Last month in an interview with Caterer and Hotelkeeper Ruth Hinks the UK's only female Chocolate Master and proprietor of Cocoa Black in Peebles, Scotland, predicted that the top three winners at the World Chocolate Masters organised by Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Carma would be the Netherlands, Japan and Mexico.
What she didn't expect was that she would also be in the top five, the highest ranking UK contestant in the competition's history.
After three-days of competition between 19 national Chocolate Masters, at the Salon du Chocolat Professionnel exhibition at Porte de Versailles in Paris, France, Hinks was invited on stage with Davide Comaschi, of Italy, Marike Van Beurden from the Netherlands, Deniz Karaca from Australia and Akihiro Kakimoto of Japan.
The suspense was palpable with the final three announced in reverse order: Karaca, Van Beurden and Comaschi of Italy in first place.
Comaschi was selected as the World Chocolate Master 2013 by an international panel of 23 judges including Markus Bohr, executive pastry chef at Harrods in London and Sergio Herman, three-Michelin star chef from Oud Sluis in the Netherlands responsible for ensuring the contestants adhered to the theme "the architecture of taste".
Speaking about her success Hinks said: "I was so nervous and had to fix a few issues, but it all came right in the end.
"I was most pleased with my moulded chocolates," added Hinks and French judge Jérôme de Oliveira commented "Ruth's dessert was the best dessert here, and it pains me to say that about an English dessert as a Frenchman!"
Hinks' showpiece incorporating intricate hexagonal hand-crafted honeycomb pieces and bespoke beehives created by neighbouring Peebles bronzing foundry, Beltane Studios, was a striking piece, as was her dessert which comprised 15 elements: a biscuit base, raspberry sponge, lemon and chocolate cream, chocolate ganache, raspberry jelly, lemon curd balls and chocolate sauce.
The social media award with 22,509 votes on the World Chocolate Masters website was won by Luis Robledo from Mexico.
Comaschi's prize includes: a trip to Cacao Barry's chocolate farm on the Ivory Coast, 4000 Euros in cash, 5000 Euros worth of catering equipment and Bragard chef wear.