UK Pastry Team Ranked 4th In The World – President Jamie Houghton Explains Le Coup du Monde 2021

The Chefs’ Forum couldn’t wait to hear all about the UK Pastry Team’s success at last month’s final of Le Coup du Monde.  UK Team President Jamie Houghton recounted this incredible event, documenting all of the emotion, trials and tribulations along the way – Here’s what happened:

What is the Coup du Monde, how many countries were represented?

Le Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie is the world’s most respected team competition. Each national team has 10 hours to produce a chocolate showpiece, sugar showpiece, plated desserts, chocolate sharing desserts and frozen sharing cakes. Due to COVID-19 only thirteen different countries from around the world took part this time but previous years have seen up to twenty-four countries participate over the two-day competition, all to compete for the coveted title of ‘World Champions’.

Who went? Meet the UK pastry team.

The UK Pastry Team consists of four members: President, Team Captain and two candidates.

This year, I was honoured to be the President, the Team Captain was Chris Seddon, who had also been the Ice Candidate in 2019, Michael Kwan (Hotel Café Royal) was the Chocolate Candidate who was the President in 2019 and Nicolas Houchet, the Sugar Candidate.

What was the run up to the main event like – Tell us about the excitement and focus, the journey over to France?

The run up to any competition is always stressful, but this year with the uncertainty of the pandemic it was particularly hard, as the team had to deal with postponements from January 2021 to the final date in September.

The week before the competition the guys did a final run through, they started at 10:30am and we had a clock set to the times of the competition to work towards.

We invited friends and sponsors to come and try the final tasting and let’s just say everyone left with a smile on their face.

Two days before we left for France we packed and set up everything we needed for the final, Chris drove the van with everything in it down to Lyon, which was an added stress for him, but he had great company to help him.

The rest of the team flew down together and there was definitely a buzz, as most of us had been before we knew what to expect and could use this to get the whole team excited.

Why peach melba – What was the inspiration and story behind the entry?

One of the sponsors for this year’s pastry World Cup was Capfruit. Once the Coupe had released the purée range that we were able to use, it was noticed that you were able to use Peach and Raspberry. The instant thought was to recreate the classic Peach Melba but as an ice cream cake. When it comes to ideas and creations, Chris has a very imaginative mind, always creating astounding results – the cake he created is a testament to that.

This is the cake description that was presented on the day: ‘The ice cream cake is an ice-cream play on a peach melba, with the sweet candy raspberry notes coming from both a coulis and a raspberry marshmallow, the outside layer of yellow peach with a touch of bitterness from the ruby peach centre to help with a less sweet taste and vanilla ice-cream to round it all off and bring it together’.

Tell us about some of the highs and the more emotional moments?

As with any competition, they can take a toll on participants bith physically and mentally, but when you’re working as a team rather than on your own, you can boost each other’s positivity with ideas and creations that get you excited to create the next thing. Everyone has their bad days, but out all of those bad days come even better, stronger and brighter days. The photos that you can see at the end of the 10-hour final where we’re all embracing each other, for me they are very powerful photos because it shows a huge weight being lifted from shoulders and extreme pride in the finished creation.

How proud are you of your fellow UK team members and the result?

Having previously experienced the competition in the capacity of Team Captain and Sugar Candidate in 2019, I know and fully-appreciate the sacrifices you have to make to achieve great things. This year the team ranked 4th place in the world, which is the highest the UK Team has ever achieved and a huge tribute to how much has gone on behind the scenes. The team have continued to show that the pastry scene within the UK is strong and keeps getting stronger. Over the last several editions of the World Cup the UK has come 11th, 9th, 7th, 5th  and now 4th and we will keep getting stronger. I am very proud of what these three guys have created this year and I will forever be proud to have been a part of this world.

What’s next for the UK pastry team?

The UK pastry team is currently having a well-earned rest, but in the not-so-distant future, I believe that the European Cup will be taking place to qualify for the next Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie.

What’s happening with The Chefs’ Forum’s Young Pastry Chef of the Year Competition 2022?

Following the success of the Young Pastry Chef of the Year 2021, I’m currently in conversation with The Chefs’ Forum to design and create the next edition for pastry chefs within the UK that are still in learning. This will be in springtime next year and one thing I can say is that I’m truly excited for the next step of this competition!

For more information on dates and entry requirements of the Young Pastry Chef of the Year competition 2022 contact