The Great British Bake Off finals will be easy peasy, lemon squeezy, compared to what a Borders chocolatier faces at the World Chocolate Masters this weekend.
After 12 months of preparation, Cocoa Black’s Ruth Hinks will compete against 19 of the globe’s leading chocolatiers at the event in Paris on October 28-30.
Peebles-based Ruth – who won the 2012 UK Chocolate Masters Competition – will be pitting her expertise in a bid to win the coveted world title.
During an intense three days of competition, the UK’s first ever female Chocolate Master will be pushing her knowledge and innovative culinary talent to the limit to create a 1-2m high chocolate showpiece, a chocolate layered cake, a gastronomic chocolate dessert, a moulded chocolate, an enrobed praline and a chocolate globe around the competition’s theme: ‘The Architecture of Taste’.
Speaking about the forthcoming competition, Ruth, the owner of the Cocoa Black Chocolate & Pastry School, said; “It’s an honour to represent the UK at the World Chocolate Masters in Paris.
“The support I have had from my family and colleagues has been second to none. For the past 12 months, I have spent 25 hours a week training and have been fortunate enough to receive excellent support from many of the UK’s leading chocolatiers and pastry chefs.
“It’s been a fantastic journey and I’m looking forward to the event, and revealing the efforts of the past 12 months.”
The World Chocolate Masters is the only such competition based on the performance of an individual rather than a team. It’s considered the ultimate challenge for chocolate professionals and requires unparalleled levels of preparation, concentration and expertise.
“She loves competitions,” said Ruth’s husband David. “She’s delighted to get down to the last 20.
“She’s pitting her skills against the best in the world, so she’ll be pleasantly surprised if she wins.
“She’ll be delighted if she finishes higher than anyone in the UK before – i.e. seventh. It’s about how you perform on the day.
“It’s 75 per cent skill, and 25 per cent luck. Anything can happen. Timing is everything in these competitions: if something goes wrong on the day, it puts your timing off, and adds to the pressure.
“The competition has given her a lot of exposure and opportunities.
“Her career is about to take off.”
You can follow Ruth’s progress and show your support on the Cocoa Black Facebook page, and the fifth World Chocolate Masters will be broadcast live from Paris, allowing chocolate fans to get behind Ruth and watch as the competition unfolds.
This year, fans can vote online for their favourite chocolate showpiece. The winner of this special People’s Choice Award will be announced on Wednesday, October 30, during the award ceremony, which starts at 5pm.
Robert Harrison, of chocolatier Barry Callebaut, said: “I would like to wish Ruth the very best of luck in the forthcoming finals.
“There is no other culinary competition like the World Chocolate Masters, which demands such high standards of creativity, design, innovation and inspiration. Expect to be astounded by the talent on display.”