Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort
Banquets and Catering

Team USA wins the Gold at the 2008 World Pastry Team Championship

Led by Laurent Branlard, executive pastry chef at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, Team USA wins big at this prestigious pastry competition

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – Just when you thought the summer games were over, Team USA has brought home yet another gold medal! Led by World Pastry Champion Laurent Branlard of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, Team USA won first place during the 2008 World Pastry Team Championship in Nashville, Tennessee that took place August 31 and September 1.

This intense 2-day, 13-hour competition is not a run-of-the-mill bakeoff. Participants must possess both the discipline of a pastry chef and the creativity of an artist. The pastry competition encourages participants to showcase their unique skills and express the art form of pulling sugar and sculpting chocolate into beautiful 7-foot tall edible sculptures that appear to be made from blown glass and copper metals. The winning sugar showpiece was a 7-foot abstract underwater-themed structure.

The theme of this year’s contest, sponsored by Amoretti, was “Imagination” with a grand prize of $50,000 for the winning team. The World Pastry Championship featured teams from nine countries and took place at The Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.

Branlard, captain of Team USA and executive pastry chef at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, is now the only person to have claimed the world championship twice after having first won the world title in 2002. Since then, he has served as a judge and as a coach during different years of the national and world competitions. His team, which earned the national title in 2007 at the National Pastry Championship, also includes Dimitri Fayard, co-owner of Vanille Patisserie of Chicago and Stephane Treand, executive pastry chef at the St. Regis Resort, Monarch Beach, California. Other teams competing for the world title in Nashville are from Belgium, Russia, China, Italy, South Korea, Switzerland, Japan and Mexico.

We are very proud to represent America and to compete against all these nations -- most of them are top food industry leader countries, like Belgium and Japan, so it made the competition very interesting,” Branlard said.“We trained hard to bring home the gold. Passion and perseverance are keys to success, and you must possess lots of creativity and energy.”