Published on 10/26/20

c3 Competition 2019


Monday, October 28th, 2019, Valrhona Inc. held the North American Final of its Chocolate Chef Competition (C3) in partnership with StarChefs during their annual International Chefs Congress in Brooklyn. The C3 is an Iron Chef meets Bocuse d’Or-style competition that brings leading pastry chefs to compete and showcase their talents.

After months of preparation, Chef Kevin Clemenceau of andSons Chocolatiers in Beverly Hills won the North American Final. The runner-up of the competition was Chef Eunji Lee of Jungsik in New York City and the winner of the press prize was Chef Jim Hutchison of Winvian Farm in Litchfield Hills, Connecticut.

Chef Clemenceau’s petits fours (left), titled “The Marias” were made with cocoa streusel, crunchy praliné, and cocoa nibs, chocolate disk decorations, BAHIBÉ 46% chantilly, BAHIBÉ salted butter caramel, and cocoa nibs and gold leaf decors. He was inspired by modern pastry styles and the cocoa flavor in BAHIBÉ 46%. For his plated dessert (right), titled “Neyba,” Chef Clemenceau was inspired by the flavors of BAHIBÉ 46% in combination with different spices, nuts and a touch of acidity. and featured vanilla-tonka crème Anglaise, cocoa streusel, BAHIBÉ 46% crèmeux, BAHIBÉ 46% Bavaroise mousse, BAHIBÉ 46% mirror glaze, yuzu sauce, BAHIBÉ 46% chocolate decor, rocher glaze, and hazelnut and cocoa nib nougatine.
The runner-up, Chef Lee’s petits fours, “Roasted Chestnut” consisted of cognac cream, chestnut cream, BAHIBÉ 46% cocoa butter mixture, black painting, chestnut powder, a chocolate tuile, and
BAHIBÉ-chestnut crunchy. The inspiration came from her love of October and one of her favorite French desserts, Chestnut Mont Blanc. Her plated dessert (right), titled “GIWA” was made with sesame cream, sesame crunchy, soy sauce caramel, coconut sorbet, gray spray chocolate, sesame tuile, a BAHIBÉ giwa, BAHIBÉ brownie,BAHIBÉ crèmeux, chocolate feuilletage, and a BAHIBÉ chocolate sablé crumble. The dessert was inspired by Korean traditional roof tiles, or GIWA, whose color matches the black sesame flavor. Lee wanted to highlight Korean culture, as well as American flavors.

The Press Prize Winner, Chef Hutchison’s petits fours, “LYM (Love You More)” were made with a combination of his favorite flavors in one bite – coconut BAHIBÉ 46% whipped ganache, Szechuan peppercorn financier, and a passion fruit gel center. His gluten-free plated dessert (right), “LKS (Last Known Surroundings)” featured whipped BAHIBÉ ganache, BAHIBÉ crèmeux, brown butter vanilla ice cream, crispy ORELYS 35%, vanilla chantilly, gluten-free chocolate dacquoise, yuzu curd, caramel banana filling, and chocolate work. The dish was inspired by the fresh, acidic fruits of Bali combined with
American flavors.

Since 2008, Valrhona has organized the Chocolate Chef Competition (C³) to celebrate professional Pastry Chefs and honor the elaborate nature of the trade in all of its technical and creative aspects, with a focus on chocolate. By gathering a community of Pastry Chefs, who are driven by a desire to showcase the quality and creativity of their work. Valrhona highlight the profession and gives attendees the opportunity to discuss trends, techniques, and market developments. "The C³ is the biggest international restaurant dessert competition. This specialty, which was neglected for too long is now coming to life thanks to Valrhona's convictions and values of excellence. Pastry chefs can fully express their creativity with plated desserts, playing with texture, temperature and lightness in a way that isn't possible anywhere else.” - Claire Heitzler, C³ Jury President in Singapore in April 2018


We are thrilled to announce the six candidates selected who have confirmed their participation in the 2019 North American Qualifications. The candidates include: Chef Desarae Bittle, Chef Eunji Lee, Chef Jim Hutchison, Chef Kevin Clemenceau, Chef Takunori Hirayama, and Chef Weilu Wang. These six candidates were selected out of the written applicants to compete in the Regional North American C³ Competition. The winner will represent North America on March 5, 2020 in Singapore at the International C³ Competition Final and will compete against the five other winners from the C³ Competition Regional Qualifiers.
  Regional Qualifications featuring Valrhona
BAHIBÉ 46% Single Origin Dominican Republic: For this 6th Edition of the C³ Competition, contestants must create an original plated dessert and petits fours recipes made using Valrhona BAHIBÉ 46% Single Origin Dominican Republic. The candidates will be judged by a lineup of renowned judges including: Chef Pierre Herme, Lincoln Carson, Kamel Guechida, Kelly Fields (2019 James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef), Patrice Demers, Ghaya Oliveira (2017 James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef), Belinda Leong (2018 James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef and Mina Pizarro, winner of the C³ 2017 North American selection! ! Recipe creativity, originality as well as taste, pairings, texture, aesthetics, and respect of the chocolate theme will help the judges determine the best Pastry Chef.

Prizes for the Winners

The winning Regional Semi-Finalists will be automatically selected to compete during the Final in Singapore. Finalists taking part in the C3 Competition are recognized by the entire profession for their talent.
The North American Semi-Finalist winner will receive a check for $5,000 and a C3 Trophy
2nd prize winner will receive a check for $2,000.
Press Prize winner will receive a check for $1,000.

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