January 27, 2016

Gilles Renusson visits Athens for a Judging Seminar

by Gilles Renusson

Over the last few years I have had the pleasure of presenting this pastry judging seminar in Edmonton, Bern, Stockholm, Rome, Rostov on Don, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, and just two weeks ago in Athens. These seminars have contributed greatly to a better understanding of what are the judging criteria of Worldchefs endorsed competitions.

This seminar was held on Wednesday December 16th in the office of Athens’ Chef Club. The presentation room was ideally located adjacent to the open kitchen. This association has a perfect training facility, spacious, well equipped, and easy to access. A dozen chefs attended the seminar. The seven hours presentation was followed by a long ideation session. We started at 8:00 a.m. and left the office of Chef Club at 10:00 p.m. I had recently updated the petits-fours, plated desserts, centerpieces, and restaurant dessert power points with pictures of recent competitions. This continuous process requires selecting, editing and inserting pictures gathered around the world. It is time consuming but this frequent updating lends even more credibility to the program. The day was not all work and monotonous. I had the unique opportunity to ride through the streets of Athens on the back of Chef Christos Amantos’ scooter. What a ride! Well done Chef Christos, we made it back without a scratch.

The next day Chef picked me up early to visit the market. Anytime I travel abroad I always try to visit the local food market. It was absolutely marvelous. Chef Panos Kokkinidis took precious time during the busy period of the holiday season to guide me through some of Athens most interesting specialty stores and hotel pastry shops. I can’t wait to show these pictures to my students at Grand Rapids Community in Michigan.

Chef Miltos Karoumpas, President of the Hellenic Chef Association (and initiator of the 2016 WACS Congress), and Mrs. Elena Reppa, Team Manager of the Greek National Culinary Team, invited me for dinner. It was organized at Chef Eva Vonazounta’s restaurant. Chef Eva’s English was so prefect that I ventured to ask her where she had learned to master this language? “I was born in America” she replied…This was the best meal of my trip. Thank-you Chef Eva for such a display of fresh, tasty, and expertly seasoned authentic Greek food.

Chef Panos Kikkinidis picked me up at the hotel on Friday morning to take me to the airport. On the way we visited his pastry shop.

Thank-you to the Hellenic Chef’s Association for organizing this seminar. Your member’s hospitality was remarkable. I made new friends and will keep in touch with you. I always enjoy sharing my competition experiences with colleagues anywhere in the world and look forward to the next opportunity to do so.

May 2016 bring to you and your family, good health, peace, many happy moments with family and friends, and success in Worldchefs endorsed pastry competitions.


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