From March 6-10, Europain will welcome hordes of craft bakers to its popular site at Parc des Expositions near Paris. It will fill almost four halls. And it is certainly not an exclusive craft show indeed, Hall 4 is given over to industrial bakery. But just as Iba leans more towards machinery, the character of Europain is different and, as the French are keen to say, "Vive la différence".
At Europain there is more of an emphasis on new products, crusty products, high-class pastries and patisserie and creative ways with ingredients and chocolate. Hall 3 is for artisan bakery and it is the biggest hall.
The French are very proud of their skills and their lengthy training to become a skilled boulanger or patissier. So Hall 2 is patisserie, pastry and a shop ’Le Magazine’. It is also the Rue des Ecoles the street of schools so look out for the end-result of all that training: demonstrations and competitions. This is where it promises to get really lively.
Europain always plans to be a show that inspires and measures quality, as well as informing visitors about everything from mechanical updates to ovens and mixers. However, Hall 1 is a little different: sugar, chocolate and ice cream sit under the umbrella of sister show, Intersuc, but visitors can wander freely between the two.
Have you heard of the Lesaffre Bakery World Cup? The selection procedure takes place in 40 countries around the world, including our own Baking Industry Exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham from March 2124. It takes place over a two-year period and is narrowed down to nine teams of finalists, each comprising three people.
The competition also takes place at Europain but the next Europain in two years’ time, not this one. Instead, at this show, there is the Bakery Masters event, where 24 candidates from seven countries, all renowned professionals aged between 18 and 55, will perform individually in their specialist category: bread-making, Viennese pastries and an artistic piece made from dough.
The competitions will take place on the opening on Saturday, 5 March through to Tuesday 9 March. The winners will be announced on Wednesday 10 March at 11am.
Judges will include Peter Becker, a master baker, past-president of the German Bakers’ Association and now president of the International Union of Bakers, and Christian Vabret, a master baker who holds the title Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Trade Craftsman in France), having beaten all other craft trades to win the title.
According to the organisers, the competition events each day require "the highest level of professional expertise, but also great emphasis on imagination, reactivity and the ability to adapt".
Hopefully UK bakers will find some interesting innovations among the equipment and products or will simply enjoy watching fellow craftsmen at work.
Events and registration
The Bakery Masters Event: Experts make bread and pastry.
The Rue des Ecoles: Brings together some 25 training institutions, covering every level of experience. They will give talks and demonstrations.
The French Schools Cup: Features three categories bakery, Viennoiserie and pastry. The competition is directed at students in education aged up to 22 years.
International Confectionery Art Competition: Takes place over three days and 21 hours of competition and comprises mixed-doubles teams (one male, one female contestant) from around the world. The pieces to be made will include: 1 pastillage piece; 1 sugar piece; 3 fresh petits fours (1 tartlet, 1 choux pastry and 1 free choice); 1 pistachio trilogy (1 dessert, 1 small cake and 1 petit four); 3 chocolate sweets (1 fruit ganache, 1 praline and 1 free choice); 1 chocolate piece; 1 plated dessert with small verrine (presented on the plate).
Innovation area: Devoted to innovative products and equipment. This future-oriented area showcases actual products or photos of products.
The organisers state: "It is a big hit with attendees, with 58% visiting this sector in 2008. After all, it responds to one of their main reasons for being there: in 2008, 65% of visitors stated they came to the exhibition on the look-out for innovative products and equipment."
To register for show atten-dance: go to the website at www.europain.com or tel: +33 (0) 1 40 16 44 48; fax: +33 (0) 1 42 85 29 00; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org