Works at: Norman Love Confections
Qualifiers: selected to represent the USA
Chef 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.
In the words of Dan Forgey:
Where does my passion for chocolate stem from?
My passion for chocolate grew as I started working with Norman Love at Norman Love Confections. I started understanding the versatility and complexity of this one ingredient. Chocolate can be as subtle or as bold as you would like to make it. Working with chocolate in showpiece form is amazing as well: it combines the rigidity of metal work and the malleability of clay. The art of taking a rigid material, and making it look like it flows and is light, is the key. So with chocolate you can make an incredible dessert that is appreciated around the world and make an incredible work of art at the same time.
Why do I participate in the World Chocolate Masters?
It was an honour to be asked to try out and to be picked to represent my country. Competing at this level for the World Chocolate Masters makes you become a better professional and pushes you to become a better chef. This competition makes you constantly ask yourself: ‘How can this be better?’, and never be satisfied with ‘ok’ or ‘good enough’. I firmly believe high-calibre competitions like the World Chocolate Masters are what continues to drive the industry to innovative ideas and inspires future chefs to become more. In the past, I watched the competition and looked at the items made by the contestants, and then practised to learn the skills that I had seen. I hope to inspire other people to become better at what they do than they are today.
How do I prepare for the World Chocolate Masters?
Strategically, I broke down the requirements into individual components and worked on one thing at a time. Now, it is time to place them all together and make it seem effortless. Mentally it is focus and practice; there should be no question on the next step.
How do I plan on convincing the jury members?
Confidence. By owning my creations and everything I have finalised for this competition. I have tried all variations to make sure these are the best products I have to offer.
What do I hope to learn from this experience?
To become a better professional. I have already learned a lot about the preparation and organisation that come with competing at a level this high.