World's Best Master Chocolatier shakes up sector with organic colors and new textures
26-year-old Lluc Crusellas, from central Catalonia, wants to grow the pastry culture in his home country
Recently crowned the world's best master chocolatier, Lluc Crusellas, from Osona in central Catalonia, is still getting to grips with his newfound fame, yet is still quick to point out the importance of the support of his colleagues.
He believes the key to winning his new title has been teamwork. "At 26, you get here thanks to the people you have around you and letting them help you," he explains in an interview with the Catalan News Agency.
But there's no doubt that Crusellas has also been a star in and of his own right, pushing the boundaries of chocolate-making and bringing an artisanal approach to all standards in his store.
"Another aspect that I was very clear about was that I wanted to bring new things to the sector, such as textures and organic colors and the message that we need to take better care of the planet," Crusellas points out.
When asked about his signature touch, he is clear: organic textures and natural colors. "In the pastry shop there have been times of many bright and fluorescent colors," he says.
He focuses, instead, on nature as a source of inspiration, emulating forms such as seeds and dry earth and with the message that we need to be more aware of what's around us and that we need to take care of the planet.
Given his new platform, the Catalan master chocolatier now wants to use his voice to spread a message of education, methodology, and to make a claim for holding the highest of standards in the patisserie world.
"People should be able to tell what is a good cake and what is not. There is a lot of work to be done, and hopefully, there is more pastry culture like that which countries like France have."
Crusellas has a team of 15 workers, most of them young like himself. There is a lot of preparation behind everything they do, even in the way the competition material was transported between Vic, where his shop El Carme is located, and Paris.
"Every detail is counted, as soon as we opened the truck at the time of unloading, the jury was already there," he recalls. Aspects such as order, cleanliness, discipline and attitude were assessed as well as the product itself.
World's Best Chocolatier
Lluc Crusellas won the World Chocolate Masters in Paris on Monday evening after completing six assignments over three days and receiving more votes than anyone else.
The head pastry chef at the El Carme shop in Vic, central Catalonia, took the title that will last for three years.
The 26-year-old had been preparing for the competition for a year after winning the same award for Spain, and beat off rivals from 17 other countries across the globe.
In his victory speech, Crusellas said that it has been an "incredible" year.
Crusellas won the most votes in six assignments that were given as part of the competition: large and small sculpture, dessert, bonbon, snack, and petit four.
One of his most spectacular works was a chocolate three-meter elephant standing on scorched Earth which weighed 200kg.