Ramon Huigsloot discovered his love for cooking in the family kitchen at a very young age, which led him to take up bread and pastry at Teylingen college. He gained his first work experience at the local bakery shop, but Huigsloot soon had a thirst for more. That’s how he ended up at Huize van Wely, a Dutch pastry, chocolate and ice cream shop that has been around since 1922, where he got to know competitive pastry chefs and a whole new world of raw materials. There, he really got the hang of the metier and it led him to pursue apprenticeships at three-star restaurants like De Librije and Sergio Herman’s Oud Sluis.
After 10 years of honing his pastry skills, Huigsloot traded Huize van Wely for the Amrâth Kurhaus Grand Hotel before taking up the position of pastry advisor for Zeelandia a year and a half later. In the meantime, he was also recruited by the Dutch Pastry Team. Huigsloot won the Dutch Pastry Award (2010), the Best New Dutch Pastry Talent Award (2010), the Dutch Talent Price (2003) and the Pastry Competition ROC in Leiden (2003), and gained third place at the 2005 Golden Whisk Awards.
In the words of Ramon Huigsloot:
Where does my passion for chocolate stem from?
Chocolate is a very versatile product and one of the most widely used raw materials in my line of work. It presents you with the opportunity to play with your creativity.
Why do I participate in the World Chocolate Masters?
I consider it a test for myself, to see where I stand on a global level. To me, the World Chocolate Masters are the ultimate challenge!
How do I prepare for the World Chocolate Masters?
I set everything aside and try to do my utmost. The most important thing I can say to myself at the end of the final will be: “Ramon, you have given it everything.”
How do I plan on convincing the jury members?
The entire concept has to be just right. Of course, it is important that the overall picture looks perfect and innovative. But appearance and professionalism also have to be of expert level.
What do I hope to learn from this experience?
Participating in the World Chocolate Masters not only made me grow as a pastry chef, but also made me grow as a person. All the things that need to be arranged and organised are more than just developing a product. Participating has made me able to take a blow when things don’t go my way and has taught me to keep trying until the result is absolutely perfect.