Introducing the contestants of the UK&IE Junior Chocolate Masters Competition: Benjamin Dufour

Introducing the contestants of the UK&IE Junior Chocolate Masters Competition: Benjamin Dufour

Each year the next generation of chocolate talents showcase their skills during the UK and Ireland Junior Chocolate Masters Competition. For the next edition taking place at the UK Chocolate Academy™ centre on the 9th of June, the contestants will be judged over 3 categories:

• Chocolate showpiece (minimum size 75 cm)
• Snacking bar
• Vegan chocolate plated dessert

This year the  four contestants, will try to impress  the jury with their chocolate passion and artistic skills in order to win the coveted title of UK&IE Junior Chocolate Masters 2018. The winner will have the opportunity to attend the World Chocolate Masters final in Paris during the Salon du Chocolate this October.

Curious to know more about those young chocolatiers we have asked them a few questions about their passion and their preparation.

The second contestant we would like to introduce is Mr. Benjamin Dufour, Demi Chef de Partie at Harrods, London.

  • How did you fall in love with chocolate and pastry ?

I fell in love with pastry really young, when my dad was baking a cake at home, I was always eating the dough raw, I think that was the proper beginning of my love with pastry!

My passion for chocolate came later when I joined Harrods in 2017. Creating my first showpiece was an eye opener, I just realized how chocolate can be the reflection of your mind and that the only limit is your imagination.

  • How are you inspired by the theme blue planet ?

Blue planet is such a wide range theme, I get inspired from reading, watching tv documentaries and discussing with colleagues at Harrods, to whom I want to say a particular thank you for the support.

  • How are you preparing for the competition ?

I prepare the competition by practicing, every day after work and also during my days off.

I prepare all my “mise en place” the day before, and then, the following day, I’m doing the showpiece until I get the desired result.

Then I keep the same process for the dessert and the bonbon, and as soon as I get everything ready, I follow with the practice.

  • What is your favourite Cacao Barry chocolate ? Why ?

Difficult questions, so much choice... I will say it’s the Ghana milk chocolate 40% for its taste, not too sweet for a milk chocolate and which gives you some great extras flavours and notes of red fruits and chestnut.

  • Any ambition for the future you'd like to share with us ?

My main ambition for the future is to travel, that was the main reason I started in London, to improve my English skills.

One of my projects would be to move to Asia, to develop further an open mind and have a new point of view, not only in pastry but in culture in general. As usual we never know what can happen tomorrow, maybe my answer will be totally different after the competition but today, that would be my wish.

Thanks a lot Benjamin and we wish you all the best for the Junior Chocolate Masters Competition on the 9th June !

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