GoHospitality talks with pastry chef Angelo Roche who will be competing in this year's Chocolate Grand Prix on 2 June at Foodservice Australia.
What’s your background as a chef?
My specialization is Patisserie. Currently I teach at the Le Cordon Bleu, Sydney. I came to Australia in 1996 and have worked various establishments. I was head pastry chef at the Park Hyatt for about 3 years, then moved to the ANA, which is now the Shangrila. I was there as head pastry chef for about 7.5 years. Then I moved and did a very short stint at Gelatissimo and later joined the City Tattersalls Club. I was at City Tattersalls Club for about 3 years and then secured a full time job at the TAFE.
In addition to my on-the-job learning and experience, I have attended courses for ongoing learning in France, Chicago and Melbourne.
Why have you entered the competition? As a chef, what do you think are the benefits of getting involved in this competition?
I like the medium: Chocolate, and with this being a very unique challenge, I thought this completion will push me to another level.
The benefits of getting involved in any competition are that it helps the competitor to learn new things and skills. One is forced to come out of his or her comfort zone, and this helps with innovation and problem solving. Challenge is always good for one’s personal growth in the field.
What rewards or benefits will you get from the competition?
The competition is just satisfying for me. Also, because I teach, it is motivating for the students. This also helps me stay current in the industry.
Have you ever competed in anything similar before, or any of other competitions? How did you go?
I have represented Australia in the Coupe Du Monde in Lyon in 2007. I finished 12th, but it was a huge learning curve. I have competed in the Hunter Valley competitions and won once (show piece category). I did win a few gold medals
What will be your strategy in this competition?
To complete a piece within the stipulated time frame and ensure that it represents the theme aptly. It's an interesting theme that will throw up a few challenges.
Do you know who your competitors are? What strengths do you have over your competitors?
I do not wish to know who the other competitors are as it could hamper with my planning and preparation. I will go there and just execute my game plan. I am happy with my preparation, and I feel I can complete my piece on time.