October 12, 2017

Judges – 2017


In the early nineties Christophe Michalak will start his journey that will take him around the world. After London, he returned to France in 1993 and worked in Hotel Negresco in Nice for two years, then for Fauchon until 1997. He flew to Kobe in Japan for a year to open a bakery, then to New York where he is a consultant for Pierre Hermé (1998-1999). Back in Paris, after passing through Ladurée, he became a pastry chef of the hotel Plaza Athénée in 2000. The dedication arrives in 2005 , he won the title of Best Pastry in the world. Passionate about his job, Christophe Michalak got down to writing books in which he delivers some of the secrets of his pastry.

In 2007, he published his first cookbook, ˜Piece of Cake . Since he published several tasty variations; ˜Desserts That Make Me Crack , ˜Chocolate Makes Me Crack , ˜The Cake of My Dreams and ˜The Best Desserts of France . His work extends to television with the show ˜Cake of My Dreams , and organises the jury of the show ˜Who Will Be The Next Great Baker? .

In September 2013 he opened a pastry school in Paris, the Masterclass Michalak and three stores, ˜Pâtisserie Christophe Michalak in Paris.


Antonio Bachour has over 300,000 followers on Instagram and is currently Executive Pastry chef of St Regis Hotel and Owner of ‘Bachour Bakery and Bistro’ in Miami, Florida.

Antonio grew up in Puerto Rico and was hooked on pastry from a young age, thanks to a childhood spent in his family s bakery. He went on to graduate from Johnson & Wales, and then spent his first few years honing his trade in Puerto Rico as a pastry cook at Sand Hotel and Casino and Westin Rio Mar before moving on to the Ritz-Carlton in San Juan, where he was pastry sous chef for two years. 2001 found Bachour States-bound, in Miami Beach, as pastry chef at Talula.

In 2009, Bachour was asked by KNR Food Concepts to be a part of the opening team at the W South Beach Hotel, and particularly Solea. Shortly after, he took over responsibility for all pastries for The Trump Soho hotel and its restaurants. This year Dessert Professional Magazine selected Bachour as one of their œTop 10 Pastry Chefs for 2011. Antonio now splits his time teaching around the world and running his business.

Antonio is a best selling author of several books including his latest, ‘Chocolate’.

jordi rocaJORDI ROCA

Spanish Pastry Chef Jordi Roca was named the Best Pastry chef in the world for 2015 San Pelligrino s Top 50 and in 2015 el Celler de Can Roca was awarded number one on San Pelligrino s Top 50 Restaurants list and awarded its third Michelin star.

In the kitchen of el Celler de Can Roca, Joan (46) does savory, Josep (44) liquid, and Jordi (32) sweet. Together they view the dining experience as one intimately tied to all the senses. In 2003 the Roca brothers opened a second restaurant, Moo, in the chic Hotel Omm in Barcelona. Add to this another hotel restaurant Nurum, their kitchen laboratory el Taller, plus a catering business, banquet hall, and a summer offering at the annual
Garden Festival in Cap Roig.

Jordi is also an author of several books including ‘Celler De Can Roca, El’ and ‘The Desserts of Jordi Roca’.


Hailing from Ireland, Paul Kennedy has over 30 years in the chocolate and pastry industry.

Having worked in numerous exquisite restaurants honing his craft, Paul moved to Australia and continued his culinary dream as Executive Pastry Chef at Cairns International.

In 2007, Paul was the Winner of the Best Chocolates in the World at the World Chocolate Masters in Paris, joining a very exclusive club of winners of the award. He then had the honour of representing Australia in the Grand Prix of Patisserie in Japan.

Paul now works at Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School in Melbourne teaching thousands of students a year and mentoring several.

Kirsten Tibballs


Kirsten Tibballs, proclaimed by MasterChef Australia as ˜the Queen of Chocolate , is one of Australia s most celebrated and internationally respected pastry chefs and chocolatiers.

Kirsten represented Australia at the World Pastry Team Championships in Las Vegas, USA, where she was recognised as the best in the world for her handmade chocolates. She also won a Gold and Bronze medal at the Pastry Olympics in Germany. As a testament to her skills, Kirsten was given the honour of judging the World Chocolate Masters in Paris.

Kirsten s talents extend beyond the kitchen and her first self-published cookbook, Chocolate to Savour, won the award for Best Photography from Gourmand in the UK.

She regularly contributes recipes and articles to a number of the world s leading pastry publications including So Good… MagazinePastry and Baking North AmericaPastry and Baking Asia Pacific. Kirsten makes regular television appearances, including MasterChef Australia and Everyday Gourmet.

As ambassador for leading chocolate manufacturer, Callebaut, Kirsten regularly travels throughout Europe and the Asia Pacific demonstrating her craft.

With a desire to pass on her knowledge to other passionate food lovers and professional chefs, Kirsten established Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School in 2002 in Brunswick, Melbourne.