Sigep Bread Cup
After our success in Moscow in October 2006, I was asked to join the Israeli team to the European Bread Competition at SIGEP, one of the most important exhibitions in Europe for bread, confectionery, chocolate, coffee and ice cream industry in Rimini, northern Italy. It was my first visit to Italy since I immigrated to Israel, and fell in love with Italy and the Italians. Warm, creative and kind people who are fun to be with, I met people who are my friends to this day.
After years of dreaming about Italy, here I come
I just discovered that bread can also be sculpted...
My role in the Israeli team was to make a statue of baked bread dough. I admit that until then I did not even know there was such a thing and I had no idea where to begin.
I purchased documentary material via the Internet, and although I learned quite a bit from it, some of the raw materials do not exist in Israel. I called all the flour mills in Israel and at Stibel they were very nice and helpful with professional knowledge, especially the engineers Alex and Fridi. It helped me develop some of the recipes myself.
Each team was asked to create a unique monument from its land. I went to "Mini Israel" to find something interesting and, surprisingly, I found the Tomb of the Maimonides in Tiberias, which until then I had not known existed. It is a bit shameful considering that I grew up there, but it was an excellent opportunity to close this corner.
After creating two prototypes for the sculpture of the Tomb of Maimonides, which is a very complex structure, I was pleased with the result.
I made charts and maps, and printed recipes and a workflow. I was ready to travel with quite a bit of apprehension, especially in view of the fact that I did not know what I was going for and who was going.
Mט first shock (except for the freezing cold)'was when Fausto Rivola, the president of the Italian Bakers Club Arti a Mastiari, took us to set up our ingredients at the Rimini exhibition grounds.
It was an unimaginable size for me. 16 huge halls on more than 300,000 square meters !! Regardless of the size, of the place is amazing in the overall design with the balloon pool in the center.
I began to get excited on the one hand and anxious on the other when I saw the bread artworks from previous years that were already there on display.
For the next four days we worked like madmen from morning to night. The team included three: Jackie the baker, Ronen the confector, me the artist and captain Reuven, who was also a member of the jury.
Every day, huge quantities of produce had to be prepared in accordance with very precise instructions, and all the produce was sold to the public while all the income was dedicated to a social thing that was in itself beautiful and every day each team presented its dish to the public. Jackie chose to speak Hebrew and I translated. It was really beautiful because after him everyone spoke their own languages.
The last day was our day, the Bread Artists
Unlike the bakers and pastry chefs, we sculptors worked on our project very slowly. On the first day I was in some trouble because my most important ingredient (glucose) was not available.
The one who saved me was the angel Pierre Paolo Genghini who ran with me to the ice cream area (which took up half of this exhibition), and we ran 35 minutes in each direction.
At the ice cream parlor we happily found Glucose and Piero remained a friend forever, as well as his lovely wife, who comes every year to help.
On my right was the genius artist Luca Franceschi, who built an amazing coliseum. I was really flattered when he asked me what I was doing, and both Luca and his wife Maria Cristina remained friends and we met since many more times.
There were a lot of amazing bread artworks, especially by the French and the Portuguese, but when Luka turned on the light, we all stayed in the dark, and he won easily and rightfully so. And not only Luca but all the Italian team won the competition in all its sectors. ANd they deserved it.
I was very pleased with my fourth place both group and personal.
In the little time remaining, I took a walk in the city of Rimini, which is a very touristic town but in the winter. Everything closes early
The Sigep Trade Show
The exhibition itself is amazing. More than half the halls are dedicated for ice cream, which of course includes all the heavy equipment like refrigerators and more to go with it. It did not occur to me that a whole room could be devoted to ice-cream cones in every color shape and size. Another whole hall only for packaging.
Unfortunately, I did not have time to see much but it was an excellent excuse to come back.
In 2008, I sent a bread artwork in that took part in a fashion show in which models wore baked accessories, including my necklace and earrings.
In 2009 I returned to the exhibition as a member of the Italian team and demonstrated the preparation of candies and sugar flowers, and also prepared a fondant creation in front of the audience that included motifs from the city and from the exhibition itself.
A touching gift from the German team
The German team adopted me and this too has become a friendship to this day with Eva, Hans and Freirena, and also with the wonderful Marilena who served as an interpreter
In 2010 - the exhibition celebrated 30 years, and I was invited along with a few other pastry chefs to open the 30 events. Each of us chose a well known Italian fashion designer and made his fashion accessories from edible materials. I chose FENDI and made fashion accessories from marzipan.
For this trip I was spontaneously joined by Yaki the kibbutznik pastry chef, whom in met in Italy for the first time, most of the photos here are his.
In 2012 I returned with the talented Eden Alkobi who participated in the Saranno Famosi competition and won.
In 2017, I was asked to prepare a baked bread artwork under the heading of Israeli Innovation, and the sculptor traveled here with the Israeli team that participated in the Champion's Championship.
In 2018 - I visited again, this time as a tourist.