AlumniDanna Vu – On life after winning the Culinary World Cup

Congratulations Danna, how does it feel to have won in Luxembourg?

Thank you! I have now had some time for it all to settle, but it still feels unreal. And a little weird as well, as my life has gone from running at top speed down to rest after 1.5 years of preparations.

Danna Vu Culinary World Cup champion, Culinary Arts Pastry Alumna

What does this win mean for you?

Of course it has opened doors for me as a pastry chef. More people now know my name and have become interested in my work.

To win was a huge deal, but the real value for me has always been the journey I took to get here together with my team.

How did you decide on the winning dessert?

I have always been interested in the finer details and desserts that require a lot of skill to make. When you create things with your hands without using cutters for example, that’s my kind of work. The overall competition theme was harvest home, and we thought sea buckthorn berries paired with chocolate would be a great match.

Danna Vu Culinary World Cup champion, Culinary Arts Pastry Alumna

What was the most complicated part of the dessert?

The sugar ribbon that encloses the chocolate rose took at least 10 months to perfect. I first tried with purée made from mango that I dried, but it didn’t last in room temperature. After that I tried to make the ribbon out of pectin, but it didn’t get transparent enough. Finally, I got the transparency and durability right using dried glucose and the mango purée.

What drives you to compete?

Of course I have a strong passion for cooking and everything that has to do with kitchen work. But what drives me is probably the people I get to work with and the great experience you get to as a team.

Danna Vu Culinary World Cup champion, Culinary Arts Pastry Alumna

Tell us about your time in Luxembourg?

We arrived six days before competition day and filled each one with early mornings and late nights to produce everything for our dishes that we couldn’t produce in advance. For example, we couldn’t make the panna cotta before leaving Sweden due to its red interior as it would’ve leaked into the white dessert before the competition.

What’s next for you?

I want to keep competing.

I really love to compete as a part of a team and want to see how far I can go. Along the way, I will also focus on developing my own craftmanship.

Danna Vu, Culinary Arts Pastry Alumna

How much of a personal artistic style is there in making desserts?

You can always put your own touch on a pastry. But it’s a long road to develop your own unique style. I like the small and tiny details, for example the small hazelnut “spear” that you see in the chocolate dessert.

Certificate in Swiss Pastry and Chocolate Arts

Danna Vu graduated in 2016 from Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland with a Certificate in Swiss Pastry and Chocolate.

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