Introducing the Judges of the UK&IE Junior Chocolate Masters Competition: Ruth Hinks, Sarah Frankland, Michele Stanco

Introducing the Judges of the UK&IE Junior Chocolate Masters Competition: Ruth Hinks, Sarah Frankland, Michele Stanco

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
• Plated dessert

This year 4 contestants, showing very promising skills, will try to seduce the jury in order to win the title of UK&IE Junior Chocolate Masters and to have the opportunity to attend in person the final of the World Chocolate Masters in Paris during the Salon du Chocolat next October.

Our young candidates will have to impress a jury of highly renowned professionals:

  • Ruth Hinks represented the UK and Ireland at the World Chocolate Masters final in 2013 achieving the highest rank ever granted to a UK contestant. She now shares her deep knowledge at Cocoa Black, her Pastry & Chocolate School in Scotland.
  • Sarah Frankland, former Head Pastry Chef at Yauatcha and now Head Pastry Chef at Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa. Sarah also achieved the second place during the UK& Ireland Chocolate Masters competition in October 2017.
  • Michele Stanco currently Training and Development Chef at Carpigiani UK, previously Pastry Sous Chef at the Fat Duck group.

Curious to know more about their involvement in developing the next generation of pastry chefs and chocolatiers, as well as their expectations for the competition, we asked them a few questions.

Sarah Frankland

  • How important is the education of future chocolate talents to you ?

It is so important to develop the skills of the next generation of pastry chefs and chocolatiers. This is something that really matters to me and close to my heart. My main focus at the moment alongside developing the pastry products for the Pennyhill Park is providing knowledge and support to my junior team members to help them to develop into fantastic pastry chefs and chocolatiers for the future. The JCM is a fantastic platform for young pastry chefs to start their journey into creating chocolate showpieces, chocolates and desserts and especially here in the UK to develop young pastry chefs that will in the future, I am sure, have the potential to enter the World Chocolate Masters.

  • What are your expectations for the 2018 edition of the Junior Chocolate Masters UK and IE ?

I am extremely excited by the theme that has been chosen, there is so much in the news about our planet and how we can work towards a more sustainable future. The inclusion of a vegan dessert is also very much on trend. The demand for Vegan and free from desserts is at the highest level I have ever seen in my career. It is very important to develop a dish that is on par with the standards of what is served in the restaurants and I am really excited to see what these young chefs will be presenting.

Ruth Hinks

  • How important is the education of future chocolate talents to you ?

It’s important to the future of this industry that we encourage and share our knowledge with the next generation of chocolate and pastry talent.  The Junior Chocolate Masters provides a great platform for emerging talent to get recognised.

  • What are your expectations for the 2018 edition of the Junior Chocolate Masters UK and IE ?

I’m excited to witness the standard of the competition, which seems to go from strength to strength every year !  I enjoy observing how each candidate interprets the theme, new techniques and taking risks.

Michele Stanco

  • How important is the education of future chocolate talents to you?

 I think comprehensive education and progressive experience are both vital when it comes to the future chocolatiers of our industry. Learning the art of chocolate takes a great deal of time and perseverance but working with chocolate is a unique skill which, when refined, can achieve outstanding results.  I believe that it is very important for a chocolatier to understand and appreciate each step of the complex process, and by doing so, to be able to give the art of chocolate making the appreciation and respect that it deserves.

  • What are your expectations for the 2018 edition of the Junior Chocolate Masters UK and IE?

I have high expectations for the Junior Chocolate Masters UK & IR in 2018. Having followed the progress of previous competitions, finalists and winners, I think the standard continues to rise and the judging gets tougher as the skill, talent and determination of the highly motivated young chefs evolve. I’m expecting this year’s finalists to show exceptional technique, precision, a balanced recipe with good taste and more than anything, demonstrate a unique level of creativity. I can’t wait to see who’s going to be the Junior Chocolate Master 2018 for the UK and Ireland!

Thanks a lot Ruth, Sarah, Michele, and no doubt that our young contestants will do their best to match your expectations !

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