Interviews with World Chocolate Masters Japanese Candidates

Interviews with World Chocolate Masters Japanese Candidates

MASANORI HATA

“I participate in the World Chocolate Masters to further develop my professional skills and enhance my knowledge. My ultimate goal in this competition is, ofcourse, to win the Japanese National Selection and eventually win the Championship.”

“Futropolis is an interesting theme. When I think of this city, I imagine progressive and innovative designs in architecture and nature. The biggest challenge for me is probably the designability of the idea and concept of Futropolis. I hope to surprise the jury and the audience with chocolate designs and skills nobody else can do.”

“I love working with Cacao Barry Inaya™ 65%. It has a strong cacao taste and contains less fat which allows you to feel the uniqueness of its flavour.”

“My secret ingredient? Must be the use of ultra soft water which comes from 1200 meters underground.  Because it has been filtered over all these years it has no single impurity. This water will bring out better the taste of the original chocolate.”

TATSUYA HIRAZAWA

“I’ve always aimed at this competition to challenge myself and others. Since the competition will be now held every 3 years instead of 2, I figured it was my time to participate. Moreover, my chef, Naomi Mizuno (winner of World Chocolate Masters 2007) supportively pushed me to make this decision. With this competition I hope to obtain higher skills, new ideas.”

“Futropolis stands for our own future, it stands for the mix of ideals and anxieties we have for our future world. To come up with my creations I decided to look at the more darker times that will await us in the future, rather than to look at the brighter side. I want to address certain issues that we will be facing, so hopefully there can be something done about it.

For my creations I will be playing with the theme of “The Hope and Anxiety for the Future”, and connect it with Futropolis.”

“The biggest challenge to me is participating itself. I would like to challenge many highly-skilled chefs during this competition.

“My personal favourite Cacao Barry chocolate is the Ghana 40,5%. It fits well with any other ingredients as the taste is light and refreshing. For my creations I will be using chia seeds, but I’m also gonna incorporate the sprout and leaves of this plant.

AKIHIRO KAKIMOTO

“The World Chocolate Masters is to me the competitions that suits me most. I want to increase my expertise in chocolate, not only for myself but also for my customers. I’d like to offer them the best creations possible and inform them about it.”

“Futropolis reflects how chocolate products should look, taste and feel like in the future. For the assignments, I sourced a lot of inspiration from the theme itself. I imagine what future cities would look like and try to translate this into my creations. This can be challenging at times, not only the design part, but also the creation of motion and special effects in my showpiece.”

“I love working with Cacao Barry Saint-Domingue 70% because of its balanced taste. It is easy to bring out the taste of the chocolate.”

“In my creation I will be using roasted eggplants, which is, in my opinion, the secret ingredient that will convince the jury.”

KAZUHIRO NAKAYAMA

“The World Chocolate Masters is a brilliant competition, I feel very excitted. I’m very fortunate to be able to participate! With this competition I want to learn new skills and hope to connect with new people to expand my network.”

“Futropolis stands for hope for the future. The future of people, nature and technology. For this theme, I source a lot of inspiration from nature, which is an important component for me. Nature has to be protected and preserved in order to give our children a better future.”

“My favourite Cacao Barry couverture is the Tanzanie 75% because it brings you to typical chocolate flavour.”

“To convince the jury I will focus mainly on the use of tools and techniques rather than ingredients.”

DAICHI TAKARA

“Participating in the World Chocolate Masters is something I’ve been longing for. I want to compete against other chefs because I would like to bring myself to the top level. I also compete simply because I love chocolate!

I hope to gain more profound knowledge about the profession and develop my professional skills. This competition will teach me hard work and persistence through good and bad times.”

“The theme Futropolis reminds me of neo-futuristic environments. I’m very excited about this theme. When preparing ideas and concept I tried to find inspiration in nature and plants, which will play a big role in the future of our planet. The biggest challenge to overcome will be creating something that doesn’t exist yet.”

“Cacao Barry Alto el Sol 65% is probably my favourite Cacao Barry couverture to work with. It has a deep cacao flavor, which I love, and an excellent balance of aroma, bitterness and sourness. My secret weapon to convince the jury is my folded my pastry with chocolate.”

JIRO TANAKA

“I participate in the World Chocolate Masters competition to improve my qualities as owner patissier. I want to uplift my skills to the next level. By taking part in this competition I also want to secure my position as chocolatier, to establish my name. The biggest challenge in all this will be to create new things.”

“Futropolis is a symbol of evolution and coexistence of nature, technology and humans. For this theme, I try to draw inspiration from various things.”

“For my creations, I try to incorporate elements from my own world that are relevant to the Futropolis theme. I will also try to use innovative techniques and new flavours. My favourite Cacao Barry chocolate is Ghana 40,5%, as it is so delicious.”

TOSHIKAZU TANAKA

“I have been interested in the World Chocolate Masters for a long time. That’s why I decided it was time for me to participate. Through this competition, I would like to refine my tastes and learn the newest techniques.”

“When I think of Futropolis, I think of life with more machineries. Almost everything will be automated. For my creations, I got a lot of my inspirations from cacao farms in Africa. People can expect a lot of delicacy. My secret ingredient that will hopefulle convince the jury is Japanese Sake and sake lees.”

“The biggest challenge to overcome in this competition will be participating itself and creating a showpiece.”

“My favourite Cacao Barry chocolate is Paouasie 35,8%.”

REISUKE TSUDA

“The World Chocolate Masters is an opportunity to learn more about chocolate as our shop is now putting more effort into chocolate products. I want to grow so that I can lead our company to growth. It’s quite a challenge to participate in this competition and manage my own shop at the same time.”

“My main sources of inspiration are buildings and architecture. I think these are important elements for the future.”

“I love working with Cacao Barry Origin products. The Purity from nature series is one of my favourits, at it has strong flavours as never before!”

KENTAROU YAMAMOTO

“Looking at past editions of the World Chocolate Masters, I believe I have gained enough skills myself to compete in this high-end competition. I want to build up my skills and improve myself using challenging new ideas and techniques through this competition.”

“In Futropolis, which takes place in the near future, humans, nature and machinery (AI) will co-exist together, which leads to a better world. I get a lot of inspiration from my own imagination of the future. I imagine humans having to move to another planet, because ours is no longer livable.”

“My biggest challenge to overcome in this competition is to master all the features of chocolate. It’s difficult to fully express my thoughts and ideas through my creations. My secret weapon to convince the jury is the use of dry ice, which will add some special effect to my creation.”

“I love working with Cacao Barry Tanzania. With its strong taste it’s easy very easy to apply in my creations. Zephyr 34% is another one of my favourites. It is less sweet, which allows me to use it in a variety of flavours. Especially when I create bonbons.”