WCM National Selection South East Europe

WCM National Selection South East Europe


SEE National Selection for World Chocolate Masters competition at Chocolate Academy Belgrade

After a day filled with all-sensory chocolate excitement created by SEE new generation of highly creative chocolatiers, pastry chefs and chefs, the World Chocolate Masters’ jury announced Marinel Bejan as the winner of the national selections. Runners-up for the second and third place were pastry chefs Pavel Tanev and Sofoklis Andreou. Marinel is a pastry chef with over 20 years of experience in the family business. He won the "Pastry of the Year" award at the national Gastropan competition in 2021 and the award for the best male pastry chef in Romania in 2024.

Photo 1

Anna Gerasi and Marinel Bejan at Award Ceremony

This means that Marinel Bejan will represent SEE during the world final. He will have to compete against other countries that will send their most talented chocolate chefs to compete in a three-day final that will challenge them to push the limits of culinary creativity using our chocolates.

This year, WCM National selection was powered by the Chocolate Academy™ and supported by global chocolate brands Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa. ‘Play!’ was the theme that needed to be reflected in every assignment.
Next to an inspiring theme ‘PLAY!’, the WCM organization has also released a set of assignments for the National Selection – completely linked to the theme. Within a set time of about 8 hours, every contestant needed to realize each of the assignments and convince the jury.

Photo 2

The Tokens - Jumanji inspired dessert by Marinel Bejan for category ''Share the fun''

The winners for those four categories are:

1) Pastry Play:  A deliciously fresh chocolate patisserie from scratch, with chocolate as lead flavor - The winner in this category is Pavel Tanev.

2) Share the Fun: A playful and delicious chocolate delight to share, it should replace a gift - The winner in this category is Sofoklis Andreou.

3) Whimsical Bonbon: A chocolate bonbon that is fun, exciting and refuels people! Must be delicious and guilt-free - The winner in this category is Pavel Tanev.

4) Playbox: An artistic chocolate display that tells the story through artistic sculptures ‘Play!’ with the boundaries of your imagination to give this display stopping power: It should make people stop, look and discover. The winner in this category is Marinel Bejan.