World Chocolate Masters preselection - presenting Richie Heppell

The World chocolate Masters UK & Ireland preselection will happen in London on 18th February this year at Westminster Kingsway College, London.

It is not just a competition. It’s also about getting to know the chocolate, experiencing the richness of flavours of different origins, different extremes, the Purity from Nature, tasting desserts created by the great chefs, meeting the creators, getting to know Or Noir and much more. In the coming weeks we will present you all the contestants.

Alistair Birt was presented last week. This week let’s get to know Richie Heppell.

Richie is currently the Head Chef in the Officers Mess at RAF Leuchars and he has been a chef for the RAF for 17 years. Throughout his career he has worked in a wide variety of kitchens ranging from cooking for 3000 troops in the Falkland Islands & Saudi Arabia to a fine dining Officers Mess, assisting in banquets for Her Majesty the Queen, VVIP visitors and the former Prime Minister John Major. Recently Richie has also started an online presence known as “Heppell’s” where he sells handmade artisan chocolates and gifts. Over the last 10 years Richie has won a number of Gold and silver medals as well as Best in Class awards at competitions representing the RAF and also the Combined Services Culinary Arts Team competing at the Tri-Service Competition, Hotelympia, and preparing for the Culinary Olympics & Culinary World Cup. He has also previously competed at the World Chocolate Masters UK Final and gained 3rd place. 

Richie, what does chocolate mean to you?

“I have always loved chocolate and being brought up next to a chocolate factory started me off on that craze. We as children were able to buy chocolate from the factory that wasn’t quite good enough for the shop shelves, so we could get a lot for our money. Now, using chocolate in my profession opens numerous amounts of doors that you would not believe. There are plenty of different blends that Cacao Barry offers which change your finished product and add enhancements because of the subtle notes of smell and flavour. The use of chocolate is endless and is stretched as far as your imagination wants to take it from exquisite chocolates to show stopping showpieces.”

And why is WCM important for you?

“The Most important reason for me to participate in the World Chocolate Masters is to compete against the worlds finest chocolatiers, seeing different trends and experience different techniques.  Seeing and competing against the best of the best can only give me more thirst and thrive to be better than the best whilst gaining new friends in this skilful medium of work.  I would like to achieve the best possible status in a profession that needs more recognition all over the world in a skill that takes years to perfect through determination, strong character and true professionalism. Representing the UK in the World final would be the highest honour I could ever dream to achieve.”

We wish you a lot of success, Richie!

Would you like to visit and experience this exciting event? Registrations are now open. Please contact Jayne at