A British bakery student has competed as the youngest contestant in Délifrance’s 9th Sandwich World Cup this week.

British Baker accompanied 18-year-old Emily Smith of Brookland’s College in Weybridge to the annual competition this Tuesday (14 February), which was hosted at the Paris School of Bakery and Pastry. Smith created the British Diamond – a peppered beef sandwich with kale, bitter greens and a caper and gherkin mayonnaise – in front of a renowned panel of industry judges, including French chef and television personality Pierre Sang Boyer.

Smith, who went head-to-head with seven international bakery and catering students, had 50 minutes to create six sandwiches – one of which was made in front of the judges – and discuss how her recipe fitted with the criteria of the competition. Contestants were marked on the taste and look of the sandwich, in addition to price, time preparation and nutritional value.

Despite not making the final three, Smith said she was proud of her efforts throughout the competition: “Just to be in Paris was a massive deal, but the whole competition was an amazing experience. It has been a big learning step. I’ve already met so many people who have taught me something along the way, so I have benefited from the whole experience. Wanting to be able to do pastry and bakery in the future, this is very beneficial for my training.”

Smith was pipped to the post by contestants from Malaysia, Japan and Belgium, who competed for the winning title at this year’s Sandwich and Snack Show at Paris Porte de Versailles. The top prize, which went to Le Cordon Bleu Paris student Darren Chin from Malaysia, included a 10-day training programme with the industry’s top talent in bakery throughout Paris. Chin created a South-east Asian sandwich with pork neck meat combined with coriander, spring onions and Thai basil and accompanied with julienne vegetables and a tonka vinaigrette.

David Mizon, director of Train2bake.com and judge of Délifrance’s UK heats of the Sandwich World Cup, said: “Emily is fantastic – very confident and passionate about what she does. What made her sandwich stand out was that it was a truly British product, plus it was of a high quality, using good bread and it looks very gastro.

“The standards across the UK colleges were high and it was very difficult for us to pick a winner, with the top three having very little between them. But it showed that students were thinking outside the box and creating some very weird, wonderful and funky sandwiches across the UK.”

Smith added: “The sandwich was meant to be the best representation of Britain, so we locally sourced as many ingredients as possible, using 100% British beef and kale from the south coast of England.”

Lucy Pickersgill, Délifrance UK head of foodservice, said: “Our candidate for the Délifrance Sandwich World Cup was picked as a bakery student because we know there’s a wealth of hidden talent that deserves to be recognised. We’re delighted to see the UK, who originally pioneered the sandwich, take a worthy place in the final among the best talent in the world.

"We’re pleased to see Emily took away not only experience of competing in an international competition but also toured the Paris School of Bakery and Pastry which showcased the high level of education that takes place at our world renowned training facility. Emily did us very proud and we are sure this is not the last the bakery industry has heard of this talented and bright individual.”

Music: Thingamajig by Jason Shaw (Creative Commons licence)

YouTube link: http://youtu.be/-gx7K8Fi6BA