Yusuke Aoki and Ettore Beligni, respectively first and second place in the 2018 edition of C3 Valrhona, in New York. The competition is dedicated to chocolate in pastry making. Photos by Paolo Marchi
The end came with a surprise, on Monday 22nd October in New York. It was a surprise because ten years ago nobody would have noticed, but today you would, and so that bottle full of some ingredient, thrown into the bin during the finals of the C3 Valrhona competition, meant that Ettore Beligni lost the first place. In the past, waste went unnoticed, and the same happened when ingredients were not recuperated for later. What counted was what you served the jury, not the process until that moment. But times change and the technical jury sanctioned the Italian participant who consoled himself with the second place, worth 2,000 euros. Better than nothing, but the winner of the second place always suffers from getting as close as it gets to the gold medal.
The smiling winner: Yusuke Aoki walks quickly to the centre of the stage to get trophy and cheque
The sad defeated participants. At the beginning of the day, everyone is happy to be in the finals. At the end, it’s only the place and only the first one that matters
First a pre-dessert, then the real sweet. The order of serving had Italy first, then Dubai (Kanako Baba, Japanese), Spain (Libertad Santiago, with Venezuelan roots), Ireland (Paula Stakelum), Sweden (Weilo Wang, who arrived in Stockholm after Paris), United States (Mina Pizarro, born and raised in the Philippines. She spoke in Spanish, regardless of what president
The Manhattan skyline interpreted by Ettore Beligni
Interviewed at the end, Ettore Beligni said in his dessert he wanted to celebrate the origin of the chocolate he used, its DNA, and thus enhance its overall flavour – so nothing just made for the sake of anonymous beauty – and finally give a bright shape inspired by the New York skyline. I guess he referred to Manhattan as seen from Brooklyn.
In his presentation, Ettore said he considers Gaetano Trovato, from Arnolfo in Colle Val d’Elsa, as his mentor «because he made me understand the importance of quality and creative expression». A Tuscan from Sarteano near Siena, his first sweet memory was of an apple strudel tasted in Trentino Alto Adige.
Behind the scenes of C3 Valrhona: the winners of the second and first place alone, for a few moments, with Ettore Beligni looking at the trophy he almost won
Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso
Previews, personalities and establishments in the sweet side of the food planet
born in Milan in March 1955, at Il Giornale for 31 years dividing himself between sports and food, since 2004 he's the creator and curator of Identità Golose.