After two days of melting, sculpting and tempering chocolate, the UK’s representative in the World Chocolate Masters competition was decided as John Costello, innovation chef from Park Cakes in Bury.
Chief judge Gary Hunter said yesterday that the competition had been so close, with runner up Ruth Hinks from Cocoa Black in Peebles, Scotland described by judge and fellow chocolatier Paul Wayne Gregory as a “dark horse”.
On the Centre Stage a handful of restaurateurs and industry experts including TV chef Paull Merrett and John Dyson, food advisor for the British Hospitality Association, discussed the merits of ethical sourcing.
All agreed that the practice could generate positive business benefits such as marketing opportunities, but Merrett warned operators not to become too proud.
“You musn’t bask in the glory of doing something good,” he said. “You should have the information there if people want it but you shouldn’t force it down their throats.”
The Drinks Quarter on Tuesday saw leading sommeliers Laura Rhys from Hotel Terravina and Andrija Klijajic from Benares discuss how a good wine and spirit selection can help boost bottom lines, while Akos Hervai from Clusters to Wine delivered a masterclass in wine service techniques and etiquette.
Compass Group found its 2010 Junior and Senior Chefs of the Year after two gruelling finals at the Competition Theatre.
Jack Crow from Coutts Bank on The Strand was named the best chef in the under 24 category, while Robert Dank of Christ’s Hospital School in Horsham won the Senior heat.
Judge Jason Atherton said the quality of chef in the competition proved that contract catering “is no longer a second best career in our industy,” claiming the “Michelin star elite” had stiff competition.
Amongst all this was also a sushi preparation class from Roka’s Hamish Brown, a mammoth 270-cover lunch for Simon Hulstone and his team of chefs from Westminster Kingsway College in the Signature Restaurant, the launch of a petition calling for chefs to back Team GB at the Bocuse d’Or World Final in Lyon in January and so much more.
Today is the final day of this year’s Restaurant Show, which has proven to be the biggest yet. You can still register for a free pass at www.therestaurantshow.co.uk, .