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Nicolas Bouhelier, junior pastry sous chef at Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, has won the inaugural UK Pastry Open contest.
The competition, which took place last Saturday (1 October), was held in preparation for the next Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, the biennial pastry world cup held in Lyon in 2013.
The UK Pastry Open saw seven pastry chefs compete for the title in a six-and-a-half-hour cook off held in the kitchens of Hammersmith College in London. The chefs were asked to produce a sugar or chocolate display piece each as well as a chocolate dessert or cake incorporating fruit.
Bouhelier was named the overall winner of the competition for his chocolate display piece and dessert and also picked up the prize for the best tasting dessert showcasing flavours of autumnal British produce.
Raymond Blanc's new book, Kitchen Secrets, featuring recipes from Kitchen Secrets Series 1 & 2 and many more, was published by Bloomsbury on 14 February and is available to buy online from Amazon, from Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Brasserie Blanc, Maison Blanc, and from online and retail bookstores.
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