The next stage of the World Chocolate Masters competition will take place during London's Speciality & Fine Food Fair from 2 to 4 September 2012 at Olympia.
Only one of the five finalists will go on to compete against the most celebrated chocolate artisans from across the globe at the World Chocolate Masters Finals in Paris in 2013.
Premium chocolate brands Callebaut, Cacao Barry and Carma are organising the competition, which is designed to promote chocolate as a creative ingredient and to be a forum for skills to be developed and showcased.
The five finalists are: Ruth Hinks, owner of CocoaBlack; Alistair Birt, head chocolatier for William Curley; Conor McAlonan, owner of Liberty Boy Confections; Richie Heppell, head chef at Royal Air Force Officers Mess at RAF Leuchars; and Simon Woods, pâtisserie lecturer from Westminster Kingsway College.
Robert Harrison, sales director, UK and Ireland at Barry Callebaut, said: "The fifth World Chocolate Masters will be a life-changing event for one superbly skilled and dedicated candidate.
"Each year the bar has been raised to levels of breathtaking artistry and endeavour - I expect 2013 to be no different.
The finalists will be required to produce one chocolate showpiece, one moulded praline, one pastry and one chocolate dessert. A new addition for this year is the reinvention in chocolate of a classic local recipe which, for the UK finals, will be a chocolate log.
The underpinning theme of the finals is "The Architecture of Taste". Using Callebaut's gourmet chocolate, the finalists will have to interpret the architectural brief into every one of their creations, culminating with a show-stopping, showpiece finale.
Other official partners and sponsors include Keylink and HB Ingredients (Partners) and California Raisins, Demarle, Wild Harvest and Thermomix.
The UK Chocolate Master will be crowned at 3pm on Tuesday 4 September, the final day of the Speciality & Fine Food Fair.
By Lisa Jenkins
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