• 2nd Place – Frederic Loraschi, chocolatier and owner of Chocolat Frederic Loraschi LLC in Hummelstown, Pa.
• 3rd Place – Stephen Durfee, pastry chef instructor at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif.
Bortolini and Loraschi were also recognized with special awards for “Best Chocolate Showpiece” and “Best Tasting,” respectively.
Sylvain Bortolini from Las Vegas, Nevada
Sylvain Bortolini studied at the Association Ouvriéres Des Compagnons Du Tour De France in Bordeaux, France.
Prior to joining the Bellagio resort, Bortolini worked as a pastry chef at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach resort in Florida and the InterContinental Presidente hotel in Mexico City. In 2007, he won the Mexican Pastry Championship for his sugar work and chocolate sculpture.
Bortolini has also served as pastry chef for two star Michelin-rated restaurants and gourmet chocolate shops in France.
As part of the competition, each participant created a large chocolate sculpture that conveyed the theme of this year’s competition – “Cocoa, Quetzalcoatl’s Gift” – using professional gourmet chocolate brands Callebaut, Cacao Barry, and Carma, as well as some inspiration from the ancient Aztec legend surrounding the origins of cocoa in South America. They also showcased their skills by creating a chocolate entremet, two types of pralines, and a plated dessert.
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