Peebles chocolatier is UK’s first Chocolate Master

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RUTH HINKS has been crowned winner of the premier UK Chocolate Masters Competition – an initiative by Callebaut, Cacao Barry and Carma.

She will now become the first woman to represent the UK at the World Chocolate Masters Finals in 2013.

The owner of CocoaBlack was crowned UK Chocolate Master after three days of intense competition, held at London Olympia’s Speciality and Fine Food Fair. Ruth wowed the judges with her innovative culinary talent, fusion of flavours and mastering of the underpinning architectural theme.

Speaking at the finals, Ruth said: “It really hasn’t sunk in yet, I’ve been planning this since October last year, so it’s been constantly on my mind – I’m so relieved.

“I can’t thank my husband and the staff at CocoaBlack enough – at one point I was going to pull out of the competition, but they convinced me to stay in and I’m so glad they did.

“A huge congratulations to all the finalists, especially Alistair [Birt, head chocolatier at William Curley] who is such a talented individual.”

Expressing her delight at becoming the first ever woman to represent the UK, Ruth added: “I’ve done it for the ladies!” Ruth fought off stiff competition from the UK’s finest chocolatiers, patissiers and chefs to secure her place at the World Chocolate Masters Finals in Paris in 2013, and represent the UK at the international competition dedicated solely to the art of chocolate.

Commenting on the competition, head judge Gary Hunter, head of culinary arts, food and beverage service and hospitality at Westminster Kingsway College, said: “I can’t stress just how close the result was, Ruth’s moulded pralines were excellent, as was her contemporary twist on a classic.

“This win is just the beginning of a fantastic journey for her. Congratulations.”

Architecture of Taste is the theme at the World Chocolate Masters Finals next October, where Ruth and the best chocolatiers from across the globe will be challenged to find inspiration and creativity from iconic buildings such as the Shard in London, the National Stadium in Beijing and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.

Ruth would like to thank David Harrison’s garage of Peebles for providing transport to and from the event.