John Kraus and His Team USA Win Bronze in the World’s Top Pastry Competition

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

The winners of the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie were announced yesterday evening, and Team USA, led by John Kraus of Patisserie 46 in Minneapolis, took the bronze medal, outbaked only by Italy (gold) and Japan (silver). The Coupe du Monde is the most important pastry competition in the world. It takes place every other year in Lyon, France.

In this edition, 21 national teams spent 10 intense hours making three chocolate desserts, three frozen fruit desserts, 12 plated desserts, a sugar sculpture (half spun and half blown), a chocolate sculpture (a block of Valrhona to be included in the composition), and an ice sculpture. Kraus’s colleagues were Josh Johnson, Scott Green, and Ewald Notter, their coach.

The team chose a Wild West theme for their sugar and chocolate creations. The focal point of the sugar sculpture was a cow’s skull with realistic color gradations in the horns. Decorations of barbed wire, cacti with thorns, and brilliant red flowers continued the theme.

The chocolate sculpture included a broken wagon wheel, a well-worn cowboy hat, and a locked trunk with Wells Fargo stenciled on it and gold bars spread around it. The trunk made use of the requisite block of chocolate.

One of the frozen desserts was an ice cream cake in the form of a stick of dynamite, lit fuse and all.

And the big news is that Kraus has found some new glasses and disguised himself as a clean-shaven Frenchman (or is it a cowboy?). [Photo above is pre-transformation.]

Read more about the Coupe du Monde in our interview with John Kraus. And here’s a link to some photos of the pastries and sculpture.

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