Caring magazine：A young baker’s personal developement in SYB
5月11日，法国面包节（La fête du pain）在上海举行了开幕仪式，法国法国驻沪总领事柯瑞宇先生，法国驻沪总领事商务投资处农业参赞Helene Hovassen 女士出席了活动。一年一度的法国面包节是一个烘焙业欢庆的日子， 始于1995年，旨在促进法国专业烘焙人士与爱好者之间的的交流，它同样在国际范围内得到传播，法国面包节至今已落沪6年，成为中法两国烘焙业交流的平台。
The opening ceremony of Fête du pain took place on May 11st, French Consul of Shanghai M. Axel Cruau attended the event. Fête du Pain was founded in 1995 and aims to gather professionals and passionates of French bread throughout France. It has also spread internationally and will be celebrated in Shanghai for the 6th consecutive year.
Shanghai Young Bakers is a charity program providing free training in French bakery and pastry to marginalized Chinese youth aged from 17 to 23, enabling them to find qualified jobs and lead independent lives after graduation. La Fête du Pain is for us the proof of the international recognition of the bakery skill, a very well-respected art worldwide and often undervalued by the youth we are helping, before they join our program.
Zhang Zhenghai, Bakery Technical Director of SYB attented the opening ceremony as well. For Zhang Zhenghai, La Fête du Pain wasalso the chance to meet again his former teacher, MOF Baker Christian Vabret, whom in addition of his support to Shanghai Young Bakers just started a partnership with L’Arôme Institute.
Zhang Zhenghai was a student at SYB, In 2009, SYB launched its first pilot training: that was the first time Zhang Zhenghai stepped foot into the big city of Shanghai and also the first time he entered the fascinating world of baking. Born in a small village near Baoji in Shaanxi province, where the villagers grow many different kinds of fruits and vegetables, Pierre has always been very proud of where he comes from. Despite the beautiful surroundings, life had not been easy while growing up and his family was facing financial difficulties, thus at a young age he decided to not continue his studies and started working at a factory. This is when, Children of Madaifu, one of SYB’s first partner NGOs, told him about the launch of Shanghai Young Bakers’ training program and the opportunity for him to learn a valuable skill.
After graduating from SYB in 2010, Zhang Zhenghai was selected by SYB to study at the prestigious Ecole Française de Boulangerie et Pâtisserie d’Aurillac (EFBPA), founded by MOF Christian Vabret, and thus learnt French at the Alliance Française of Shanghai prior to his studies in France. Zhang Zhenghai successfully graduated from the French CAP diploma in 2011 and taught the art of French bakery to four batches of Young Bakers. Zhang Zhenghai’s passion took him even further: in May 2015, he placed first in the baguette and special breads category in the China edition of the Louis Lesaffre Cup Bakery Competition and, in November 2015, Zhang Zhenghai and his two team members represented China at the Asia-wide bakery competition in Indonesia. Their impressive results qualified them to compete at the World Bakery Cup in Paris in February 2016, where they placed 4th!
Bakery World Cup is a leading event for the world’s greatest bakers, China team put on an acrobatic show. Although it missed the bronze medal by a hair, but in total score, China surpassed Japan and US, respectively the first and second winner in the last competition in 2012. By showing their exceptional baking mastery and surprising creations, China achieved the fourth place for the first time in the history of the contest.
French President Hollande himself was there to witness the contest and sent his regards, accompanied by Mr. Christian Vabret, M.O.F., head of the Ecole Française de Boulangerie d’Aurillac, and founder of Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie. Zhang Zhenghai is now the Bakery Technical Director at SYB and has been consulting with a number of both amateur and professional bakers to help them learn and develop new skills or professional recipes, trough 4-day professional trainings and Master classes.
Like each of the SYB teachers, Zhang Zhenghai has not only adhered to SYB’s social mission, through teaching disadvantaged Chinese youth a skill they will be able to use for a lifetime, he has also proven one can develop his full potential when given the right tools and support. His expertise and dedication to transmitting his skill and passion have been very much appreciated by the participants and has won him wide recognition throughout China.