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Taipei International Bakery Show draws enthusiastic gourmet food lovers

TAIPEI--Tens of thousands of gourmet food lovers on Saturday flocked to the Taipei International Bakery Show to sample sweets, check out the latest trends in the food industry, and show support for Taiwanese bakers vying in a world pastry championship.

Event-goers busied themselves at the over 100 booths at the Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall, where a wide variety of baking-related items were showcased, from raw ingredients to finished food products and baking equipment.

There were also long lines of people waiting to attend seminars to hear from lecturers over recipes.

“I fly to this show every year to understand the trends,” said Michael Teh, a Malaysian national who runs a pastry shop at home.

The show is equally important for participating vendors who said the chance to network and get to know their customers is crucial to their research and development efforts.

“We can also take this opportunity to share with consumers better ways to select and prepare their food,” said Su Mei-ying, who was there representing the China Grain Products Research & Development Institute.

On the sidelines of the show, 12 chefs from eight countries, including Taiwan, Japan, Brazil and Germany, came to compete for the 2014 Union of International Bakers and Confectioners (UIBC) Junior World Pastry Championship.

Chefs were required to present different works, including a 200-centimer-high installation made of chocolate. The chefs and their edible artwork grabbed a lot of attention and cheers from the crowd — especially the two Taiwanese bakers in the competition.

Japan's Midori Matsuda took the top prize for her chocolate forest. Chiu Hsien-lin of Taiwan also turned heads with her “Monsters, Inc.”-inspired edible artwork, which won her fourth place.

The UIBC championship is the largest international bakery competition Taiwan has ever undertaken, according to the Taipei Bakery Association.

The baking exhibit will enter its fourth and last day Sunday.

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