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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

British Chocolatiers Come Out on Top in International Chocolate Awards‏

British chocolatiers led the way in the filled chocolate categories of the World Finals of the International Chocolate Awards earlier this month, with the likes of Paul a Young and Damian Allsop beating off stiff competition from top chocolatiers from around the world.

The International Chocolate Awards World Final featured the best of the best from the fine chocolate industry. Over 600 products were entered into the country rounds held in Italy, the UK, the USA and Vancouver throughout the year. 102 products made it through to the world final to be re-judged by the grand jury, who travel from around the world to each round, and a panel of experts. These prestigious awards give out just one Gold in each category and a number of Silvers to only the world’s finest chocolate.

Paul a Young triumphed in the Plain dark truffle category, winning Gold for his 85% RAW Ecuadorian dark chocolate truffle, with Damian Allsop’s Madagascan water ganache and Rococo Chocolates’ Madagascan house truffle both picking up Silvers. Paul a Young also won best Dark caramel for his Sea salted caramel.

Damian Allsop’s Salty Liquorice water ganache was named best Flavoured dark filled chocolate, with Boutique Aromatique’s Mint & sweet basil and Rococo’s Rose & cocoa nib ganache awarded Silvers in the same category.

This is the first year of The International Chocolate Awards, set up to recognise the best fine quality chocolate from around the world. The Americas triumphed in the bean to bar categories of the awards indicative of the current shift in the chocolate industry. The UK is currently one of the most vibrant and creative countries in the world for filled chocolates. With more chocolate shops opening than in any other country and leading the way in terms of innovation of ingredients. The USA and Americas have seen a plethora of micro batch bean to bar manufacturers launching and creating complex and stunning bars of chocolate. 

The International Chocolate Awards are designed to reflect international tastes and offer a level playing field for international entries. They return next year, with dates already announced for the Italian national competition (4-7 February 2013) and British national competition/European Semi Final (3-8 March 2013). Next year will also the scheme expand to more countries, with an Israeli competition already planned (10-12 February) and more national competitions to be announced in due course.

Seven London Cookery Schools Up for Top Industry Award

Seven cookery schools in London have been shortlisted as finalists in the inaugural British Cookery School Awards, which is headline sponsored by Kenwood. The British Cookery School Awards were launched in June of this year to celebrate and honour cookery schools’ hard work and dedication to driving Britain’s passion for cooking good, homemade food.

The winners of the British Cookery School Awards’ 14 categories will be announced at the awards event, hosted by Nigel Barden, at the Vintners’ Company, EC4, on Tuesday 13th November.  The winners of each category will receive a top-of-the-range Kenwood kitchen appliance, as well as a trophy and the accolade of being a British Cookery School Awards 2012 champion.

The Awards honour the achievements of cookery schools from across the UK, celebrating all sizes and specialities. The categories celebrate both individuals and whole cookery schools, as well as placing special emphasis on their impact within the community and on using good, locally sourced ingredients. Blackheath Cooks, Divertimenti, L’Atelier des Chefs, Leith’s School of Food and Wine, Food at 52, Rachel’s Kitchen and School of Wok are all finalists.

London cookery schools are in the running for the following categories:

Best English Cookery School (sponsored by Dr Oetker UK Ltd)
Blackheath Cooks Ltd

Best Small Cookery School (sponsored by Kenwood)
Food at 52

Best Large Cookery School (sponsored by Pyrex)
L’atelier des Chefs

Best Specialist Cookery School (sponsored by the Bart Ingredients Co)
School of Wok

Unsung Hero: Backroom Staff Member
Food at 52
L’Atelier des Chefs

Best Young Rising Star (sponsored by Dr Oetker UK Ltd)
L’Atelier des Chefs
Rachel’s Kitchen
School of Wok

All seven schools are also in the running for the People’s Choice: Britain’s Favourite Cookery School Award, voted for by the public.

Head judge of the British Cookery School Awards, Nigel Barden, said: “It was amazing to get such a good response to the Awards. It was gratifying that such store is set by using local, ethically sourced ingredients and that many establishments are integrated so well into their communities. This is reflected in their on-going relationships with youth clubs, community centres and schools, which provide the opportunity to cook, often for the first time. The range of these awards helps celebrate some remarkable individuals and cookery schools.”