Japan got the silver medal and reached a new milestone at the 2020 Coppa del Mondo della Gelateria (Gelato World Cup). For the very first time in the history the formidable Asian team went on the podium, along with Italy (Gold Medal) and Argentina (Bronze Medal). Three continents and three totally diverse cultures impressed the Jurors and thousands of spectators at the sweet competition organised by SIGEPItalian Exhibition Group (IEG) and Gelato & Cultura on 19-21 January 2020 in the South Hall of Rimini Expo Center. The competition took place during the 41st International Trade Show of Artisan Gelato, Pastry, Bakery and the Coffee World and was visible in live streaming worldwide. It was not the first time that a Japanese team had participated in the Coppa del Mondo della Gelateria, but this year’s team who set the record is the one led by Chef Kanjiro Mochizuki. Members of the team were Naomi Matsuo, Kkenichi Matsunsga, Kengo Akabame and Hiromi Nishikawa. This dream-team got the 2nd place with the theme “The flower of music”.

Team Japan also won the Carlo Pozzi Award.  This special mention is dedicated to the Italian Gelato Master Carlo Pozzi, and it has been given by the Competition Commissioners to Japan for keeping the workstation at its best, considering the highest order and cleanliness standards.

Frozen Art Chef asked Kanjiro Mochizuki the key ingredients of Japan’s success.

All our team members are specialists in ice-carving, sugar-work, fine-dining, culinary-art and gelato-making from the Imperial Hotel Tokyo. The team spirit is strong, we know each other very well and we are used to collaborate effectively. We thought that the most important ability to face the competition was understanding the exact amount of time to finish the works, so we practiced and trained all together at our kitchen at the maximum. 

How do you feel after setting this new record, an important new milestone for Japan? What do you think the judges loved most and what did you learn from this experience? 

It was only our first attempt to join the gelato competition, so I think we still need to educate and train young chefs for next Coppa del Mondo della Gelateria in 2022. Judges loved to find out new techniques and innovative combinations of ingredients. The most important lesson I learnt is the hard work of the organisers to make the competition serious and professional. It is not easy to make judges and competitors understand rules and results.

Japan officially got the right to have independent selections for the 10th Coppa del Mondo della Gelateria. Are you already thinking about dedicated selections? 

Yes, I am. I talked to the president of Carpigiani Japan about the national selections of the 2022 Coppa del Mondo della Gelateria. I started learning gelato art by participating at international competitions in Italy and in USA. Competitions of its kind are precious to spread the culture of this delicious product. I’ll do my best to support the selections.

The Asian Gelato Cup will take place in Singapore in July 2020. Countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Korea already confirmed their participation. Any recommendation for the Asian Chefs who will take part in this event?

Speaking about the artistic approach, it’s better to focus on a stunning showpiece that may be displayed at a museum. Considering the taste, I recommend not to make things too complicated. All the teams shall always clean their kitchen and respect the rules.

Do you expect more surprises at Coppa del Mondo della Gelateria 2022, speaking about Asian teams? 

The level of Asian competitors will be higher and higher, just think at the victory of Team Malaysia at the 2019 Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie.

Which trend do you forecast about frozen desserts in Asia?

It’s hard to make all the judges understand local flavors. They may be considered “exotic”. Soft Gelato is very popular in Japan, it’s a growing trend due to its velvety consistency and the “warm” temperature. Soft Gelato is lighter and smoother than gelatos and sorbets displayed in tubs. To make soft gelato properly at Coppa del Mondo della Gelateria, we would love to work on a dedicated machine. I already asked Carpigiani to consider the possibility to add soft gelato machines.

So, the very first international selection of the 2022 Coppa del Mondo della Gelateria will be the Asian Gelato Cup. It will take place on 13-14 July 2020 at FoodHotel&Asia Show (Singapore Expo). The Asian Gelato Cup (AGC) is a biennial event supported by the Singapore Pastry Alliance, Gelato e Cultura S.r.l. and Italian Exhibition Group Expo S.p.a. It seeks to highlight the tradition of artisan gelato in Asia, with the primary goal to develop the professional skills of gelato, dessert and pastry chefs in the region whilst igniting creativity and interest in gelato making.

This year’s theme of “Easter Wonderland” will require the competing teams display a grand gelato buffet consisting plated desserts, gelato cakes, gourmet gelato and an artistic showpiece within a time limit of 8 hours. The top 2 teams will represent Asia (excluding Japan) to participate in the prestigious Gelato World Cup 2022 to be held in Rimini, Italy. While waiting for this competition, let us share with you the exclusive “Garden in a Glass” soft gelato recipe of team Japan at the 2020 Coppa del Mondo della Gelateria.