If the next time you’re playing Trivial Pursuit, one of the questions is ‘Who the Best Pastry Chef of Europe was in 1990’, you can be sure that the right answer is Paco Torreblanca.
But Paco’s success isn’t a thing of the past, his successful International School of Pastry Arts based in Petrer, Alicante is so successful that it receives 1,800 applications a year and is planning to open up a new school in Abu Dabi, where Paco and his equally talented son Jacob were invited in 2012 to demonstrate their talents with a masterclass in how to sweeten the Arabian palate with Spanish delight.
Paco was also the Best Pastry Chef at the Pastry Cup of Italy 1996 and author of the Best Desserts Book of the World 2003 – ‘The work of Paco Torreblanca’.
He also created the wedding cake and desserts for the royal wedding Prince and Princess of Asturias.
Jacob has also had some international success as World’s Pastry Championship runner-up in Rimini 2004, Best chocolate cake World of Pastry Cup Lyon 2005, Best chocolate cake World Championship Rimini 2004 and third classified at the ice cream championship celebrated in Brussels 2002.
Despite this national and international acclaim, Paco, who was born in Alicante in 1951, is more focused on an idea to open a pastry school for young people without resources, which would be financed by the sales of the traditional desserts, pastries and cakes produced by the students.
Paco’s own apprenticeship in the culinary arts began in the sixties when he went to Paris at the tender age of 12 to study with his mentor Jean Millet.
His chain of pastry shops now extends to Elda, Valencia and Alicante, where a second is about to open, run by one of his other children, David.