Davide Comaschi - from his mother’s kitchen to the winning podium of the World Chocolate Masters
His story reads like a novel. At age 13 he starts attending a pastry school in Milan. His first internship at age 13 and a half, at the famous Pasticeria Martesana in Milan, is where he falls in love with pastry work. At the age of only 22 years he becomes partner of a pastry shop in the province of Milano, but not feeling satisfied there he returns in 2007, at age of 27, to Martesana to become the head pastry chef. 31 years old he wins the silver medal at Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie in Lyon and two years later, in 2013, he becomes the World Chocolate Master.
Where did it all start?
It may sound banal, but everything started in my mother’s kitchen where I was as a child watching my mother preparing sweets and other specialities and helped her whenever I could. At the age of 13-14 I didn’t have much passion for studies and the choice to learn for a profession as a pastry chef seemed less demanding.
Who were your best mentors and what was the best lecture you received?
Most of all Iginio Massari - I am extremely grateful to him for all the lectures he gave me which were crucial for my development as a pastry chef as well as a person. The best lecture I ever received was when Iginio was my tutor for the World Chocolate Masters which resulted in me winning the title. He was able to get the best out of me.
What do you love best about your work?
I love best the creative part - the ability to create something wonderful and surprising even from the simplest ingredients. This is something that keeps me enthusiastic day by day.
What is inspiring you?
I don’t get inspiration from outside - my ideas are born from inside with a paper and pen at a table and are task based.
How would you describe your personal style?
My style has always been a fusion between tradition and innovation in flavours, combinations, forms … I believe there can’t be innovation without a good solid base of a tradition, as in Itlay - only a combination of both enables us to create something destined to stand the test of time.
What about chocolate? When did you fall in love with it?
Chocolate has been ‘love at first sight’. I have always been captivated by the unlimited possibilities given by this product through shaping it into different forms and combining it with different flavours to create stunning combinations.
What would be your perfect chocolate dessert?
A chocolate tiramisu! It unites tradition and innovation through reinterpretation of one of the most classic Italian desserts.
Why have you chosen Cacao Barry as your chocolate and which of their chocolates is your favourite?
I chose Cacao Barry because of its innovation and research oriented production which always strives for the best in each product. My favourite chocolate is Alto el Sol - it has a beautiful equilibrium, excellent meltiness and nice aromatic flavour of cacao.
You won the World chocolate Masters. How was the experience and what were the consequences?
Taking part in World Chocolate Masters and winning this great competition was an extraordinary and unforgettable experience which allowed me to grow, and I would advise anybody to challenge themselves and do it. Beside being a very satisfactionary personal experience it also gave me great visibility. But you always need to keep in mind that this is only the start of a journey, not the end.
Applications for the next UK chocolate masters are closing at the end of the month. What would be your advice to those who have applied and to those who are still undecided?
To the undecided I would say to think well - it’s a very hard and demanding competition which requires great determination right from the start. To those who already decided to take part, forget the presumptuousness and confront it with a great humbleness - it is a great life lecture.