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Michaël Cotard takes the crown in Canada


Third time’s the charm is how the idiom goes. And so it went for 39-year-old Michaël Cotard. Winning the Canadian qualifying round for the World Chocolate Masters on his third try, the chef and owner of Cotard Chocolatier made a big impression on the jury with his beautiful chocolate showpiece and his well-thought-out Chocolate to Go concept. ‘A well-prepared risk-taker’ is how the jury described Michaël, based on his passage in the qualifying round. And now he has the chance to show off his calculated fearlessness in the world final in Paris.

Outshining Christophe Bonzon and Christophe Sportellini (second and third place respectively), Michaël Cotard earned himself the award for best chocolate showpiece and best Chocolate to Go concept, the latter of which he had to share with Christophe Bonzon. Michaël demonstrated he masters his techniques, and according to the jury ‘his showpiece proved this perfectly, with a structure and texture that really reflected the look and feel of wood and nature.’ The fact that his massive showpiece merely rested on a narrow base was additional proof of his technical mastery.

Chocolate showpiece by Michaël Cotard

Michaël’s Chocolate to Go concept consisted of a chocolate beehive, for which the jury found the packaging and presentation ‘right on theme, which applied to all of his creations.’ Apart from the shared award for best Chocolate to Go concept, it was Christophe Bonzon who also received the awards for best moulded praline, best Cake of the Day and the ‘coup de coeur’ media award.

Chocolate to Go concept by Michaël Cotard

Michaël Cotard went all out during the qualifying round, making his creations breathe with nature, wilderness and the Canadian terroir. His inspiring ursine theme was clearly reflected in all his competition assignments, which he mostly realised with Cacao Barry’s Purity from Nature chocolate (mainly Ocoa™ and Alunga™) for their pure cocoa flavour. He also paired his ganaches, crémeux, mousses with delicious local ingredients such as maple syrup and local microbrewery beer to give them a winning Canadian touch.

The 2015 World Chocolate Masters have now revealed all 20 finalists. We’ll see them again at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris from Wednesday 28 till Friday 30 October. It’s going to be an amazing event. So make sure to save the date!

First place: Michaël Cotard

Second place: Christophe Bonzon

Third place: Christophe Sportellini

Contestants and jury members