The team, coached by president Martin Chiffers, and made up of Barry Johnson (Rococo Chocolate), Andrew Blas (Café Royal) and Javier Mercado (Le Cordon Bleu) triumphed despite a number of setbacks, including a lorry full of essential equipment breaking down, their ice sculpture breaking in half, and part of their chocolate piece dropping off.
Despite aiming for a podium place, the team were 'ecstatic' with the result after spending hours making the six elements of the competition - an ice sculpture, chocolate dessert, frozen fruit dessert, plated dessert, sugar sculpture and Valrhona chocolate sculpture.
Team captain Johnson said: “We’re all ecstatic at this result. With all the challenges we faced during the day, we really hadn’t had any major expectations. This result has made all the pain worthwhile, and I’d like to thank my teammates Jose, Andrew and Martin for such amazing support."
Johnson told BigHospitality it had been a tough competition, but the team kept calm throughout. "We had a number of challenges before the competition even started, as our van broke down, so we had a challenge to get a new one to take the very full contents to the show," he said.
"That aside, you’re under an enormous amount of pressure, you’ve got your friends, colleagues and family in front of you watching, and you’re trying to do the very best under strict timed conditions. I think the hardest part was working effectively and to time despite a few setbacks, such as our ice sculpture breaking. Obviously at the end of the competition, we also lost a few pieces of our chocolate sculpture which is always heart breaking when you’ve been through so much to get it finished and looking beautiful."
Twenty-one teams from across the world travelled to Lyon to take part in the competition's final in which teams were required to make all elements under the theme of theatre. Italy took the top spot in the competition with Japan and the USA coming second and third respectively.
Team UK took inspiration from the West End show The Lion King, celebrating the African Savanna and the 'circle of life'.
Details of Team UK's dishes:
Entitled ‘African Savanna’, the Valrhona chocolate dessert was inspired by the diverse community of organisms that interact to form a complex food web. The African savanna ecosystem is a tropical grassland and is characterized by grasses and small or dispersed trees that do not form a closed canopy, allowing sunlight to reach the ground.
The actual dessert consisted of a streusel base, Flourless Chocolate Sponge, Manjari Mousse, Mango Lime Jelly, Passion Fruit Crémeux and Chocolate Glaze.
Frozen fruit dessert
Entitled ‘Lyceum’ the frozen fruit dessert was inspired by the domed architecture of the Lyceum Theatre building, which was unique in that it had a balcony overhanging the circle and has been home to the musical version of The Lion King in London since 1999.
The dessert consisted of a Streusel Base, Coconut Dacquoise, Caramel Banana Parfait, Coconut Ice Cream, Mango Coulis, Passion Banana Sorbet.
The Circle of Life, also known as the "Great Circle of Life," is what all living creatures around the Pride Lands are connected in. It is what the Lion King must follow in order to preserve the glory of the Pride Lands. "Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance".
The UK Plated dessert is inspired by the connection and delicate balance of the "Circle of Life” and consists of Lemon Pain de Gene, Praline Crunchy, Chocolate Crémeux, Raspberry Glazed Chocolate Mousse Eggs with Raspberry Gel and Crunchy Vanilla Streusel, Crispy Rice and Cru, Lemon Curd, Rose Sugar Tuiles and Raspberries.
Sixth place means the UK automatically earns a place competing in the 2017 Coupe Du Monde de la Patisserie. Chiffers said the search would start for the 2017 team in October.