What A Treat! Spanish Pastry Chef Draws a Crowd
Published: 17 Oct 2016
Chefs and students flooded into CIT's well-appointed demonstration kitchen last Thursday to see celebrated patisserie chef Jordi Puigvert turn out extraordinary sweet treats using some of the "avant-garde" techniques that have made him famous.
Pastry chefs flew into Canberra from across the country to join CIT students and Canberra chefs for the chance to learn from one of Spain's best known chefs.
Jordi is a highly regarded for his research and development of new applications for ingredients and his book Evolution. Techniques and Ingredients for Modern Pastry.
He's also a passionate teacher. Jordi taught pastry, confectionery and plated desserts for eight years at the School of Hospitality in Girona, in Spain's north-eastern Catalonia region where he studied.
Jordi's CIT demonstration focussed on "how to combine fruit and chocolate in the right way, playing with the flavours" using "some quite avant-garde techniques".
The delicious treats he produced used Sicoly's fruit puree products and Michel Cluizel chocolate - products Jordi said he preferred for their commitment to quality and sustainable production.
Apart from tropical fruits, Sicoly's purees were sourced from fruit grown within 40 kilometres of the production facility, Jordi said. The product's quality was achieved by rapid, 20 second vacuum packaging after being injected with a burst of oxygen and Sicoly's minimal use of caster sugar to balance sweetness. World demand had seen Sicoly add organic and unsweetened lines, he said.
Similarly, it was chocolatier Michel Cluizel's commitment to quality and fair-trade that attracted him. Michel uses only single-origin cocoa beans bought from fair-trade, farmer-owned plantations. At CIT, Jordi deployed its organic milk chocolate sourced from Chiapas, Mexico.
At the end the four hour demonstration, exquisite pistachio sponges covered in lime and vanilla gel, topped with spheres of brass-brushed tempered chocolates and twirls were plated up. Alongside were delectable bons-bons filled with blackberry ganache and little desserts of chocolate mousse, cake, topped with coconut ganache and tart fruit.
Jordi said he loved teaching and was impressed with Australia's developing expertise in patisserie cooking, which he credited to the commitment of the teachers he'd witnessed on previous visits.
"You're reaching a very good level now days here in Australia. Maybe five or 10 years ago it was a bit different but now TAFE and others schools are doing a very good job," he said.
"You have very good teachers, really committed to teach the right way and even putting in extra time on their holidays to prepare students for competitions. The students are getting more enthusiastic because the teachers are more involved."
CIT Trade Skills and Vocational Learning College Director Fiona Mitchell said Jordi's workshop was "an exemplar of how CIT provides the ACT and regional professionals with invaluable opportunities to further enhance their skills and knowledge by engaging with world renowned trade experts.
"These sort of occasions are critically important for equipping our CIT students with the competitive skills for tomorrow's workplace and to expose them to leading brands, products and technologies."
Jordi delivered his first demonstration in Canberra thanks to CIT industry partner Imports of France.
"CIT's Trade Skills and Vocational Learning College looks forward to collaborating further with its industry partners to extend on the event program offerings in 2017," Mitchell said.
"The College has partnerships with numerous local and international industry suppliers, associations and organisations."
Jordi heads international consulting firm Sweet'n Go which provides advice, training, development and application of new products and techniques in restaurant and shop patisserie, plate desserts and sweet cookery.