We met Urs Meichtry several years ago, when we began working with Richemont—Switzerland’s Centre of Excellence for all things pastry, bakery and confectionery, and our world class educational partner. Meichtry is a multiple Gold Medal Winner in culinary art and patisserie exhibitions. He’s a commissioner at the WorldSkills competition, and supervises the participants that go on to compete at WorldSkills and SwissSkills.
Last month, we were able to see him in action, as he oversaw Pasty and Confectionery week during our Train the Trainer sessions, and helped train our Richemont Master Trainers in classic Swiss recipes. We interviewed him to learn what the experience was like for him, working with our international team of GSL Master Trainers (see full interview below):
"I've worked with students from all over the world before and have always had good experiences. Pedro, Diego, Abner, and Tina confirmed that, once again...it was amazing to see their enthusiasm, passion for detail and their willingness to evolve...The team spirit throughout the two weeks was incredible. It showed me that there is so much possible, even when you don't all speak or understand the same languages."
During training, Diego and Abner, originally from Brazil, put a Brazilian twist on a classic Swiss recipe they learned during the training. The two created special edition Kirschstengeli, using the Brazilian spirit Cocoa, instead of Kirsch, as a filling, and splattering them with yellow and green as decoration, instead of the traiditional cocoa powder. Seeing what the trainers came up with had an impact on Meichtry, and the Kirschstengeli ended up being his favorite recipe to create with the trainers.
How was the experience for you?
Working with the trainers—professionals from different parts of the world, with Diego and Abner, from Brazil and Tina from China?
I've worked with students from all over the world before and have always had good experiences. Diego, Abner and Tina confirmed that, once again. The chemistry was there from the first moment on. For me, it was amazing to see their enthusiasm, passion for detail and their willingness to evolve.
Could you describe a moment that stood out to you during the 2 weeks?
The team spirit throughout the two weeks was incredible. It showed me that there is so much possible, even when you don't all speak or understand the same languages.
Could you tell me your favorite recipe that you made with the trainers? Why was it your favorite recipe?
The Kirschstengeli! This recipe requires a lot of expertise, and every time I'm fascinated all over again, to see how the sugar alcohol solution (the Kirsch) is so perfectly enclosed in a sugar crust. With expertise you can skilfully change the taste of the content, and yet the essence of the product remains.
Was there anything about the experience that surprised you?
Nothing exactly surprised, but confirmed. Tina, Diego and Abner already had such a strong foundation of knowledge, and with the training, they could really expand upon this. I have a very good feeling that all three will not only bring the Richemont/Swiss spirit to their countries, but live it as well in their work.
Our trainers had a great time learning new recipes and skills, to help our Richemont students succeed in their courses, and we are looking forward to the next Train the Trainer sessions in the future.