A Tale of Perseverance

Francesco Boccia and the Italy team won the 2015 “Coupe du Monde de la Pattisserie” even though part of the chocolate sculpture fell apart, 30 minutes before the competition ended.

Francesco Boccia is known as international pastry consultant with modern concept of pastry that is instantly recognizable through his creations. Born and raised in the family of pastry chefs, of course Boccia is way ahead compared to his peers. He started working in the family business when he was merely 13 and then moved to vocational training with the most important Italian pastry chefs. And at the age of 20, he won the National Pastry Cup. After that, he won numerous awards such as National and World Pastry Team Champion, Pastry Chef of the Year, the selection of World Chocolate Masters.

In 2015, Francesco Boccia and his team, Italy, won the “Coupe du Monde de la Pattisserie” and obtained the highest score ever recorded in all the trials of the competition, despite of a fatal accident. In the same year, he became the honorary member of the AMPI (Accademia Maestri Pasticceri Italiani), the most important Italian association of pastry chefs. Chocolate showpieces are his passion but he also put special interest on pralines, plated dessert, chocolate desserts, tarts and all pastry creations. Here’s our exclusive interview with the man:

What is the best thing of being born and raised in a renowned pastry chef family?

The best thing is I was able to grow inside the laboratory and learn all the basic techniques of pastry.

You're widely known as the 2015's Champion of Coupe du Monde de la Pattisserie, please tell us the preparation story for the competition.
The preparation lasted more than one year, with over 2000 hours of training! The team was formed on 2013 for the italian selection.

I heard you and your team had a fatal accident, what happened?
30 minutes before the end, a part of chocolate sculpture fell down. It was unbelievable, but we solved everything in the right way.

I had a friend in Indonesia, Matteo Meacci, an Italian chef. He said that the situation in Italy wasn't too good and it has made the youngsters searching for jobs abroad, especially in Asia. What's actually happening there?

In Italy, we have a deep tax pressure and the economic situation is not very good for everybody. It means the people spend less money on pastries.

Do you remember how did you fell in love with chocolate?

I fell in love with chocolate when I was very young, watching my father working with chocolate for Easter. I started from that moment to play with it.

According to you, what makes a brand of chocolate superior to the other?

First of all, good chocolate must be made of good (cacao) beans, well fermented and dried. Then, an accurate roasting and refining method is necessary to preserve all the aromatic features coming from the beans.

Please tell us the best Italian dolce(s) that we never know about.
I like all the products with ricotta cheese inside; my favourites are Cannolo Siciliano (from Sicily) and Pastiera di Grano (from Campania, my region).