no less than two of four competition assignments: best chocolate showpiece and best Chocolate to Go concept. Andy Verstraeten was awarded the prize for best Cake of the Day and earned second place. Bart Meremans came in third and earned himself the award for best moulded praline.