Mr. Szydłowski, a well-known Polish baker and President of the Bakers Federation for the Gdansk region (Poland), was on the jury for the Louis Lesaffre Cup – Africa Mediterranean International Selection round in March 2011. Let's have a quick look at his career path.
Having grown up in a baking family, in 1963 M. Szydłowski started working for his parents' company, going on to acquire his own bakery in Gdańsk 11 years later, which he still owns. Through his varied activities in the profession, he has made his mark as an emblematic figure in the world of baking.
"In 2009 I was awarded the Diploma and the Statuette of "Honourable Polish Baker" in Poland (the most prestigious baking award in his country), as well as the title "Baker of the Year" from the Union International de la Boulangerie-Pâtisserie (UIB)."
As a sponsor of the first edition of the Louis Lesaffre Cup when working for the Union Internationale de la Boulangerie-Pâtisserie, Mr. Szydłowski knowns the competition very well. He gives us his impressions of this Africa Mediterranean selection round.
Andrzej, what did you think of the Louis Lesaffre Cup international selection round?
I am very satisfied with the quality of the products made during the Louis Lesaffre Cup international selections for the Africa Mediterranean zone. The standard of the work from all the participants from Algeria, Morocco, Turkey and Senegal proves how strongly our profession has developed in some of the Arab countries. Most of the products were real masterpieces. During the competition in Casablanca, each team had in its repertoire bread and Viennese pastries with well-balanced flavours that amazed the jury members.
In your view, what does the Louis Lesaffre Cup contribute to bakery?
It's an elite competition that contributes enormously to developing the quality of products in small-scale bakery all over the world.
Do you have any competition stories to relate?
They say that success requires long, intensive preparation, good stress management, relative self-control and the same psychological preparation as for sports. That's true, but above all you must have a hunger to win!
The Senegalese team "burned with zeal"!