New British wave

As regulars will have seen, the blog’s been a little slack of late. This hasn’t been because of lack of interest – just too much has been going on recently in the fine chocolate world. All good though, as this week sees us recovering from the Chocolate Festival here in the UK.

A main feature of the week was the announcement of the first ‘World Chocolate Awards’ from the Academy of Chocolate – the Academy’s first major public event. The press were very busy with the rather over simplified message of ‘the world’s best chocolate bar’, referring to Amedei Chuao, winner of 3 golds. (One as the base of a filled chocolate). Actually though a number of bars did rather well – though surprisingly Cluizel didn’t perform on the day.

The really pleasant surprise though was the success of upcoming British chocolatiers in the truffle and filled chocolate categories. Entry was not restricted to the UK and internationally recognised masters of the art such as La Maison du Chocolat received due commendation. A large number of awards though were presented to British chocolatiers in the filled chocolate and truffle categories. Chococo of Swanage and William Curley and Paul A Young based in London both achieved gold, while L’artisan du chocolat where named best UK chocolatier. That the entries had a definite British slant is not really surprising given this is the first year of a UK based competition, that the British did so well is certainly good news and provides hope for the many aspiring chocolatiers we met during the Chocolate Festival.

In contrast some big name high street brands like Godiva were disqualified for the use of preservatives and other artificial ingredients. And ‘Bean to Bar’ was another matter altogether, as there are no UK based fine chocolate makers producing their own chocolate from the bean, despite the claims of some.

So all in all an excellent start with substantial press interest, giving us some real hope of moving forward with the fine chocolate cause in the UK.

For full details of the winners of the Awards, see the Academy of Chocolate website.

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