Think future and megacities, think chocolate - think #WCMFUTROPOLIS!

Did you see pastry chefs disappearing from their restaurants and hotels yesterday? They were missed all the evening. But don’t worry, they were not taken by the aliens, they only disappeared to appear at Lima Floral to witness the exciting moment of announcing the new challenge for those who are keen on showing their mastery of chocolate to the world in the only competition dedicated entirely to chocolate: World Chocolate Masters.

The theme for the next competition which will happen in 2018, was announced at the event which was really crowded with some of the most exciting names in the pastry world. Many renowned chefs attended, which showed a huge interest for the competition and a great passion for chocolate.

Chefs awaiting announcement of the new theme
So many renowned chefs in one place - awaiting the announcement of the WCM 2018 theme

So what will be the 2018 challenge for the passionate chefs and chocolatiers? The new theme is ‘Futropolis’ - an inspiration based on the growing phenomenon of megacities. By 2025, more than half of the world’s population is expected to be living in cities with 10 million inhabitants and more. These megacities will challenge our ways of living, working… and eating.

#WCMFUTROPOLIS

“Plants will be grown underground and on city rooftops”, according to Ramon Morató – Global Creative Director Cacao Barry and member of the World Chocolate Masters Committee. “Gastronomy will partner with science and technology to create new multi-sensory sensations. Chefs will look to designers, engineers and scientists to create new food shapes, edible packaging and reduce food waste. Consumers’ moods and well-being will be at the centre of food creation”, he continues. “We want to see how chocolate chefs in this competition come up with ideas and a vision for these challenges. Their creativity in all these fields will yield an entirely new basket of shapes and flavours for chocolate.”

 

The happy crowd
"The happy crowd" - some of the best British pastry chefs

While enjoying the snacks prepared by the chefs of Lima Floral, sipping pisco sours and indulging in wonderful Futropolis inspired desserts created by Julie Sharp with the helping hand of Beverly Dunkley, we chatted with the pastry chefs. Quite some are thinking about taking part in the challenge - some of them are still thinking more quietly, but some are already quite sure. What about you? Ready for the challenge?

Julie Sharp created special desserts for the event
Julie Sharp created special desserts for the event

Markus Bohr, the executive pastry chef at Harrods, who was one of the jury members of the previous WCM told me in a chat at yesterday’s event about his wonderful experiences. The preparation for such a competition requires a lot of time and many sacrifices, so I asked him if he thinks it is worth investing so much time into preparations. “Yes it is,” he said. He is convinced it’s the best invested time ever. And he told that he has never ever heard any competitor say that he was sorry - some said they wished they had worked even harder, but everybody loved the experience.

 

Markus Bohr, the executive pastry chef of Harrods, loves WCM
Markus Bohr, the executive pastry chef of Harrods, talked greatly about WCM competition

Alistair Birt, last year’s winner of the UK competition was talking about the World Chocolate Masters as a very demanding but life changing experience. We believe him - after he showed his mastery at the competition, he was quickly invited by Markus Bohr to join his team. He is now the head pastry chef at Harrods. Yes, his life definitely changed! Will Torrent sees a great value of World Chocolate Masters also in triggering the imagination and creativity of chefs, to take pastry to the next level. Gary Hunter, the head of hospitality at the Westminster-Kingsway College, sees World Chocolate Masters as a great inspiration for education - he says that ten years ago this event at Lima Floral may not have been filled with as many great pastry chefs.

Ruth Hinks with Martin Chiffers and Graham Hornigold
Ruth Hinks with Martin Chiffers and Graham Hornigold

Are you still not sure if you should take part in this great competition? Ruth Hinks, who was competing at the grand finale of WCM in 2013 and managed the highest ever position on the WCM for the UK, believes you should do it:

“I loved the WCM and had a fantastic experience. If anyone is thinking about it they should just do it. You learn so much and if you are up for a challenge it certainly is a great one. You grow in yourself and do things you never thought you can. My kids called it “the chocolate race” and it certainly felt like running a race!! You just have to do it!!”

When you love something and you decide to follow your passion, things just start happening, so don’t stop yourself - take the challenge! Think future, think chocolate!