Looking forward to the UK & Ireland pre-selections for WCM 2017 with Ian Mark

Six great, super talented pastry chefs and chocolatiers will this year compete in the UK pre-selection for the international competition of the World Chocolate Masters (WCM). The competition is just around the corner, so we are checking how the preparations are going.  Today we are talking to Ian Mark.

There are only a few weeks to the UK WCM. How do you feel?

With the WCM only a few weeks away now I am feeling excited to see what the contestants’ visions of the theme and what their assignments will look like. With the caliber of competition and extremely highly skilled chefs I am intrigued to see how I fair against the world class field.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

How are your preparations going?

My preparations have ramped up to the next level. I am focusing on the theme and all the finer details. I am pleased with where I am at, but as with everything there is always room for improvement.

What has been the most challenging?

I really enjoy creating showpieces and the art that goes behind it, but this has been a challenge this time as I knew I would have to step up the standard of my work and find new techniques and methods to showcase the futropolis theme.

What went easier than you thought?

The initial ideas came really easy but they have evolved over time and adapted to suit the competition and the theme.

Are you getting lots of support from your colleagues and other people? Is there anybody you would like to thank especially?

My team showed a great level of understanding, giving me time off to attend workshops and to solely focus on practicing so that I can produce the best food and showpiece I possibly can. I would especially like to thank Mark Tilling - without his expert guidance and mentorship I wouldn’t have had the confidence to enter. I definitely owe him a few beers after this.

Are you enjoying the theme Futropolis?

When I first saw the theme I did not know what to expect, but once I broke it down I started to enjoy it, creating new shapes and flavor combinations. It’s a theme that has endless options.

 

How is it inspiring you?

I like to think how we are all going to live in the future: will it be the same, will it be different or will it be like the movies.

What is your vision for the future of desserts?

Clean lines, delicate and powerful flavours in harmony with countless textures in a bite size portion.

Is there anything in the pastry world today that you dislike?

I enjoy seeing new trends coming around, it shows creativity and passion. I like our profession as we are always trying to blur the lines of what people expect to see and something they have not seen before.

What have you learnt through your journey to this competition?

I have learnt so much, I have developed myself and my skills the best I can, I have gained a new mentor who has passed on his expert knowledge and pushes me to strive for nothing but the best.

Are you ready to win?

Yes, I will give it my all, it will be very hard but as long as I can stand behind what I have produced knowing I couldn’t have given anything more, I will be happy.