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French Promote Art of Bread and Pastry Baking

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The French will celebrate their renowned baking and culinary skills with a French Bread Festival.

The festival started on Wednesday and runs through Saturday at the Shanghai New International Exhibition Center (SNIEC) as part of the Bakery China 2010 convention.

The festival features a seminar on Sunday at the France Pavilion in the World Expo Pudong site. Coinciding with the Day of Bakers in France, it will be a professional business-to-business seminar opened by Thierry Mathou, the French consul general in Shanghai.

During the festival two French master bakers will perform.

Pascal Tepper, who has launched franchises across Europe, the Middle East and North America, has demonstrated his skills at the French stand of the Bakery China exhibition.

Tepper won the Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 2000. The award is the highest honor in French baking and thousands compete for the coveted prize that has been awarded to fewer than 40 bakers.

In 1992, he launched the World Cup of Baking, attracting top bakers from across the globe. The project promotes the craft as many bakers have chosen to become businessmen, rather than artists in the kitchen.

As well as demonstrating his magic, Vabret will work with disadvantaged young people who are learning baking as part of the Shanghai Young Bakers Project.

The program, run by the French Junior Chamber and supported by the French Consulate in Shanghai, gives students occupational skills in French baking by providing training and industry job placements at Shanghai bakeries.

Speaking at the festival's launch on Wednesday, Tepper said there is increasing interest in and demand for French baked products.

"This is the fourth time I have come to Shanghai and there is a real increase in interest because more and more people are traveling to Europe and discovering the art of bread and pastry making," Tepper said.

"When they return home, they want to eat what they tried overseas so there is growing demand for good quality French gastronomy and baking," he said.

The exhibition at the French Pavilion will run from 10am to midday on Sunday.

(Shanghai Daily May 14, 2010)

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