Ridgen won with a textured Manjari chocolate dessert with Mövenpick raspberry sorbet, and received a two-day spa break in Edinburgh and a one-on-one chocolate showpiece course with Ruth Hinks at her Cocoa Black Chocolate & Pastry School in Peebles.
She said: “I feel so proud to have won this year’s Mövenpick Gourmet Dessert Chef of the Year competition. I worked hard to make sure my dish incorporated well-balanced flavours and textures, so am delighted the judges felt I achieved this.”
First runner-up Biju Joshwa from London Marriott Country Hall made a raspberry and fennel dessert, while second runner-up Zac Dearden from the Design House Restaurant in Halifax created a carrot cake with white chocolate and Mövenpick cinnamon ice cream’.
They both won a Make Your Own Chocolate Truffles, Pralines & Ganache course at Hinks’ school, as well as an overnight stay in Edinburgh.
Judges included Hinks (UK World Chocolate Master), Cherish Finden (Head pastry chef, The Langham), Joe Lutrario (Restaurant Magazine), Sheila Eggleston (Eat Out & Cost Sector Catering Magazines) and Tim Futter (Mövenpick Ice Cream consultant development chef).
Hinks said: “Today’s competition was all about flavour. The standard was incredibly high and everyone did a fantastic job, but for me chocolate and raspberry is always a winner! I can’t wait to welcome Louise, Biju and Zac at Cocoa Black soon – it will be a joy to have such talented chefs at the school.”
Finden added: “The standard this year was higher than ever before, so judging the competition was not only incredibly exciting, it was also very hard! The winning dish was beautiful to look at and displayed so much precision – I could have demolished plate after plate.”