National Selections: Report

Marijn Coertjens is the new “Belgian Chocolate Master”

On Monday 10th April and Tuesday 11th April, the Belgian preselections for the international competition “World Chocolate Masters” took place at ChocoLaté festival in Brugge.

During the competition 7 candidates aimed for the title of “Belgian Chocolate Master 2007”.
Marijn Coertjens, pupil of the famous patissier Marc Ducobu – who won the precious title in 2001 himself – became the winner after an expert judgement. The competition theme was “National myths and legends” and the contestant’s assignment comprised the creation of a chocolate masterpiece, 2 pralines, a chocolate pastry and a gastronomic Dessert, the latter had to be made with the ingredients from the “Mystery Box”.

The definite winner of the competition was Marijn Coertjens from Baarle-Hertog. He has been working since 2006 at patisserie Ducobu in Waterloo, under the supervision of the famous pastry chef Marc Ducobu. Marijn is only 25 years old, but his performance revealed a very talented chocolatier.
Marijn is extremely happy with the victory, he has been working for five years now as a chocolatier and he invested a lot of time in preparing himself for the competition and is looking forward to the Finals in October. Will he become the successor of World Chocolate Master Pol Deschepper? We will have to wait and see…

He impressed the jury and public with his creations based on the legendary comic of "Tintin". His pure professional work and exceptionally delicious creations like a milk chocolate praline with caramel saffron and a kumquats ganache. And even his "Mystery Dessert" was magic and dazzled even the most famous chefs in the jury.

Guillaume Duroy from Lacuisine, won the finest Taste Award. Guillaume works for "Les Chocolats d'Edouard" in Florenville as responsible for the production. He presented tasteful pralines like "Mathilde" with passion fruit ganache, "Geen Lotus" tea, moulded with dark "Madagscar" chocolate.

The jury was composed of important craftsmen; chocolate, pastry and kitchen chefs such as Axel Sachem, Pol Deschepper, Bart Van Cauwenberghe, Gunther van Essche, Jean-Philippe Darcis, Serge Alexandre, Laurent Van de Vyvere, Felix Alen, Lieven Lootens, Phillippe Rhéau and last but not least our Technical Advisors from Barry Callebaut in Wieze (Jean-Pierre Wybauw, Philippe Vancayseele and Alexandre Bourdeaux). Finally, a few members of the (trade) press joined the jury.

It goes without saying the Belgian gourmet team wishes this sympathetic candidate all the best for the Finals in Paris where they will off course be present to give him some moral support.