There are various teams of judges and various elements of the competition being judged. Not just the finished products in terms of taste and appearance but also the way they did their work. The taste judging is done "blind" with each team getting assigned a number. The judges don't know which team's products they're judging and their backs are to the team kitchens when they sample the desserts.
Each team must produce:
- 1 sugar showpiece
- 1 chocolate showpiece
- 1 sugar/chocolate amenity presentation piece for displaying bonbons on buffet table
- 14 identical plated desserts
- 3 different types of chocolate bonbons
- 3 identical entremets
- 3 identical entremets glace
- 3 different types of petits gateaux
The highlight of the competition is always the showpieces at the end. Each team has to create one showpiece made of sugar and one of chocolate. This year's theme was astrology and it was interesting to see how each team interpreted that for their showpieces. There are very strict rules in terms of the type of shapes they can use and what equipment is permissible or not. They also must transport their showpieces from their stations to the display table. Many a heart has been broken when a showpiece shatters.