Sang Kyun Jeong
Works at: Lotte Hotel Seoul
Qualifiers: selected to represent South Korea
Sang Kyun Jeong briefly worked as a pastry chef at Napoleon Bakery before switching to the Lotte Hotel in Seoul, where he has been creating the most inspirational dessert plates for the past 15 years. Sang Kyun Jeong is no stranger to the world of culinary championships either. Before earning a spot in the 2015 World Chocolate Masters final, the pastry chef won the grand prize at the 2010 Luxembourg Culinary Olympics and a gold medal in pastry at the 2012 German Culinary Olympics, and demonstrated his leadership skills as the captain of the South Korean pastry team at the 2008 World Pastry Team Championship in the USA.
Sang Kyun Jeong says he draws inspiration for his creations from both nature and everyday life, ranging from the colours that paint the streets of Seoul to contemporary lifestyle trends. He typically gives a refreshingly innovative twist to traditional South Korean ingredients.
In the words of Sang Kyun Jeong:
Where does my passion for chocolate stem from?
Chocolate itself is a more complex ingredient than any other. Its flavours and aromas have a very complex molecular structure, which makes chocolate more than just food. It’s this complexity that aroused my curiosity for chocolate. Exploring the complexity of chocolate and pursuing perfection with it are what makes up my passion.
Why do I participate in the World Chocolate Masters?
During my days of chocolate exploration, I desired to know where I am at in the world of chocolate. As this competition is the biggest authority among chocolate competitions and even in the pastry sector, it is the most suitable platform to measure my skills, passion, creativity and grasp of chocolate.
How do I prepare for the World Chocolate Masters?
Given that this is this is the last competition I will ever enter in my life, I wish to conclude my competition experience as grand winner of the World Chocolate Masters final. So, I work and ponder about it day and night. Competing with the 19 other national Chocolate Masters puts a huge pressure on my shoulders. Notwithstanding all the stress, I really enjoy preparing for the World Chocolate Masters final. I never felt this amount of joy preparing for other competitions.
How do I plan on convincing the jury members?
It’s simple: creativity, quality and passion for perfection are everything.
What do I hope to learn from this experience?
I thought I already knew a lot about chocolate. But the more I learn now, the more challenges I meet. Preparing for this competition learned me about the delicacy of chocolate and my skills are more advanced than ever. I realise now that there is no end to chocolate.