Wendy Tuxworth, one of my colleagues at Tried and Supplied, has been covering the exciting events at the World Chocolate Masters where Barry Johnson was representing Great Britain.
This is her report.
About the World Chocolate Masters
Commonly referred to as the ‘world chocolate championship’, this is a demanding international competition that tests the skills of twenty of the best chocolatiers in the world. Twenty judges (all gastronomic experts – one for each country that participated) had the unenviable task of deciding the winner.
Barry Johnson – the UK representative
Barry Johnson was chosen as the representative for the UK. Barry is a lecturer at the National Bakery School and owner of The Cocoa Lab which specialises in expertly crafted chocolates. Having previously worked as Principal Chocolatier for Rococo Chocolates, as well as in the kitchens of Harrods and The Wolseley, he is known for his attention to detail as well as his innovative flavour combinations.
Futuropolis – the city-based theme of the competition
For three days, chocolatiers battled, each attempting to reflect the theme of ‘Futuropolis’ in their ingredients, flavours, shapes, and presentations. Why this theme? Because by 2025, half of the world’s population will live in enormous cities of more than 10 million inhabitants. The judges were interested in how these cities might change flavours, as well as influence tomorrow’s pastry chefs and chocolatiers.
Barry wins the Travel Cake round
Barry got to a brilliant start by winning the Best Chocolate Travel Cake round. This had to be a transportable cake with a shelf life of five days, much like the original Japanese travel cakes. Inspired by the Battenburg cake, Barry’s Travel Cake was allergy-free.
Combining the flavours of chocolate, orange, and coriander, Barry also used unusual ingredients such as caramelised quinoa and gianduja (a sweet chocolate spread with hazelnuts). To make his Travel Cake even more futuristic and environmentally friendly, his box was made from recycled coffee cups.
Barry made it to the third day of the competition, where only the top ten chocolatiers were challenged to create a chocolate design of the City of Tomorrow. This had to be entirely made of Cacao Barry chocolate and cacao derived products, and had to showcase at least six different techniques. Barry created Hexopolis, an imagining of a more eco-efficient city with housing domes, solar panels, and underground apartments. Quite a challenge!
The final result
Entering competitions is one of the best ways of furthering a career in the hospitality industry – Tried and Supplied is currently running one for apprentice chefs – follow this link to find out more.